ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE
US, 1990, 104 minutes, Colour.
Andrew Dice Clay, Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Lauren Holly, Robert Englund, Ed O' Neill.
Directed by Renny Harlin.
Adventures of Ford Fairlane is a brash and raucous American comedy. It is a mixture of music television styles with the private eye genre. It is also a star vehicle for stand up comic Andrew Dice Clay - strong, bigoted humorous style (not to everyone's taste). Clay was a success in theatre and television in the late 80s (he made appearances in such films as Casual Sex). The film was directed Rene Harlin director of A Nightmare on Elm Street part 4 as well as the very successful sequel to Die Hard, Die Hard 2. There is some parody on the American musical world - especially in the characters portrayed by Priscilla Presley and Wayne Newton. However, the film is raucous, Andrew Dice Clay is not the most ingratiating of screen presences - definitely a matter of taste.
1. A piece of Americana? Stand up comedy style? The blend of music television and video style with the traditions of the private eye?
2. Wide screen photography, California settings? Production design and photography in the vein of MTV videos? California, the world of music, affluence? The world of the 80s private eye? The musical score, the range of songs and the contemporary sound?
3. The title, the private eye overtones, the focus on Ford Fairlane?
4. Andrew Dice Clay and his screen presence and style? His verbal humour, crass, playing on prejudices and bigotry? How serious, how much self parody? His being the rock 'n roll detective? His relationship with his secretary, Jazz? His being a lady's man? The encounter with Colleen? His cases, the parody of the private eye genre? Investigations in the music world, recording studios, expensive yachts, affluent homes and social gatherings? Jazz and her trying to help out - and her being injured? Taking the job for Colleen, going to the yacht, finding the dead bodies? The attacks? The thugs? The little boy and the commission to find his father? The pieces of the jigsaw, the investigations, the recordings and Julian setting up the phoney singer? The special discs? The pursuit of the records? The teenage groupie and tracking her down? The build-up to getting the three records, playing them during the social, Colleen's death, the exposure of Julian? The happy resolution? The death of the villains? Reconciliation with Jazz, becoming a father to the boy?
5. Jazz as the faithful secretary, prim with her glasses, literally letting her hair down, the attraction towards Ford Fairlane? Doing the work, investigations, the clash with the thugs, being thrown out the window? Seeing him with the women, her jealousy? The reconciliation?
6. The little boy, on the beach, the challenge to Ford Fairlane to find his father, helping out in the difficulties, the revelation of murder, adopting him?
7. Colleen and Julian, their relationship, the divorce, the record world, audience suspicions of Colleen, her relationships, trying to find the groupie? The party? The irony of her being killed? Julian and his smooth style, the phoney industry, the taping of the records, pirating? The South African connections? His thugs? The final exposure. the launch. his voice being put over the PA system, his being exposed?
8. The thugs, their violence - and the irony of Robert Englund appearing (and reappearing like his creation of Freddie Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street films)?
9. The world of recordings. technicians, phoney singers? Producers and managers? Greed and money?
10. How well did the film blend the 80s modern style of MTV with the traditional personality, femme fatale, mystery investigation of the private eye genre?