Friday, September 14, 2012

C.C. and Company (1970)

          So it’s the late ’60s and you’re Roger Smith, a former leading man now sidelined by various health problems but happily preoccupied with a new marriage to stage-and-screen sex kitten Ann-Margret. Your bride has entrusted you with the management of her career, and you already have a track record of producing (for instance, a coming-of-age feature with Jacqueline Bisset) and writing (including several episodes of the TV show on which you starred, 77 Sunset Strip). The next logical step is creating a vehicle for your titian-haired missus, right? Well, sort of. C.C. and Company is a showcase for Ann-Margret, to be sure, providing her with intense dramatic scenes and sexy peekaboo moments. But it’s a biker flick, and it’s also the first movie in which football star Joe Namath plays a leading role. So you’re Roger Smith, and your best plan for boosting your wife’s stardom is relegating her to a supporting role in the Joe Namath motorcycle picture that you’re writing and producing? Ours is not to judge, and it should be noted that as of this writing, Ann-Margret and Smith are still married after more than 40 years, so C.C. and Company must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
          And, indeed, though it’s awful in terms of dramatic credibility, C.C. and Company is enjoyable as a collection of glossy surfaces. The plot, no surprise, is pedestrian: Hog-riding outlaw C.C. Ryder (Namath) runs with a nasty gang until he falls for fashion writer Ann McCalley (Ann-Margret), but when C.C. tries to break from the gang for a new life with his lady, the gang’s leader, Moon (William Smith), kidnaps Ann to force a showdown. The movie’s visuals, courtesy of director Seymour Robbie and his team, are kicky and vivid—biker fights, fashion shows, romantic interludes, and so on. Namath’s couldn’t-give-a-shit attitude makes him watchable even though he can’t act, and Ann-Margret’s flamboyant vamping is a hoot. Naturally, her beauty is spotlighted at every opportunity, since Roger Smith knew what he was selling. Adding the X-factor that makes C.C. and Company a full-on guilty pleasure is biker-movie regular William Smith (no relation to the producer-director), as the villainous Moon. With his enormous biceps, handlebar moustache, and wicked line deliveries, he’s a great comic-book baddie, ably abetted by supporting thugs including fellow B-movie stalwart Sid Haig.

C.C. and Company: FUNKY

1 comment:

Guy Callaway said...

William Smith in any movie = awesome.