“Wild in the Streets”
Open up the confessional of guilty pleasures cause this film is mine. Obsessed since I was a kid, I totally related to the “younger generation” running things and not the “old cats” who always mess things up in this country. “Thirty and out” was my mantra. “Old fat cats” only in the game for their own personal gain. Yeah, I was a bit of a rebel. (or so my sister’s always say:)
And don’t get me started on Christopher Jones. Love him, and his hair? It was awesome! Jones had that whole brooding, tortured vibe like Marlon Brando and James Dean. The Christopher Jones character Max Frost was a pop star millionaire who gets “turned on” to the 60’s political scene and decides to exercise his views on free love, youth is the majority, women have rights and ultimately runs for President of the United States. And it only gets better from there!
Max Frost sayings: “Troops”, “Babies”, “14 or Fight.”
The soundtrack is the backdrop for the politics. Max and The Troopers deal with current issues of the time (’67). Voting age: “14 or Fight”.”If I can fight I can vote”. Ageism: If you’re 50 does that make you more competent? The 25 and under age group is the majority. “We have the power”. Women’s rights: “Chicks would have killed for the vote”.
Sally LeRoy – Diane Varsi
Stanley X – Richard Pryor
Billy Cage – Kevin Coughlin
The Hook, Abraham – Larry Bishop
“The Shape of Things to Come”, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, was a #22 chart hit for Max Frost and the Troopers (a “studio group”, made up of session musicians) in 1968.
Nominated for Oscar:
Best Film Editing
Fred R. Feitshans Jr.
What resonated with me then and now? The political implications of organizing and using that voice and numbers for change. But also the nightmare when ideas become an extreme.
This flick was over the top but had it’s pulse on the fears of the 60’s and a possible dysfunctional future. American International founders Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson were genius! They were one of the first production companies to recognize and capitalize on the growing teen market. Think beach, biker, monster, drive-in movies. Think American International.
After “Wild in the Streets” Christopher Jones only made a couple more films, “Three in the Attic” 1968. Classic 60’s love in fest. The big studios took notice and David Lean offered him the romantic lead in the big budget drama “Ryan’s Daughter” 1970. Reportedly it was on the set of the film he had a nervous breakdown after hearing of Sharon Tate’s murder and shortly after left the Hollywood scene.
His last appearance was in the 1996 crime comedy “Mad Dog Time” opposite Richard Dreyfuss. In his later years he had a career as an artist and sculptor. He died from cancer on January 31, 2014 at the age of 72.