Hollywood Knights, The (1980)

Hollywood Knights, The (1980)

“Everything changes — remember that; nothing stays the same.”

In 1965 Los Angeles on Halloween night, the leader (Robert Wuhl) of a car club and his fellow members wreak as much havoc as possible on a pair of bumbling cops (Sandy Helberg and Gailard Sartain) and an overweight Mama’s boy (Stuart Pankin) while overseeing the initiation of four new recruits. Meanwhile, Wuhl attempt to bed a sexy high school student (Fran Drescher); an uptight pair of adulterers (Leigh French and Randy Gornel) are interrupted at every possible lovemaking turn; and a mechanic (Tony Danza) is both frustrated about his girlfriend (Michelle Pfeiffer) wanting an acting career, and sad that his friend (Gary Graham) is leaving for Vietnam.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • Juvenile Delinquents

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that despite being “ignored during its release,” this comedy by Floyd Mutrux “has become a cult favorite because of screenings on cable.” (Updated note: It seems to still have a minor following today.) He notes that while “there are a couple of serious storylines,” the picture mostly “centers on the pranks” that are “instigated by the insolent Robert Wuhl”.

Peary asserts that while Mutrux — who also directed Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) and American Hot Wax (1978) — tries to combine elements from Animal House and American Graffiti,” he “only manages to show how much better those films are in comparison to their imitators”; and he notes that while “the film does have some funny shots,” the “tastelessness wears thin.” With that said, he points out some of the film’s highlights, which include the “interplay between adulterous Leigh French and lover Richard Schaal, who can’t keep their hands off each other”:

… “the two cops — one who sings the fabricated lyrics to ‘Lawrence of Arabia'”:

… and a scene between Wuhl and Drescher in which Wuhl “loses his ‘lover’ image.”

Less successful than the sporadically amusing juvenile humor are the “serious storylines”, in which “one guy has joined the army”:

… and “Tony Danza worries that girlfriend Michelle Pfeiffer will forget him if her upcoming screen test is successful.”

Nothing with Danza in it seems to suit the overall tone of the film. However, Pfeiffer fans will surely appreciate seeing her here in her first cinematic role; she’s quite luminous.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Some amusing sequences

Must See?
No, unless it’s a personal or nostalgic favorite.


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