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Thursday, August 1, 2013

KONA COAST (1968)

A true oddity. Richard Boone stars in his own vanity production, a sort of commercial home movie with a legit director (Lamont Johnson), a name lenser (Joseph LaShelle), a scenic Hawaiian location and a cast of local nobodies in support of a trio of fading Hollywood names (Vera Miles, Joan Blondell, Kent Smith). Plus!, a phoned-in Movie-of-the-Week background score. Rough, tough Boone plays an absent dad who’s out for revenge after the daughter he hardly knew overdoses at some Free-Love shindig down the coast. (The period trappings and general youthful ‘bopping’ are the film’s one true treasure.) Occasionally, the film rises to near-competence, but generally prefers to home in on Boone’s craggy features, creepy personality and relentless self-regard. Hard to believe, but Boone’s next gig found him co-starring with Marlon Brando in the little seen THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY/’68. (And equally hard to believe that he was just past 50.) After that, tv and supporting roles.

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