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April 14, 2018

Aloha, Bobby and Rose

aloha bobby poster.jpg

Floyd Mutrux - 1975
Scorpion Releasing BD Region A

Every once in a while, I expect to review a new DVD or Blu-ray that turns out not to have been sent my way. Less frequently, I will receive a disc I hadn't planned on reviewing. Such is the case with Aloha, Bobby and Rose. Since I have been casually following Floyd Mutrux's career, there was some interest, although I passed on seeing this film at the time of its theatrical release.

The essential story is about Bobby, a part-time auto mechanic who never has dollar in his pocket, who likes to race his 1968 red Camaro, and Rose, a young single mother with the dream of visiting Hawaii. An impromptu date goes wrong when Bobby decides to pretend to stick up the cashier at a liquor store. Rose knocks over the shotgun wielding manager, who in turn accidentally kills the cashier. The two are then on the run from the law as Bobby is convinced that no one will believe their story of a prank gone wrong.

Some of the criticism directed to the film is that it hinges on the main characters doing dumb things. It's the kind of charge that can be tossed at a lot of films. One can place Aloha, Bobby and Rose with past films like Quicksand (1950) where Mickey Rooney's pilfering of a few dollars from a cash register initiates a series of bigger problems that he can not control, or the more recent Good Time with Robert Pattinson as the inept bank robber on the run. In the blu-ray's supplements, Mutrux mentions Godard's Breathless, with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg as criminal lovers on the run as his inspiration, although it should be mentioned that Godard was in turn partially inspired by the Joseph Lewis film, Gun Crazy. One critic who has expressed his enthusiasm is the New Yorker's Richard Brody.

Aloha, Bobby and Rose was produced on a budget of $60,000.00, but struck such a popular chord that it made $35 million dollars. I have to assume that everyone involved loved Mutrux enough to work for scale, especially when the crew involves seasoned professionals including William Fraker as cinematographer and Danford Greene as editor. There's also the soundtrack which is heavy on Elton John, but also includes several vintage Motown songs and even Bob Dylan during the end credits. What may not be understood by current viewers is that using actual hit records from the original artists was still a relatively new phenomenon at the time this film was produced.

The film appears to have shot using minimal or available light, with several moments having a documentary feel. Mutrux's previous film, Dusty and Sweets McGee was also filmed on the streets of Los Angeles, in some of the same areas. That film, the filmmaker's directorial debut, also shot by Fraker, was filmed in the style known at the time as cinema verite, that some viewers mistook the actors for real life heroin addicts.

In addition to the interview with Mutrux, there are interviews with star Pau Le Mat and supporting player Robert Carradine as part of this new blu-ray. The three give career overviews in addition to discussing their respective work on Aloha, Bobby and Rose.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at April 14, 2018 03:49 PM