Directed by H. KAYE DYAL
ELLEN GREER as Betty
Peter could not have been
Ellen Greer wrote and starred in Memory of Us, a small, quiet1970's feminist film. It's so tied to the 1970's (but without any 70's rock) that it's unlikely to ever get much play on cable although it would seem a natural for the Lifetime network. It would be good as a double feature with another quiet 1970's feminist movie with a similar theme, Separate Tables in which another star better known for Westerns, Robert Fuller, has a featured part. Both depict a housewife with growing discontent in a boring marriage and unfulfilled life. Greer herself asked Peter to take the role in her movie.
Memories has elements such as wife swapping, alcoholism, pot smoking, etc. but nothing to take it beyond today's PG rating. Although the blurb on the video jacket says "Learning of her husband's affair, Betty drives past a tall denim-clad hitchhiker. She hits the brakes, and the real trouble begins." Peter is of course the tall, denim-clad hitchhiker but the description of the plot isn't quite accurate.
Betty's husband, played by Jon Cypher, wants an open marriage as that term was bandied about in the 1970's. The people in this movie are middle class folks playing around with the new sexual freedom, pot and other trappings of the 1970's. Betty, dissatisfied in her marriage, is trying to find herself with little cooperation from her husband.
Toward the end of the film, Betty is going to a party where she feels she needs to bring a boyfriend in order to keep up with her friends and husband. She tells her husband she has a boyfriend, a married construction worker named Marv Green. He doesn't believe her. So now she has to come up with a body to fit the description. Driving around in her good old mom-mobile, a big station wagon, the now defunct 1970's version of the mini-van, she spots Peter hitchhiking on a corner. She circles the block and honks for him. She offers him $20 to be her fake boyfriend for the evening. [See how bad inflation has gotten. Try to get an evening with Peter Brown for $20 these days.] He agrees.
Peter arrives at the party and it's soon evident that he's been playing at sexual liberation for a whole lot longer than any of these middle class folks. And with his silver and turquoise jewelry, cowboy hat, wide bell bottom jeans, sideburns, low cut shirt, two day's growth of beard, exaggerated sourthen accent (ala Chad Cooper) and those long sexy fingers cutting up the salad veggies while he tells slightly off-color stories, he's a real wild card.
Peter's character (Winston - he only gives her one name) is a nice enough guy, certainly not dangerous. He plays the part of Betty's boyfriend and charms most of the women. But he's crude enough that it's clear he's not Betty's type. When the party slows down, Winston aka Marv, livens it up with a bawdy song on his guitar. In the meantime, Betty realizes she's not going to work out things around her husband and friends. The movie ends with her driving off in her car to find herself.
NiteOwl Review: We thought Peter was perfect as Tom Hamilton, the Prince Charming in the innocent Hayley Mills movie Summer Magic. He was equally perfect as Winston, the bawdy demin-clad stranger in this film. Some of us remember men like this from our liberated college days. So good looking you have to be attracted, but just a little too crude for a respectable college girl.
For Peter Brown fans this movie is worth finding on ebay if the bidding doesn't go too high. His part might not be large enough to warrant spending the big bucks unless you're a real collector. Any woman who came of age in the 1970's might enjoy this also.
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