Synopsis

Cisco is an ex-rock star, famous in the 1960s, whose life and career has been a mess because of drugs. Now with a pregnant girlfriend he has a chance to start a new life. A corrupt cop, Leo Holland, blackmails Cisco to sell marijuana for him. Cisco has one weekend to sell it to his friends.

Director

Bill L. Norton

Cast

Gene Hackman
as Officer Leo Holland
Harry Dean Stanton
as Jesse Dupre
Viva
as Merna
Roscoe Lee Browne
as Music Shop Proprietor

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnSeal N/A

An overlooked gem from the early 70s

Cisco Pike was Kris Kristofferson's film debut and it's astonishing to see him looking so young. He also provided the bulk of the songs featured on the soundtrack. He plays Cisco Pike, a recovering drug dealer and semi pro musician who can't quite decide which direction his life is going to take. Crooked cop Gene Hackman approaches Kris with the chance to clear his criminal record by selling Gene's purloined stash of primo dope. The balance of the film follows Kris' efforts to unload the pot in one hurried weekend which finds him frolicking in bed with Warhol star Viva and porn actress Joy Bang, dropping in to the studio with Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quartet, dining on fine food with Antonio 'Huggy Bear' Fargas, and reminiscing about old times with his strung out old music buddy H D (Harry Dean) Stanton. Add Karen Black, Severn Darden and Wavy Gravy himself, Hugh Romney, and you have an amazing time capsule and a tremendously entertaining and well acted picture. This would make a terrific double bill with 1971s Vanishing Point.

Reviewed by nightpike11 N/A

A lost early 70's gem

This hard to find film has always been a favorite presenting the changing L.A. music/hippie scene of the early 70's. Kristofferson, in his starring film debut, is marvelous as the down-on-his-luck troubadour of the title. At times he appears genuinely and functionally smashed, but it fits the character to a tee. It's also interesting to watch him composing his often sad, literate tunes, as one realizes this was probably how he wrote many of his greatest songs ("Help Me Make It Through the Night", "For the Good Times", "Me and Bobby McGee", "Sunday Morning Coming Down"): in lonely desperation. None of them are here, but he does do "Loving Her Was Easier" and "Pilgrim Chapter 33". The latter autobiographical song is perfectly fitting for the character of Cisco Pike. Kristofferson is so charismatic and his screen presence is such that we root for him in typical early 70's anti-hero fashion even though he is essentially a drunken pothead who cheats on his girlfriend (the always welcome Karen Black) and is racing to unload $10,000 worth of marijuana in a single weekend. But you'll seldom find a more real and lived-in performance than this debut. Sam Peckinpah saw this and cast him as the doomed Billy the Kid in his next film.

Kristofferson's desperation is fueled by crooked cop Gene Hackman (in fine if eccentric form) who himself is desperate for the money. So the thrust of the film is Kristofferson racing around L.A., weaving on the freeways in his beat-up station wagon full of pot, and encountering Roscoe Lee Browne, Wavy Gravy, Antonio Fargas, Severn Darden, Howard Hesseman, Doug Sahm, and a menage a trois with Viva and Joy Bang. It's a time capsule to be sure. In the final reel Harry Dean Stanton shows up memorably as an old buddy who's even more wasted and down-on-his-luck. The underrated B.L. Norton is behind the camera, and the film is highly recommended. This begs for a DVD release with extras. A Krisofferson commentary would be particularly insightful.

Reviewed by shepardjessica 7 /10

Early 70's standout drug-selling flick!

This film was barely seen in 1972 starring Kristofferson and Gene Hackman as a scumbag cop. Harry Dean Stanton is marvelous as Kris' friend and Karen Black is always interesting. The cute Joy Bang is even here. This film was so far under the radar, most people forgot it even exists.

A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Harry Dean Stanton. Hackman should have played more characters like this one. This may be Kristofferson's best work (as an actor) along with Blume in Love. Great cinematography and location work. I can't believe this wasn't a hit in 1972. Track this one down and you won't be disappointed.

There was plenty of "junk" in the golden age 70's, but this film should not be included.

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