The catalogue says "Uses fantasy and humor in order to break down the resistance to treatment of people arrested for drunken driving and to promote alcohol safety." The film ends with mom, dad, and two kids plunging over a cliff to their deaths. Designed for use in Alcohol Safety Action Project programs.
December 31, 2018 Subject:
Drink in the mellow smoothness of this film...
This movie is an interesting collection of ephemera. It delves a little into ephemera itself, showing the effects of drinking throughout different historical periods. I could have done without the vaseline-smeared effects during the 1910s flashback, though. That time period was popular during the 1970s. There's also a film-within-a-film animated sequence that is shown during Tom's (the main character) probationary session. Pay attention to how the idea of group therapy is presented - not exactly an encouragement.
There's a lot going on in this film. After the sentencing, Tom and his drinking buddies are at the bar, going over all of the consequences of his drunk driving: the fine, the probation, all of the time involved, the expense of a lawyer, etc. Of course they're discussing all of this while they are all drinking (the bartender says, "Have one on me.") Then there's another fantasy sequence where different possible punishment scenarios are explored. I thought the movie was about to get a whole lot more interesting when Tom and his wife were being shown into prison.
But no, this sequence ends with the voiced-over suggestion that Tom and his family come out fishing on Saturday to forget the whole thing. Fans of 70s ephemera, pay attention when they're on the boat. Tin beer cans with removable pull tops, women with (fishing) poles in their hands, all set against a lush backdrop of horns. The whole thing even sounds like a beer commercial. Tom and his friend are drinking on the boat, of course, because he's got Pabst Blue Ribbon on his mind. Later, Tom turns to the King of Beers, because when he says Budweiser, he says it all. Watch close after the boat sequence starts: Tom even drops his pop top into the can before drinking out of it. Remember how we were all told that we would swallow the pop top and cut up our insides if we did that? Ah, good times.
Unfortunately, good times must come to an end, and Tom manages to make that happen, ignoring his wife's sensible suggestion that she drive the family home after he's spent the entire day getting hammered. It's hard to have much sympathy for Tom, really. He just does one bonehead thing after another. But the film is worth a look, if only for the boat sequence/ersatz beer commercial.
OK Don't drink and drive film that features a bit of a sad sack of a guy who leisurely drinks, gets caught driving, is sentenced, then does it again, this time, to heavier consequences! Shows interesting ways the cops were responding to these calls at the time, namely pulling out a film camera to record evidence. I wonder the implications of that one.