Hell’s Angels’ Bikini Beach Party in Valley of the Dolls near Peyton Place

The Sweet Ride could sum up as Hell’s Angels’ Bikini Beach Party in Valley of the Dolls near Peyton Place. Though well-mounted and interesting in the spotlighting of Michael Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset, overall result is a flat programmer, with ragged scripting, papier mache characters and routine direction.

Tony Franciosa is a beach-bum tennis hustler who is a sort of god to Malibu pad-mates Sarrazin and draft-dodging musician Bob Denver and his on-again off-again girl and adult film actress Michele Carey. Their life is a ball, we are told, interrupted only by neighbor Lloyd Gough, who keeps yelling about the decline of morals.

Enter Bisset, who has a running, masochistic affair with producer Warren Stevens. She takes to Sarrazin, though Charles Dierkop, a recurring motorcycle bum, gets an inordinate amount of attention from Bisset.

William Murray’s novel has been adapted by Tom Mankiewicz into a contrived, unbelievable script about the Malibu-Hollywood young set, which supposedly ‘tells it like it is.’ It succeeds both in talking down to young people, and talking up to older folks.


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