Watch Now: THE BIG BOUNCE
A Vietnam War veteran with a criminal record is employed as a seasonal worker on a California farm. After a physical altercation with his fellow worker, he ends up in jail and loses his position at the farm. However, he meets his boss’ young secretary who comes up with the idea of robbing their boss’ safe that allegedly contains more than $50.000 prepared for the workers’ fees. As he witnessed the girl’s unstable, violent and antisocial behavior, he initially refuses, only to get blackmailed into going along with the plan.
Based on Elmore Leonard’s 1969 novel of the same name, The Big Bounce was directed by Alex March with a screenplay written by Robert Dozier. Ryan O’Neal, Lee Grant, Leigh Taylor-Young, Van Heflin and Cindy Eilbacher lead the cast, while the great William Ziegler of My Fair Lady and Strangers on a Train fame edited the picture. In a way, this mixture of crime and drama was ahead of its time, especially in the context of dealing with the subject of a sexually abused woman losing her social and mental stability. Both the critics and the moviegoers weren’t all that kind to March’s film. Considering we’re talking about a fascinating and well-told, unfairly neglected picture, it’s a shame it had to wait a couple of decades to find its audience.