Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best, the only thing that is holding them back is money to build the best vehicle possible. As such, they decide to rob a supermarket's office of the money in its safe to pursue their dream. On the most part, their robbery is successful, although their plan breaks down in its end phase, which doesn't allow them as much getaway time as they wanted. Another problem they face is an unexpected third person in their getaway, Larry's one night stand Mary Coombs, who doesn't like the fact that Larry ran off on her, although she eventually also says that she doesn't want any of the money. With a police scanner and two-way radio in their souped up Dodge Charger, they try to outrun the police, who have an identification of their vehicle, and a general description of the three. The police pursuit is led by the tenacious Sheriff Everett Franklin, who knows he and his team can catch them, but also knows that the three may be able to get out of the state to "freedom" through a grove of walnut trees, which Larry, Deke and Mary may or may not know. At every literal and figurative turn, Larry needs to show his superiority as a driver, while trying to ditch Mary, who is a little more resourceful in staying with them than he anticipates.
Larry and Deke are a small time car racing duo who rob a grocery store, and plan to use the proceeds to buy an expensive race car in order to win more races and break in to the professional NASCAR circuit. Their escape with the loot does not go as smoothly as planned when Larry's one night stand, Mary, tags along for the ride. One step ahead of an obsessed Sheriff, they manage to evade several police cruisers, a high-performance police interceptor, and even a helicopter, in their 1969 Dodge Charger R/T. Almost...
Without doubt this is one of the more enjoyable car chase movies I have seen. The car stunts are fantastic and stand the test of time. It's fair to say that the plot has flaws and the acting is a little wooden in places, but for all that it comes across as a fun movie.
On a wet Wednesday evening it is truly a great film to watch with your mates whilst having a few beers.
This has better acting than 'Gone in 60 seconds(1974) and a better car chase than 'Bullitt (1968).
This film is a time waster in the best possible way. If you haven't seen it then I would encourage you to go out and buy it.
The film's ending certainly caught me by surprise and in many ways is the best way to conclude this film. Overacting by everyone but it still manages to be a decent movie. It seems so "innocent" compared to movies being made today. I first saw this movie when I was a kid and at that time it seemed really exciting. The final scene is still a shocking sequence. The subject of debate for many fans of "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" and Dodge Chargers is the color of the car used in the film.
The color of the Charger is a 1971-only Chrysler Corporation color "Curious Yellow" / "Limelight" (GY3), which is a light greenish-yellow color. This color was painted on the car by the film crew (as the color was not available in 1969), along with the horizontal racing stripe.
Many fans of the film swear to the yellow color of the car, but this is an easy error to make:
For years prior to the DVD release, the only availability of the film was on the rare occasion it was shown on television, or through less than legal "bootleg" copies of the film (both on DVD and VHS). Most illegitimate copies were dubs from the 1979 Magnetic Video Corporation version (which was the official 20th Century Fox release, and one of the first movies available on VHS tape in history), or directly from television. Either version was dubbed many times to make copies, which found their way to collectors, and eventually the internet.
As more and more copies were dubbed and distributed, the more and more the resulting tapes lost quality. Every time an analog VHS tape was dubbed, picture quality and color deteriorated, resulting in muted picture and color shifts. What was once a "Curious Yellow" light green / yellow color became just plain yellow in the translation. Thus, the "yellow" Charger.
Another factor to this misconception is the subtlety of the green hue to the paint. On some televisions, this greenish hue would be lost, once again, resulting in a "yellow" appearance.
The 2005 DVD release was directly from a newly-struck print from an original negative, and the greenish-yellow tint of the Charger is true.
SUPPLEMENTAL: Actually, the reason the car is remembered as yellow is because it WAS yellow in theaters and all film and video releases until the 2005 DVD... and that is because the film processors back in 1974 'corrected' the color of the film, not realizing the greenish tint they were seeing was NOT a lighting error. The same thing happened to the green orion slave woman in the first Star Trek pilot "The Cage" when the processors assumed the green was a mistake and kept correcting it to normal flesh tones...driving the director and crew crazy when they couldn't figure out why the girl looked normal after they spent so much time making her green. Bad communication is why the car always looked yellow. Only the DVD release of 2005 (and the coming 2011 re-release) show the car it its proper "Citron Yella" (not 'Limelight') hue. Those that swear the car was greenish yellow in the theatre are mistaken. There were three Dodge Chargers used in the filming of "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry." One was destroyed in the train crash at the end of the movie. Two survived the filming:
CHARGER #1: A 1969 "R/T" model, was the car prominently featured during the tire-changing scene, and all the subsequent chase scenes. This car was repaired to driveable condition after the filming, where it was listed for sale in a motion picture and television "pool car" publication in 1974, and bought by a crew member who worked on the television program, "The Streets of San Francisco." The car was his personal vehicle, and was subsequently totalled in a car accident in the late-1970's by someone who was borrowing the car.
CHARGER #2: Also a 1969 Charger, the details surrounding this car are somewhat unclear, but the car was also apparently purchased from a "studio pool" seller after filming was completed, and is currently sitting in the back yard of the owner in Sun Valley, California. The car still wears the original paint, stripe and wheels, but has a primered drivers side fender (replacing the damage the car received in the film). The car is not for sale. 497e39180f
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