For his first major studio feature as director (after several years working for Roger Corman), Francis Ford Coppola made a fun offbeat coming-of-age nightmare comedy.
Bernard Chanticleer (Peter Kastner) is a nice but very awkward fella working (on roller skates) at the New York Public Library. He tries to get away from his overbearing parents (Geraldine Page and Rip Torn), ignores the nice girl who loves him (Karen Black) and gets himself an eighth-floor walk-up apartment.
Bernard soon falls for a crazy man-hating go-go dancer actress named Barbara Darling (Elizabeth Hartman) who lives with her “biographer” (Michael Dunn).
With Julie Hanis as Bernard’s landlady, Miss Thing, Tony Bill and Dolph Sweet.
Most of the film was shot on location, and there’s a good look at what 42nd St. peep shows were like in the 1960s. Doris Wishman’s My Brother’s Wife is on a marquee.
The Lovin’ Spoonful recorded the soundtrack (released by Kama Sutra) which includes Darling Be Home Soon and the title song.
Raef del Grado
Patrolman Francis Graf
Francis Ford Coppola