The Godfather of 70’s Movie Endings* Had More To It Than Fast Cars & Loose Women. Probably.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry without a doubt, is one of the Top Three Greatest Car Chase Movies Ever of All Time, Period, End Of Discussion list. I can’t imagine there being the level of fool out there required to refute that ranking.
There’s a lot under the movie’s hood. Sure, from the outside it’s a fast ride done in some hot wheels. It’s a heist flick. Upon closer look, it’s a mediation on fate and second chances. A free spirited love story. It’s a Metaphorical Life Lessons manual. Celebration of the anti-hero increasingly being represented onscreen. Celebration to Susan George’s hot mess hotness. Yet there’s even more to it than that.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry can be viewed as a high speed cautionary tale and masquerading as a car chase movie. Its message suddenly and starkly revealed at the last moment upon Crazy Larry’s boast, “Hey, mister, ain’t nothing gonna stop us!”
Nothing except that double negative. Taking the symbolic form of a 20-ton locomotive. That suddenly comes out of nowhere. Instantly ending our trio’s future. Therein delivering the film’s hidden message: the dire consequence of poor grammar.
*70’s Ending – the sudden downbeat/ambiguous endings that were signature to the cinema of the era**
**see Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. Vanishing Point. Night Moves