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Corvette Summer (1978)

The directing debut of Matthew Robbins, co-writer (with Hal Barwood) of Steven Spielberg’s The Sugarland Express, is a youth movie very much in the mould of American Graffiti (1973).

Mark Hamill, then fresh from the original Star Wars (1977), stars as Kenneth W. Dantley Jr – a high school student who spends most of his time fondling, stroking and polishing the love of his life: a customised Chevrolet Corvette that he lovingly restored for auto-shop class.

When the car is stolen, Kenneth goes looking for it with the help of trainee prostitute Vanessa (Annie Potts), who lives in a psychedelic Dormobile.


Kenneth also crosses paths with various uninteresting characters like a con man, a car thief, and a Vegas gambler. Partridge Family redhead Danny Bonaduce is in the mix as Kootz – one of the hero’s high-school pals – and it’s a sad comment on the movie that his scenes are the most entertaining.

Sadly, Robbins’s directing career proved to be fairly undistinguished after this promising first feature.

Kenneth W. Dantley Jr
Mark Hamill
Annie Potts
Ed McGrath
Eugene Roche
Principal Bacon
Richard McKenzie
Wayne Lowry
Kim Milford
Danny Bonaduce
Albert Insinnia
Mrs Dantley
Jane A. Johnston
Plain Clothes Police Lecturer
William Bryant