Sunday, June 12, 2011

Barbra Streisand & Michael Sarrazin in For Pete's Sake (1974)

Obscurity factor: 3

After the success of What's Up Doc Streisand made this zany comedy about a young married couple struggling to make ends meet. When an opportunity comes along to invest in the commodities market - pork bellies to be specific - Henry (Streisand) does her best to find someone to loan her the money to take advantage of it. She's unsuccessful on all fronts except the neighborhood loan shark. When the deal takes longer to come through than expected she must try and pay off the note by working for a variety of shady characters, with hilarious results.
This film has some great moments and pokes fun at all sorts of subjects from in-laws to race relations. One particularly funny exchange involves an afro-American cleaning lady (Vivian Bonnell) that works for Henry. It turns racial stereotypes and the militant 70's civil rights movement on their ears.

This film is on TCM as I write this. It's also available on DVD and can be rented on YouTube. It has something of a high profile for an obscure film because of Streisand's involvement. The trailer is above, uploaded to YouTube by lewylewel.

Obscurity factor: 3 (known to Streisand fans, available on DVD, not well known to the general public)


  1. I watched this film a couple of years ago, and I was surprised at Streisand's naturalistic performance. It's lovely when one remembers that Streisand can be quite subtle when she aims for it. I think this film, though, feels like they never quite found a completely workable script but the crew was booked, so they had to go ahead.

    And a special nod to co-star Michael Sarazin, who died a couple of months ago. He never seemed to have quite the career he should have had.

  2. Yes, it's not quite as good as its predecessor, What's Up Doc, but there are some brilliant moments in it.

  3. I really like this movie, although I seem to be in the minority. I like seeing Barbra in a low-key, fun, naturalistic role like this. The whole movie is just light and silly and enjoyable. I especially like Barbra's exchanges with her cleaning lady, her sister-in-law, and Mrs. Cherry, as well as how she said after the explosion, "Don't tell, me, I made a mistake."

  4. Yes, her line readings are funny and clever and her approach is light and uncomplicated. It's a fun film.