This was Clint Eastwood’s third time out as director, a role which I now think he’ll be will be remembered for even more than his iconic roles as an actor. It’s not as good as Play Misty For Me, but it’s not bad. It takes place in Los Angeles and features the usual hippies like no one I ever knew: Hollywood movie hippies. Breezy (Kay Lenz) is 19, and gets involved with William Holden, who was 55 at the time. It leads to love, and unlike most of these May-December stories, it ends well for both of them. I’ve always liked William Holden, and he’s very good here.
Personal note: Several scenes are shot at the Laurel Canyon Country Store, which is still there at the bottom of the Hollywood side of Laurel Canyon, and looking a lot more psychedelic than it did in the actual days when hippies used to hang out there. It was the gateway to the houses in the hills where many people, including some big musical stars like Joni Mitchell (who wrote “Ladies of the Canyon”), had their pads. I was one of those hippies. The Canyon Store was a good place to find a place to crash for the night or the week, and about 4 or 5 houses up was the home of my friend Peter Brocco. I stayed with him often in his decaying old house on the hillside (which is worth $900,000 today). Peter made a living in Hollywood for 60 years in bit parts, ranging from a Francis the Talking Mule picture to two of his last roles, in The War of the Roses and Throw Mamma From the Train. He did a ton of TV work; the IMDb lists 257 appearances. If you’re over 40 you’ve almost certainly seen him on several TV shows as “elderly man” or “minister” or “hotel desk clerk.” He was blacklisted for a time during the commie hysteria, so some of his ‘50s appearances were uncredited. Peter died in 1992, aged 89. He was always so generous to me and my friends. I was proud to know him, and I miss him.