powered by AFI
James Quinn and iconoclastic Vernor Stanton are lifelong friends who live in the upper-class of Michigan society. In his on-going attempt to destabilize the exclusive summer sporting club to which they both belong, Vernor is continually dragging James into various misadventures.
James Quinn, whose father recently died and whose business is about to be sold to a large conglomeration, retreats to his hunting lodge, where his family has for generations belonged to the local, patrician Sporting Club. There, however, he is immediately informed by longtime club manager Jack Olson that James's former Harvard roommate, Vernor Stanton, is in residence with a new wife, causing as much trouble as he always does. James hopes to avoid the club's upcoming Centennial Day celebration, in which the club founders are feted and a century-old time capsule buried by their ancestors will be excavated. Upon learning that Vernor is trying to get Jack fired, James visits his old friend, whose manner is erratic and vaguely threatening. Vernor shows off the shooting range he has constructed in his basement, with a safe containing $20,000 in cash and a stash of antique pistols. When Vernor challenges James to a duel, James agrees, assuming the guns are unloaded. Upon firing, however, he discovers that they contain wax bullets, and James is knocked down, but unharmed. Hearing the shots, Vernor's wife Janey enters, prompting James, unnerved by the duel and her beauty, to leave. Vernor complains to Janey about the club members' stuffy elitism, but when she asks why he does not resign, he responds that there "is no way to resign from original sin." The following day is a Centennial Day celebration in town, featuring a parade by the harbor and an appearance by the governor. Vernor leads James and Janey through the crowd and onto an empty bus, stocked with food and drink. After Vernor coerces James to drink all the alcohol, they sing songs and vandalize the bus. When the bus's occupants, mostly senior citizens, return, Vernor slams the door on them and instructs James to drive off, then moons the governor out the window. That night, the members gather at the club lodge. Canon Pritchard, Senator Olds, historian Spengler, elderly Newcombe and snooty Fortesque lead the large group and snub James, considering him inferior. Vernor incites ire against Jack, whom he calls a poacher and convinces the board to fire him. Some time later, James wanders upon Janey sunbathing naked. Janey sees James watching her and informs Vernor, who asks James for his confirmation of her beauty, then suggests that they terrorize that night's club party "as penance for our fathers." Soon after, Janey confides in James that she and Vernor are not married. At the party, the normally staid club members drink to excess, sing and carouse all night. While the members attend church services the next morning, James visits Janey, who reveals that Vernor stayed out till morning. After she explains that she met Vernor while she was working as his guide in a champagne factory in Waco, Texas, James kisses her, then turns away as Vernor approaches. Knowing that Vernor fired Jack the previous night, James confronts him, but Vernor replies that he gave the man a fair pension. Soon after, Earl Olive, a slovenly hippie, appears at the lodge smoking marijuana and informs the horrified members that Jack hired him. After questioning him en masse, the members vote to accept Earl as manager, noting that all that is important to them is that they keep their traditions alive so they can pass them down to their children. Earl immediately throws a barbeque and invites all his hoodlum biker friends. When the club members arrive, they are horrified by the loud music and simulated sex acts and leave in a huff, to the laughter of the partygoers. Vernor, Janey and James soon join the barbeque, which devolves into a late-night revelry. While James sleeps with one of the biker girls, Vernor, who in reality hired Earl, now invites him to his shooting gallery. As Janey watches in horror, Vernor and Earl duel, and Vernor shoots Earl in the mouth with a rubber bullet. Earl, spitting blood, walks out in a fury. The next morning, James is fishing in the river when Earl detonates the dam, sweeping the water out to sea and almost drowning James. The lodge members wake in a panic, grabbing their guns and forming an impromptu, military-style posse to capture Earl. Vernor, James and Janey see the men from Vernor's window, and although James exhorts Vernor to stop them, Vernor replies that the club is, after all, for hunting. While the men search the woods, Earl holds their wives at gunpoint in the lodge. Spengler attempts to ford the muddy river, and as he falls in and the others struggle to rescue him, Earl sends the women outside and blows up the century-old lodge. The lodge members return and walk through the wreckage in tears and disbelief. Later, Fortesque addresses the members, pressing them to take the situation as an opportunity to prove their values. They clean the area, forming a large campsite and erecting an American flag. Fortesque then visits Vernor and announces their plans to catch and "interrogate" Earl to discover what caused his fury. In response, Vernor calls Fortesque a phony and a bore and pulls out a gun, but Spengler bursts in the back door and disarms him roughly. James goes to Earl to warn his group to leave, as the club has a machine gun, but Earl replies that they have nothing to lose. That night, while the hippies abduct Russell, a club member who is standing guard outside the campsite, Janey tells Vernor that she loves and wants to marry him, but he accuses her of humoring him and rants incoherently. She joins James on the porch, where they see Russell stagger toward them, tarred and feathered. As Janey and James return Russell to the club members, Vernor arms himself and approaches Earl, stating "You've been a big help but the rabble is unreliable" and tossing him the $20,000. Laughing, Earl agrees to leave. Vernor tries to inform the club members of Earl's departure, but they refuse to believe him, and he takes to the woods in fear of reprisals. The club members, meanwhile, declare that their fathers would be proud of their survival and adherence to tradition, and to celebrate Centennial Day, dig up the time capsule. In it is a photograph, and when the members see that it depicts their forefathers engaged in an orgy, they break down in hilarity and dismay. Chaos ensues, during which some members faint, others rave madly and all throw off their clothes and have group sex. While the club members are preoccupied, Vernor returns, aims the machine gun at the tent and asks James to stand beside him. When James refuses, Vernor shoots at James, who ducks. All attempts to calm Vernor fail, and he insists that James duel him. Assuming the bullets are wax, James acquiesces, but when he shoots Vernor his friend falls, fatally wounded. James and Janey stand dumbstruck as a helicopter arrives to survey the wreckage of the Sporting Club.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||R||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color||Distributions Co:||Avco Embassy Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Lorimar Productions, Inc., Avco Embassy Pictures Corp.|
|Duration(mins):||105 or 107||Country:||United States|
Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE RATING
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:
User Ratings & Review
This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >
User Ratings & Review