Chrome and Hot Leather (1971)

GP | 91 or 95 mins | Drama | August 1971

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HISTORY

The film's working title was Mitch . The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. The credits for Judy Redlin and Katie Coyle read "Wardrobe and makeup." Lee Frost's credit reads "Photographed and directed by." Although Kathy Baumann's credit reads "introducing," Baumann had appeared in a previously released 1971 film, Evel Knievel (see below.) Chrome and Hot Leather opens on a scene in which American troops come upon some Vietnamese peasants working in a field. It is then revealed that the incident is being staged as a training excercise to prepare new recruits to fight in Vietnam. According to HR production charts, location filming was done in Northern California and around Miami, Arizona.
       Chrome and Hot Leather marked the only dramatic appearance of singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye (1939--1984). Although several songs were heard on the soundtrack, neither their titles nor composers have been identified. Chrome and Hot Leather marked the motion picture debut of Cheryl Ladd, who was billed as Cherie Moor. Although modern sources add Kent Brewster, Brian Gusse, Abel Gutierrez, Susan Hart, Michael Hodges, Lee Santos, Gerald Spader, Dan Haggerty and Keith Stouder to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. ... More Less

The film's working title was Mitch . The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. The credits for Judy Redlin and Katie Coyle read "Wardrobe and makeup." Lee Frost's credit reads "Photographed and directed by." Although Kathy Baumann's credit reads "introducing," Baumann had appeared in a previously released 1971 film, Evel Knievel (see below.) Chrome and Hot Leather opens on a scene in which American troops come upon some Vietnamese peasants working in a field. It is then revealed that the incident is being staged as a training excercise to prepare new recruits to fight in Vietnam. According to HR production charts, location filming was done in Northern California and around Miami, Arizona.
       Chrome and Hot Leather marked the only dramatic appearance of singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye (1939--1984). Although several songs were heard on the soundtrack, neither their titles nor composers have been identified. Chrome and Hot Leather marked the motion picture debut of Cheryl Ladd, who was billed as Cherie Moor. Although modern sources add Kent Brewster, Brian Gusse, Abel Gutierrez, Susan Hart, Michael Hodges, Lee Santos, Gerald Spader, Dan Haggerty and Keith Stouder to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Sep 1971.
---
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1971.
---
Filmfacts
1972
pp. 82-83.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1970
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1970.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 1970
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 1971.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Oct 1971.
---
New York Times
16 Mar 1972
p. 59.
Variety
1 Sep 1971
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
Pres
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d unit photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
Grip
Elec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus com and supv
Mus arr and cond
Mus arr and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Cont
Kawasaki motorcycles courtesy of
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"Butterfly Wings," "You My Love My Life," "Where Does Truth Lie," "Making Love in the Night to a Stranger," "Some Day You May Want to Go Home Again" and "Ballad of the Traveling Salesman," words and music by Porter Jordan.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Mitch
Release Date:
August 1971
Production Date:
mid May--mid July 1970
Copyright Claimant:
American International Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 August 1971
Copyright Number:
LP40311
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Movielab
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
91 or 95
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

While driving through the mountains, motorists Kathy and Helen are harassed by a gang of motorcyclists known as the Wizards. Trying to lose the gang, Helen swerves her car, accidentally knocking Casey, one of the cyclists, off his bike. Furious, Casey remounts his bike and takes after the car. When he catches up to it, he bashes the windshield with a chain, causing Helen to lose control of the car, which then plummets into a canyon below. T.J., the gang’s leader, chastises Casey for his recklessness, but as they argue, they spot a car approaching and take off. The driver, a salesman, stops along the road and spots the wreck. Soon after, sergeants Mitch, Al, Hank and Jim, Green Berets in between training missions, are sharing a farewell drink at a bar when Mitch receives word that his fiancée Kathy has been killed in an auto accident. Accompanied by his Green Beret buddies, Mitch goes home to Leedsville to attend Kathy’s funeral. At the cemetery, Leedsville police officer Lt. Tom Reardon tells Mitch that they are looking for a gang called the Devils because “devils” was the last word Kathy gasped before dying. Impatient with the police’s progress in the case, Mitch decides to investigate for himself. Meanwhile, the Wizards are residing in the sleepy town of Piru, intimidating the citizens. Beginning their search for Kathy’s killers, the Green Berets, still in uniform, try to question some bikers. Amused by their uniforms, the bikers treat them with derision, leading Mitch to decide they need to trade their uniforms in for biker gear and purchase four dirt bikes. ... +


While driving through the mountains, motorists Kathy and Helen are harassed by a gang of motorcyclists known as the Wizards. Trying to lose the gang, Helen swerves her car, accidentally knocking Casey, one of the cyclists, off his bike. Furious, Casey remounts his bike and takes after the car. When he catches up to it, he bashes the windshield with a chain, causing Helen to lose control of the car, which then plummets into a canyon below. T.J., the gang’s leader, chastises Casey for his recklessness, but as they argue, they spot a car approaching and take off. The driver, a salesman, stops along the road and spots the wreck. Soon after, sergeants Mitch, Al, Hank and Jim, Green Berets in between training missions, are sharing a farewell drink at a bar when Mitch receives word that his fiancée Kathy has been killed in an auto accident. Accompanied by his Green Beret buddies, Mitch goes home to Leedsville to attend Kathy’s funeral. At the cemetery, Leedsville police officer Lt. Tom Reardon tells Mitch that they are looking for a gang called the Devils because “devils” was the last word Kathy gasped before dying. Impatient with the police’s progress in the case, Mitch decides to investigate for himself. Meanwhile, the Wizards are residing in the sleepy town of Piru, intimidating the citizens. Beginning their search for Kathy’s killers, the Green Berets, still in uniform, try to question some bikers. Amused by their uniforms, the bikers treat them with derision, leading Mitch to decide they need to trade their uniforms in for biker gear and purchase four dirt bikes. After a grueling training course to learn how to maneuver the bikes, the four don blue jean vests with a sergeant insignia on the back and split up to cover the territory, arranging to meet at the Rainbow Trading Post at 9 p.m. the following night. The evening of the rendezvous, Mitch pulls into the Rainbow, sees that the Wizards have stopped there to fill up their gas tanks and notices the red devil insignia on the back of their vests. Mitch tries to call Lt. Reardon from the phone booth, but upon learning that Reardon is out of the office, decides to handle things himself. He then writes out a note apprising his friends of the situation and asks the gas station attendant to deliver it to them when they arrive. Susan, Casey’s girl friend, begins to flirt with Mitch and tells him that she can be found in Piru. Soon after, Mitch arrives in Piru, where T. J. accuses him of following them. After Susan sticks up for Mitch, T. J. backs off and Susan invites him home with her. When Jim, Al and Hank arrive at the Rainbow, the attendant to whom Mitch spoke has gone off duty and left the note taped to the cash register. While Susan tries to seduce Mitch in her room, Casey returns to Piru, and T. J. taunts him about Susan being with Mitch. Casey races to Susan’s room, and overhearing Mitch questioning her about the car wreck, bursts in and punches Mitch. As the rest of the gang beats Mitch unconscious, the clerk at the Rainbow spots his note by the cash register and delivers it to Al, Jim and Hank, who then head for Piru. Fearful that Mitch will turn them in to the police, T. J. decides to take him prisoner and join the rest of the gang at their camp in the Superstition Mountains. The Green Berets surround Susan’s house just as several of the gang take Mitch outside. Ambushing the Wizards, the Green Berets free Mitch and take off on their dirt bikes. Mitch and his friends head for the desert, and when the Wizards try to follow on their motorcycles, they become bogged down in the sand. After reconvening at the Rainbow, the four friends return to their field bivouac, dressed in their uniforms, where they lie to the supply sergeant that that they have been assigned to a training mission in the Superstition Mountains, then requisition a large truck, mini-rockets, tear gas and smoke grenades. Once they set up a command post in the mountains, Al scouts the area and after locating the Wizards, who have split into two groups, they formulate a plan of attack. When Al tosses a stick of dynamite at one of the bikers and Jim launches a rocket attack, the group panics and rides off, but are soon knocked off their bikes by a rope strung across the road by the Green Berets. After apprehending the fallen Wizards, the Green Berets haul their bikes up with pulleys to a ridge overlooking the canyon in which T. J., Casey and the others are camped. The next morning, Al rides his bike into camp, and when the Wizards chase him, the Green Berets fire smoke grenades at them, driving them back into the canyon. Al then throws tear gas at the Wizards, incapacitating them. Joining Al on their bikes, the other three Green Berets ride into the canyon and overpower the Wizards. Forced to surrender, T. J. identifies Casey as the perpetrator the Green Berets are seeking. Pulling a knife, Casey takes refuge in a cave, but Mitch runs after him, and after disarming Casey, thrashes him. After tying up the gang, the four friends herd them out of the canyon. +

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

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