Pipe Dreams (1976)

Pipe Dreams (1976)

“Oh, baby — I told you again and again to stay out of those kind of things.”

A woman (Gladys Knight) whose husband (Barry Hankerson) has run out on her goes to Alaska to try to win him back.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • African-Americans
  • Alaska
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues
  • Marital Problems
  • Strong Women

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “acceptable low-budget film” — a rare, non-exploitative 1970s movie about a black couple’s relationship — is more a curio for Gladys Knight fans than anything else. Other than the “rousing” soundtrack, the film’s primary strength lies in the way it shows Knight trying to help out her needy female friends in the “male-dominated” territory of Alaska.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • A refreshing focus on a black couple in a mostly-white state
  • Beautiful cinematography of Alaskan wilderness
  • The haunting theme song (“So Sad the Song”), which will stay in your mind for quite a while.

Must See?
No, unless you’re a hardcore Gladys Knight fan; I recommend buying the soundtrack instead.


One thought on “Pipe Dreams (1976)

  1. First viewing. Ugh – skip it.

    Why would a major studio (Avco Embassy) distribute what amounts to a (sub-par) movie of the week?… one that has an awkward script and is generally amateurish?

    It’s a busy little thing, though – yet the story it’s telling has something of a pinball feeling to it; it bounces between a few different storylines while leaving everything under-developed. And it has the strangest mood swings, as it squeezes a lot into 90 minutes.

    The only real constant is Knight’s earnestness. She has a sweet-but-tough quality but, like everyone else here, shows minimal acting ability (though, granted, that script is not helping *anyone*).

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