Mother, Jugs, and Speed (1976)

“Thanks to muggings, malnutrition and disease, we still have a chance to make a buck!”

Synopsis:
Two privately owned ambulance companies in Los Angeles compete for clients.

Genres:

Review:
This strangely titled slapstick comedy revolves around an equally oddball premise: ambulance drivers who sit around hoping for catastrophe to occur so that they have some work. In the meantime, the movie’s ensemble cast (including Bill Cosby as “Mother”, Raquel Welch as “Jugs”, and Harvey Keitel as “Speed”) deal with various personal issues — including, naturally, romance, sex, and drugs. The most interesting aspect of the plot concerns big-chested Welch, who resents being called “Jugs” (can you blame her?), and must deal with obnoxious sexual harassment and blatant gender discrimination on the job. Then again, one watches a film like this for the laughs, not the social commentary — and unfortunately, there are far too few to recommend it.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Bill Cosby as the wisecracking “Mother” of the crew

Must See?
No. Peary lists it in the back of his book as a Sleeper — and it may be of minimal interest to fans of Welch or Cosby — but it’s certainly not must-see viewing.

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One Response to “Mother, Jugs, and Speed (1976)”

  1. First viewing.

    Not a must but not as bad as you might think. Director Peter (‘Bullitt’) Yates does an efficient job with this episodic shaggy dog story – but, as written, some scenes play better than others. Occasionally a dark edge falls into the proceedings, which gives the overall film a rather quirky feel.

    It’s watchable – on a popcorn-movie level – but probably a little forgettable afterwards.

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