Daily Archives: January 30, 2014

Out of the Blue (1980)

out of the blue 1

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Daddy disappoints his daughter.

Marginal drama detailing the trials of a teen girl (Linda Manz) whose father (Dennis Hopper) is serving a five year sentence for killing a busload of kids while driving drunk. She recognizes the weaknesses in her mother (Sharon Farrell) and idolizes her father because she thinks he is better yet when he is released she realizes he has faults as well, which culminates in a shocking and unexpected finale.

One of the big problems with this film is that it becomes as aimless as the characters that it portrays. Hopper’s free-form directing style is too loose and undisciplined. Intended dramatic elements come off as weak and insignificant. The story has interesting moments, but ultimately misses the mark. The gritty scenes look staged and hackneyed and everything seems too familiar like stuff we’ve seen hundreds of times before. Director/star Hopper keeps reaching into his bag hoping to pull out another Easy Rider, but his avant-garde style now seems tiring and predictable.

The dark, ugly ending is a definite shock and it is the only thing that raises this from being a complete misfire. Had the film started with the ending and used it as a springboard for the rest of the movie than it might have been more compelling. The very graphic crash of Hopper’s truck into the school bus is the only other part that is impressive.

Manz has certainly come a long way from Days of Heaven or even as the mouthy kid in The Wanderers. She is a more poised actress and ready to carry the film. Her streetwise attitude and background is still apparent, but more polished and contained. This was the film that was going to make her a star and it probably could have had it been better.

Farrell as the mother is effective simply because her physical looks nicely reflects the rough life of her character. It is also fun to see Raymond Burr in a bit part only because he seems so out of place with the setting.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: May 11, 1980

Runtime: 1Hour 34Minutes

Rated R

Director: Dennis Hopper

Studio: Discovery Films

Available: DVD