The Grasshopper

1970, Movie, R, 96 mins

Review

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This film might well be named "A Star Is Aborted." It's a sincere, sordid story with far more verisimilitude than the customary rags-to-riches or knife-in-the-back hackneyed Hollywood tale. Bisset, bored by British Columbia, travels to Los Angeles to join her old hometown sweetheart O'Kelly. Diverted when her car breaks down, she joins club comic Monica and goes to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Still fascinated by LA she continues her travels, joining O'Kelly and settling in to a domestic life, working as a bank teller. Haunted by the glamour she has seen, the restless 19-year-old hops to the greener grass of Vegas, where her looks land her a job as a showgirl. Settling in with new friends, she meets Brown--as in real life, a onetime football great--who has been hired as a handshaker by a hotel. She marries the black, disgruntled Brown and, to advance his career beyond the confines of meeting and greeting, joins mob-connected Bieri in his hotel room, only to be brutally beaten when she rejects his sexual advances. Husband Brown retaliates with a vicious attack on Bieri, and he and his bride wisely leave town. Again longing for excitement, Bisset decides to leave her husband, but before she can do so, he is murdered. Bisset returns to Las Vegas, but the pervasive influence of Bieri prevents her from finding legitimate employment. She turns high-ticket call girl, then becomes the mistress of millionaire Cotten. Ultimately, she chooses to leave the comfort of Cotten for what she views as independence. Grasshopper turned ant, she peddles her pulchritude with the assistance of panderer Stone, a rock musician, to raise enough money to buy a ranch. Stone absconds with Bisset's money. Bitter at 22, Bisset gets stoned and persuades a skywriter to deliver her message to the world: the single word F***; ephemeral, transitory, drifting on the wind. A well-done film, with a fine performance by Bisset. leave a comment

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