California Dolls (1981) UK Quad Poster
Back in 1947, Robert Aldrich was assistant director on Abe Polonsky’s Body and Soul, a boxing tale which he realised had a classic dramatic theme; “the biggest damage you can suffer is the loss of self-esteem and a fall from grace. The struggle to regain that esteem will fuel any plot. You don't even have to win”. This idea fuelled the finale to his The Longest Yard (1974) and in his comedy-drama The California Dolls, three damaged people, a manager and his tag team lady wrestlers endure any number of daily indignities; bad food, bad motels, cheap crooks and a demeaning mud-wrestling act in their bid to reach a career-making bout in Nevada.
Vincent Canby, of the New York Times claimed Peter Falk gave one of his best performances, and hopes were high for a fast sequel. But it did badly in the US, although it was a hit in some foreign markets. Plans for a Japan-set follow up floundered when Aldrich died – it was his final film.
Aka: ...All the Marbles
Condition: GOOD - tape marks to edges, top border tear at fold, dinks to borders
Cast: Peter Falk, Vicki Frederick - Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1989), Laurene Landon - Full Moon High (1981), I, The Jury (1982), title role in Hundra (1983), The Stuff (1985), Maniac Cop (1988), Richard Jaeckel, Burt Young