A Bullet for Pretty Boy (1970)
A biography of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, a gangster who started his career at a young age after seeking revenge for his father's murder.
Larry Buchanan, the Ed Wood of his day, made many bad movies in the '60s for American International. Apparently with this film he tried to elevate his game, took too long, got behind schedule, and got fired. Perhaps he also had artistic differences with Fabian. ;-) Anyway, yeah, the movie is wonderfully bad with many lovely bad touches - the bank robbery scenes occur in derelict buildings on the outskirts of downtown that apparently haven't been used in 35 years, Fabian's hairstyle is pure 1970, Fabian shows no apparent familiarity with the act of reading a newspaper, all the shades on the train are pulled down even though it's daytime, you can see the shadow of the camera against the train (because, um, it's broad daylight), the soulful song, not bad at first, gets used to death, etc. etc. etc. A useful text for stuff to avoid when you're making your first picture.
A lot of liberties have been taken with the biography of bank robber Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Looking past facts in contention, Pretty boy recording artist Fabian from Philly plays the criminal from Oklahoma, "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Floyd breaks out of prison where he was serving time for killing a hometown rival. Outrunning the hounds, Floyd makes it to Kansas City and teams up with a gang of bank robbers. The front pages of newspapers in the 30's heralded the exploits of the bank robber with the baby face. In spite of thinking about his pregnant wife Ruby(Astrid Warner), Floyd is seduced successfully by a beautiful 'working girl' named Betty(Jocelyn Lane). Government agent Hossler(Robert Glenn)getting closer and closer to capturing Floyd, manages to ambush and gun down the gangster, who was already in the mood to end the chase. The musical score is one of the most horrible you could suffer through. And Fabian is not even singing. Grab a few snacks and a lot of 'cold ones', and this flick isn't really that bad. It may even provoke you into seeking out one of the good "Pretty Boy" Floyd bios at the library. I have to give props to Fabian for actually doing a decent job. Miss Lane is absolutely fetching; but not the stone cold fox she played in the Elvis Presley flick TICKLE ME. Others in the cast: Adam Roarke, Jeff Alexander, Desmond Dhooge and Camilla Carr.
This one follows the exploits of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd (Fabian) and his gang as they rob banks through out Midwestern states (although it was entirely shot in Texas). It is pretty obvious that director Larry Buchanan is cashing in on the success of BONNIE & CLYDE (1967); for the second time actually as he made a B&C ripoff in 1968. For a low budget picture, they capture the small town feel pretty well. But reading any quick online bio for Floyd will show you the filmmakers are playing fast and loose with the truth. Floyd here - perhaps thanks to Woody Guthrie's song - is a romanticized, modern day Robin Hood-type with plenty of love for the ladies. Fabian acquits himself well in the lead role and the gorgeous Jocelyn Lane plays his love interest Betty. Adam Roarke has a small role as the character Preacher. An amazing amount of the supporting cast (Annabelle Weenick, Camilla Carr, Hugh Feagin, Gene Ross) later showed up in the horror works of S.F. Brownrigg.
Sorry, I mean Bonnie and Clyde get a re run at American International Pictures. I saw this in first release at our wonderful Sydney Capitol Theatre, home of the changed-weekly drive in double feature except this was a glorious 2500 seat plaster picture palace. A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY + ERIK THE CONQUEROR was the 70c double feature in 1971 and I was there, with lollies and still had change from $2. Handsome pop dude Fabian made a passable Floyd mainly because he was pretty in his Matt Lattanzi way. The only reason this film was made was because of BONNIE AND CLYDE and AIP was always keen to cash in on a fad. Also they probably had access to the props and cars from BOXCAR BERTHA and BLOODY MAMA made the previous year. I miss the days of AIP, they always made trash and treasure and always entertaining. BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY was exactly like a B grade version of BONNIE AND CLYDE, banjo music and all.