The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us.


Run Time: 1:54:00
Producer: Guercio Hitzig
Director: James William Guercio
Editor: Robert Boris (screenplay) Rupert Hitzig (story)
Key Cast: Robert Blake, Billy Green Bush, Mitchell Ryan


An American Movie – By A New Director – James William Guercio

Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 American action film, starring Robert Blake as a motorcycle cop in Arizona and Billy “Green” Bush as his partner. The film was produced and directed by James William Guercio, and is named after the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle issued to traffic cops. The soundtrack was performed by members of the band Chicago; Guercio managed them at the time, and produced many of their albums. Members of the band also appear in minor acting roles in the film. First-time director James William Guercio wanted Conrad L. Hall to photograph this film, but Hall’s salary was more than was budgeted for a cinematographer. Guercio reduced his own salary to $1.00 so he could secure Hall as the cinematographer. the majority of the movie was filmed without government permits because the Arizona State Police did not want to co-operate with the production.


He’s a 5’4″ Cop on a Big Bike in a 6’2″ World

John Wintergreen is a motorcycle cop who patrols the rural Arizona highways with his partner Zipper. Wintergreen is an experienced patrolman looking to be transferred to the Homicide unit. When he is informed by Crazy Willie of an apparent suicide-by-shotgun, Wintergreen believes the case is actually a murder as the victim has shot himself in the chest rather than the head, which is more usual. Detective Harve Poole agrees it is a homicide, after a .22 bullet is found amongst the pellets in the man’s chest during the autopsy, as well as hearing about a possible missing $5,000 ($30,500 today) from the man’s home, and arranges for Wintergreen to be transferred to homicide to help with the case.

Wintergreen gets his wish, but his joy is short-lived. He begins increasingly to identify with the hippies whom the other officers, including Detective Poole, are endlessly harassing. The final straw comes when Poole discovers that Wintergreen has been sleeping with his girlfriend, Jolene. The hostile workplace politics cause him to be quickly demoted back to traffic enforcement.

Despite being demoted, Wintergreen is able to solve the murder. The killer turns out to be Willie, who confesses while Wintergreen goads him into talking about it. Wintergreen surmises that Willie did it because he was jealous of the old man he killed, who frequently had young people over to his house to buy drugs. Shortly after, it is discovered that Zipper stole the $5,000, which he used to buy a fully dressed Electra Glide motorcycle. Wintergreen is forced to shoot Zipper after he becomes distressed and belligerent, and shoots at Wintergreen and in the direction of two innocent bystanders, hitting one of them.

Wintergreen, now alone and back on his old beat, runs into a hippie that Zipper was needlessly harassing earlier on a previous stop. Recognizing him, Wintergreen lets him off with a warning, but the hippie forgets his driver’s license, and Wintergreen drives up behind his van to return it to him. The hippie’s passenger points a shotgun out of the back window and shoots Wintergreen, killing him.


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