“He’s just along for the ride — you know that, don’t you? He’s not at all like us.”
A former gunnery sergeant (Alan Arkin) is kidnapped by two free-spirited young women — Frisbee (Mackenzie Phillips) and Mackinley (Sally Kellerman) — but soon finds himself enjoying a road trip across America with them.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Alan Arkin Films
- Harry Dean Stanton Films
- Road Trip
More than three decades before his Academy Award-winning role in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Alan Arkin starred in another quirky road flick — this oddly titled, little-seen character study about several misfits (there are no twins, or gold dust) searching for love and adventure across America. More a series of vignettes than a cohesive narrative, Rafferty is at its best when it focuses on the developing relationships between the three protagonists, who each undergo personal changes throughout the course of the film. While Phillips’ performance consists primarily of pouting (at least during the first two-thirds of the story):
Arkin is as excellent as always, and Kellerman truly shines as “Mackinley”, a free-spirited hippie whose casual fling with Rafferty (Arkin) immediately disrupts the trio’s dynamic.
The best (and funniest) scene involves Phillips conning a naive soldier (a perfectly-cast Charles Martin Smith) out of his money and engagement ring:
While one initially feels sorry for Smith, he soon shows his snivelly true colors. The bittersweet ending implies a sequel, which obviously never happened; Rafferty basically went under the radar, and has remained there since.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Alan Arkin as Rafferty
- Sally Kellerman as Mackinley
- Charles Martin Smith as a naive soldier duped by Frisbee
No, but it’s worth a look simply for the performances. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.