Cast & Crew
Sometime in the future, after a nuclear attack has destroyed most of civilization, Glen and Randa, a young couple who were born following the nuclear devastation, roam the countryside. Upon finding the rotting hulk of a car suspended from a tree, Glen innocently opines that the car is in the midst of becoming a tree. Glen's curious mind drives him to wonder what life was like before they were born, as he yearns to go to the city and find civilization. In an encampment below an underpass of a deserted highway, Glen and Randa join a group of vacant-eyed scavengers who live off the detritus of the previous society. One day, a fast-talking magician appears on his motorcycle, pulling a wondrous assortment of junk behind him. That night, the magician uses a rickety, jerry-rigged generator to illuminate the camp and present a magic show that includes an old phonograph player and kitchen blenders. After the show, the magician invites Glen and Randa into his tent, which he dubs his "pleasure palace." When Glen pesters him about the city, the magician replies that he was fifteen when the city was destroyed, and afterward, people were "dropping dead in the streets" for years. Although the magician tries to discourage Glen on his quest, he sends him outside to retrieve a map from his motorcycle. In Glen's absence, the magician has sex with Randa. When Glen returns with the map, the magician points to a freeway leading across the mountains to the city, located in a place called Idaho. Randa reluctantly follows Glen on his trek to the city, which Glen now envisions as "Metropolis," a place he has read about in the magician's Wonder Woman comic books. Along the way, they find a horse, which they lead by a rope. When Glenda experiences morning sickness, she realizes she must be pregnant. Out of food, they begin to eat bugs, and Glen climbs into the river and bashes a fish over the head to kill it. Upon reaching a barren stretch of land devoid of life, they are forced to eat their horse. Continuing on, they reach the ocean, where they see an old man, Sidney Miller, fishing. Offering them food, Miller declares that he has not seen anyone else in twenty years. He then tells them that they are in Idaho and takes them to a decrepit trailer for shelter. When Miller informs them that the city, which is ten miles away, has been burnt down, Glen refuses to accept that the city is the Metropolis he is seeking, because the magical Metropolis, inhabited by flying people, can never be destroyed. Trying to be "civilized," Glen labels the contents of the trailer with red paint, then stares at a blank television screen with the red letters "teevee" scribbled across it. When Randa dies while giving birth to a baby boy, Miller hands the infant to Glen. Once outside the trailer, Glen sets it on fire, creating a funeral pyre for Randa. Some time later, Glen, still determined to find his Metropolis, decides that it must be located at the end of the ocean, and loading his baby into Miller's old boat, sails toward Metropolis.
E. R. Washington
The film's working title was Glen and Randa Go to the City. Although onscreen credits contain a copyright statement, Glen and Randa was not registered for copyright at the time of its release. On January 8, 1991, UM Film Distributors, Inc. filed for copyright, at which time the film was assigned the number PA-517-335. The story is told in a series of vignettes connected by the screen fading to black after each sequence. Glen and Randa marked director Jim McBride's first feature-length commercial release. McBride received a screenwriting grant from the American Film Institute, which also financed pre-production work on the film.
According to a May 1971 article in Show Magazine, Glen and Randa was to be the first AFI feature production that would be financed by a major studio. However, after a year passed in which the script was not offered to any major studio, writer/director McBride obtained independent financing for the film. An article in the Fall 1971 issue of Cinefantastique added that to save money, the film was originally shot in 16mm and later blown up to 35mm. Although upon release, Glen and Randa was assigned an X rating by the MPAA, in 1982 that rating was changed to an R, according to a July 1982 Variety news item and confirmed in MPAA records.
Filmfacts noted that location filming was done in California and Oregon. Steven Curry, who played "Glen," and Shelley Plimpton, who played "Randa," were married at the time of the film and had also appeared together in the original Broadway company of the 1968 musical Hair, which dealt with the hippie culture of the 1960s and also featured nude performances. According to studio publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, Plimpton, Curry, Woodrow Chambliss and Gary Goodrow were the only professional actors in the film's cast; the rest of the players were all non-professionals.
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971
Released in United States 1996
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971
Released in United States 1996 (Shown in New York City (Film Forum) as part of program "Out of the Seventies: Hollywood's New Wave 1969-1975" May 31 - July 25, 1996.)