Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970)

R | 97 mins | Melodrama | 21 October 1970

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HISTORY

A 15 Jan 1969 Var article included Charles Eastman’s screenplay of Little Fauss and Big Halsy among eighteen Paramount Pictures projects slated to begin production during the first half of that year. According to a 14 May 1969 LAT item, Robert Redford’s commitment to play “Big Halsy” fulfilled the second of three pictures he was obligated to complete for Paramount as part of a contract he signed to settle the studio’s lawsuit against him when he withdrew from production of Blue (1968, see entry). The 3 Feb 1969 DV named Michael Pollard in the role of “Little Fauss,” for which the 13 Jun 1969 DV claimed he received $175,000. The picture would shoot entirely on location under the direction of Sidney J. Furie.
       Items in the 16 Jun 1969 DV, 2 Jul 1969 LAT, and 6 Aug 1969 Var indicated that Barbara Hershey, James Victor, and Marcelle Fortier were considered for roles, but none appear in the final film.
       According to a 20 Jun 1969 DV production chart, principal photography began 16 Jun 1969 in Arizona, with additional sources citing locations in the capital city of Phoenix. Another production chart published on 15 Aug 1969 indicated that the unit then moved to Antelope Valley, CA, just north of Los Angeles, while the 25 Aug 1969 DV noted that filming also took place in Palo Alto, CA, as Redford was commuting between the set and the studio’s Hollywood facilities for final scenes on Downhill Racer (1969, see entry). The 17 Jul 1969 edition of ... More Less

A 15 Jan 1969 Var article included Charles Eastman’s screenplay of Little Fauss and Big Halsy among eighteen Paramount Pictures projects slated to begin production during the first half of that year. According to a 14 May 1969 LAT item, Robert Redford’s commitment to play “Big Halsy” fulfilled the second of three pictures he was obligated to complete for Paramount as part of a contract he signed to settle the studio’s lawsuit against him when he withdrew from production of Blue (1968, see entry). The 3 Feb 1969 DV named Michael Pollard in the role of “Little Fauss,” for which the 13 Jun 1969 DV claimed he received $175,000. The picture would shoot entirely on location under the direction of Sidney J. Furie.
       Items in the 16 Jun 1969 DV, 2 Jul 1969 LAT, and 6 Aug 1969 Var indicated that Barbara Hershey, James Victor, and Marcelle Fortier were considered for roles, but none appear in the final film.
       According to a 20 Jun 1969 DV production chart, principal photography began 16 Jun 1969 in Arizona, with additional sources citing locations in the capital city of Phoenix. Another production chart published on 15 Aug 1969 indicated that the unit then moved to Antelope Valley, CA, just north of Los Angeles, while the 25 Aug 1969 DV noted that filming also took place in Palo Alto, CA, as Redford was commuting between the set and the studio’s Hollywood facilities for final scenes on Downhill Racer (1969, see entry). The 17 Jul 1969 edition of DV stated that the climactic car racing sequence was to be shot at the Sears Point Raceway 6-7 Sep 1969. A few days later, the 17 Sep 1969 Var reported that production had been completed.
       Approximately one year later, the 1 Sep 1970 DV indicated that Paramount returned to Northern California to test the completed film in Palo Alto and San Francisco. According to an item in the next day’s DV, Eastman’s script was published in both hardcover and paperback editions by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and Pocket Books, in conjunction with the film’s release. The 14 Oct 1970 Var noted that press screenings were held 7-10 Oct 1970.
       Little Faust and Big Halsey opened at New York City’s Cinema I Theatre on 21 Oct 1970, and began an exclusive engagement one week later at the National Theatre in Westwood, CA.
       Although reviewed at ninety-seven minutes at the time of its release, the official U.S. copyright record lists a running time of 100 minutes. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1969
p. 1.
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1969
p. 10.
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
25 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1970
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
14 May 1969
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1969
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
14 Oct 1970
Section E, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
28 Oct 1970
p. 18A.
New York Times
21 Oct 1970
p. 40.
New York Times
22 Oct 1970
p. 62.
Variety
15 Jan 1969
p. 7.
Variety
6 Aug 1969
p. 26.
Variety
17 Sep 1969
p. 25.
Variety
2 Sep 1970
p. 76.
Variety
14 Oct 1970
p. 4.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Albert S. Ruddy Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
1st & 2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod exec
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Racing leathers des
Ward
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Prod asst
Prod asst
Tech adv
Prop master
Key grip
Gaffer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Rollin' Free," words and music by Johnny Cash, sung by Johnny Cash
"Ballad of Little Fauss and Big Halsy," words and music by Carl Perkins
sung by Johnny Cash
+
SONGS
"Rollin' Free," words and music by Johnny Cash, sung by Johnny Cash
"Ballad of Little Fauss and Big Halsy," words and music by Carl Perkins
sung by Johnny Cash
"Wanted Man," words and music by Bob Dylan
sung by Johnny Cash
"True Love Is Greater Than Friendship," words and music by Carl Perkins, sung by Carl Perkins
"706 Union Avenue," words and music by Carl Perkins
sung by The Tennessee Three.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 October 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 October 1970
Los Angeles opening: 28 October 1970
Production Date:
16 June--mid September 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Alfran Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 October 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38419
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
print by Movielab
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Little Fauss, an amateur motorcycle racer, meets Halsy Knox, a professional racer, after a race held near Phoenix, Arizona. Fauss is attracted to Halsy's carefree lifestyle, but Fauss's father regards Halsy as a bad influence on his son and refuses to help Halsy when his truck breaks down. Later, Halsy arrives at the motorcycle repair shop where Fauss works and tricks the admiring Fauss into repairing his motorcycle free. Halsy, who has been barred from racing for drinking on the track, proposes that they form a partnership in which Halsy would race under Fauss's name with Fauss functioning as the mechanic. Despite his parents' disapproval, Fauss joins Halsy on the racing circuit. He is constantly faced with his inferiority to Halsy, both on and off the racetrack. Their partnership is finally broken when Rita Nebraska, a drop-out from a wealthy background, arrives at the racetrack and immediately attaches herself to Halsy, despite the attention Fauss pays her. After breaking his leg in a motorcycle race, Fauss returns home to his parents. Several months later, when his leg has mended, Halsy visits him and attempts to leave behind Rita, who is now pregnant, but Fauss refuses to take her. He tells Halsy that he plans to reenter the racing circuit. A short time later, the two men race against each other at the Sears Point Raceway; Halsy's motorcycle breaks down, and as he leaves the track, he hears the announcement that Fauss has taken the ... +


Little Fauss, an amateur motorcycle racer, meets Halsy Knox, a professional racer, after a race held near Phoenix, Arizona. Fauss is attracted to Halsy's carefree lifestyle, but Fauss's father regards Halsy as a bad influence on his son and refuses to help Halsy when his truck breaks down. Later, Halsy arrives at the motorcycle repair shop where Fauss works and tricks the admiring Fauss into repairing his motorcycle free. Halsy, who has been barred from racing for drinking on the track, proposes that they form a partnership in which Halsy would race under Fauss's name with Fauss functioning as the mechanic. Despite his parents' disapproval, Fauss joins Halsy on the racing circuit. He is constantly faced with his inferiority to Halsy, both on and off the racetrack. Their partnership is finally broken when Rita Nebraska, a drop-out from a wealthy background, arrives at the racetrack and immediately attaches herself to Halsy, despite the attention Fauss pays her. After breaking his leg in a motorcycle race, Fauss returns home to his parents. Several months later, when his leg has mended, Halsy visits him and attempts to leave behind Rita, who is now pregnant, but Fauss refuses to take her. He tells Halsy that he plans to reenter the racing circuit. A short time later, the two men race against each other at the Sears Point Raceway; Halsy's motorcycle breaks down, and as he leaves the track, he hears the announcement that Fauss has taken the lead. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.