The Sweet Ride (1968) [American]

Another early starring role for Jacqueline, but just a so-so film. It produced plenty of publicity stills of her in bikinis. Also noted for early scene of Jacqueline (as "Vickie Cartwright") in the surf after having lost her top.

The film had potential: good performances, several good characters, and basically an interesting plot (mystery: who beat up Vickie and dumped her on the road?). But it doesn't quite come together; probably the fault of the director (Harvey Hart, who has mostly done TV) and the script. Promoted as a surf/motorcycle movie, it's really all about the troubled personality of Vickie Cartwirght and her relationship with "Denny McGuire" (Michael Sarrazin). But too many scenes come off sounding cliched.

I recently (May 2005) read the novel that the movie is based on. The movie follows the book quite closely; some scenes are almost identical. Of course, some scenes in the book were cut, or re-arrnaged, and the novel is a bit more explicit. The heavy use of 1960s hipster slang makes the dialogue sound very self-conscious; maybe it worked at the time. The back stories of "Vickie" and "Denny" are more fleshed out; and the character of "Choo Choo" comes off rather different from the character played by Bob Denver. The ending is also more of a downer. Other differences: the book's "Vickie Crawford" (a blonde) becomes (brunette) "Vickie Cartwright" in the movie; likewise, "Mousie" was changed to "Thumper". The book's author, William Murrary, died earlier this year (March 2005). A native of New York City, he moved to southern California in 1966, so this may have been his first "California" work.

According to one source, "The Sweet Ride" was Filmed in 1967, and sat on the shelf until 1968, when it was released after The Detective, cashing in on the publicity. However, the novel it is based on was only published in 1967, so it couldn't have sat too long.

Jacqueline's love interest was played by Michael Sarrazin, with whom she had a long, real-life relationship. They also co-starred in "Believe in Me"; Michael also had a cameo in "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean".

"The Sweet Ride" does show up on TV periodically; on FXM in 1996, for example. I thought it had not been officially released on video. However, I recently obtained a used copy of a 1983 CBS/FOX release on VHS, though the packaging and label make it look like an Australian release, so it may be a good bootleg. The video quality was reasonably good. The movie is also offered by Video Search of Miami.

(Left) Publicity photo from "The Sweet Ride", used as a lobby card. I don't think Jacqueline is seen in the movie wearing this bikini.

(right) I believe this picture is from a scene from "The Sweet Ride" which didn't make it into the film.