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The Hard Road 1970
Description: A cautionary tale. At 17, Sherman Oaks high schooler Pam Banner has a baby out of wedlock. The baby is adopted, but Pam's too embarrassed to go back to school, so her dad gets her a job as the receptionist for a talent agent. A rock star takes her to a party, seduces and abandons her; that begins a spiral of partying, gratis love, and drug use. Pam becomes mates with Jeannie, a hooker who helps Jimmy, a useless druggie. Later the three of them are living together, and Jimmy seems appealing to Pam. She's missing work more and more often, Jeannie wants out of the life, Jimmy is going through withdrawal, and Pam is in the middle of a maelstrom. Is there any exit for Pam?
Released: N/A Director: Gary Graver Writers: Richard Stetson (screenplay) Actors: Connie Nelson, John Alderman, Catherine Howard, Gary Kent Genres: Drama
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The Hard Road Reviews:

As one who grew up in this era, this production is absolutely one of those quintessential "don't do this or else" movies that would be shown to the high school (or junior high) class, as a needed A/V event.Of course the production value is beyond ridiculous, and the story, such as it is, is the items of unlimited parodies and cliche's ever produced from the era, but that's not the point. The mission is to just go with it, be absorbed in the moment. It really is a classic piece, a sort of permanent time capsule captured on film. For those who really were "there" and lived in those times, they will be immediately pulled back into that vortex, it will become all too familiar in whatever context happens to resonate with them. For others, who were not even born yet, and would not be until decades later, this will likely seem like a grainy, absurdly terrible movie about "something" to do with drugs, hippies, and whatever that their parents probably don't wish to talk about.Yes, it does take the viewer down the difficult road, as it were, as our seemingly lovely high school student descends and meanders her method down the laundry list of getting pregnant, starting off innocently with smoking a joint, and then from there going fully off the cliff into the abyss of sin, debauchery, and more drugs . . . lots more drugs.The junkie mate detoxing in jail, and close-up scenes of festering VD sores are just some of the highlights awaiting the hapless viewer traveling this road.I don't wish to inadvertently insert any spoilers here, but the ending is particularly, well . . . classic in its own way.For some, the Difficult Street may be the Difficult Film to Watch . . . but hey, it can be a cultural experience, for some, maybe.OK, that might be a stretch, but it's still an interesting viewing experience.For production value, 1 (or less) stars, but as a sort of cultural time capsule piece, well, OK, let's go with a tentative 4 stars.


Naïve 17-year-old high school student Pam (an appealing portrayal by the fetching Connie Nelson) has a kid out of wedlock and gives the child away for adoption. Ashamed by this situation, Pam drops out of school and secures a job as a receptionist for Hollywood rock melody agent Leo (Gary Kent in fine smarmy form). Cute later Pam gets caught up in a party hearty quick lane lifestyle that leads to drugs, prostitution, STDs, and even death.Director Gary Graver, working from a blithely trashy and preachy script by Rick Stetson, keeps the entertainingly tawdry storyline zipping along at a snappy pace, maintains a perfectly sordid tone throughout, makes neat test of seedy Los Angeles locations, and occasionally interrupts the narrative for these hilariously heavy-handed lectures on such things as teenage pregnancy, drug addiction, and nasty venereal diseases (the latter comes finished with gut-churning graphic photos of people's personal parts ravaged by untreated syphilis and gonorrhea!). Better still, Graver even tosses in a lengthy acid trip sequence and concludes the entire seamy present with a spot-on depressing bummer ending. Liz Renay provides unintentional comic relief as Pam's shrill disapproving mother, Catherine Howard registers well as Pam's worldly pill head gal pal Jeannie, and John Alderman contributes a bravura turn as twitchy smack addict Jimmy, who goes cold turkey in jail after he's busted for possession of narcotics by the cops. Graver's proficient cinematography boasts plenty of funky visual flourishes. A scuzzy blast.


No, Pam's life was over before having her baby.Can you imagine growing up with Liz Renay as your Mom and a dad who mates are all in the Hollywood Melody Business (DEVILS!!!)? I think her life was over as later as she was born.What no one seems to capture that this was a film to PROMOTE sex, w/o getting a STD by the pro-nudist/sex, sex, sex producer (Valle). Each message the film makes is deliberately anti-drugs and pro-sex, but cautionary only as to how NOT to receive an STD, or what to do if you do.Something Weird Video deserves a thumbs-up for giving us pieces of culture newer folks thrust into this globe may never know about.This is such a nice movie, anyone who has any connection to SOUTHERN California will search something enjoyable in it.A+



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