Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ryan O'Neil in So Fine 1981

Obscurity factor: 6

Next in our little Ryan O'Neal festival is this 1981 comedy. Bobby Fine is an egg head professor, the son of garment manufacturer Jack (Jack Warden). Jack's business is going down the tubes, and so is Jack if he can't come up with the money to pay loan shark Eddie (Richard Kiel) back. To further complicate matters, Bobby is having an affair with Eddie's wife, Lira (Mariangela Melato) - not something you do to a 7 foot tall man. One morning after being trapped under Lira's bed Bobby escapes the house, but isn't able to retrieve his clothes, so he wears a sweater and jeans belonging to Lira. On the way to his father's office he rips the ass in them and stuffs the holes with plastic. When he finally gets to the office a new fashion fad is born - So Fine jeans with windows in the back. Needless to say the public goes mad for this new fangled fashion fad, but will Bobby and Jack be able to stay alive long enough to enjoy the success?

This wacky comedy was written and produced by Andrew Bergman, who lent his writing talent to Blazing Saddles, among other kooky films. Look for Fred Gwynne in a small role, and a riotous scene in during an unfortunate production of Othello. Unfortunately we don't get to see Ryan O'Neal's backside in the jeans for near long enough.

This film was recently released on DVD by the Warner Archive as a print-on-demand title. Above is the So Fine commercial and montage of the jeans success featuring Anita Morris, who was making a big splash on Broadway in Nine at the time. It was uploaded to YouTube by TheViewMonster.

Obscurity factor: 6 (Remembered for its gimmick, newly available on DVD, largely forgotten otherwise)


  1. The film featured Mariangelo Melato (she was the wife in Wertmuller's Swept Away) I had thought she had faded into obscurity but on a recent trip to Rome discovered that she is one of the most repsected and seriously regarded actresses in the Italian theatre.

  2. It's interesting how stars can be huge in one market and virtually unknown in another... Fame is a strange thing.