Wednesday, December 16, 2009

POLK COUNTY POT PLANE to land at the Alamo Drafthouse 12/30



Two weeks from tonight -- meaning Wednesday, December 30th -- our friends at the Alamo Drafthouse will be showing the yahoo action chase comedy POLK COUNTY POT PLANE (1977) as part of their awesome "Weird Wednesdays" program. Anyone planning to attend should bring a pen and a pad to take notes, because it's possible there were two different cuts of this movie in circulation. The newspaper ad above is from the movie's original release in Atlanta during August of 1977. Judging from the number of theaters and neighboring towns running the film, we'd guess 25 or 30 prints were struck. Now, look at the ad below, from when the film returned to Atlanta a month later in a "complete" and "new edited version." How many theaters did it play in that time? One.


POLK COUNTY POT PLANE is also known as IN HOT PURSUIT. Those of you old enough to know what a VHS tape is might recognize the Paragon Video box below and recall fondly the day it first hit the shelves at the local rental store. No? Well, truthfully, I don't either, but I do remember getting one without the box for $1.99 at the Record Explosion that used to be on 5th Avenue near 34th Street about 15 years ago, and then having it get chewed up in my VCR a few days later when I tried to watch it. I wonder if the "complete" film is the one that made it to home video, and if the print being screened at the Alamo is the earlier cut. Lars, keep us posted!


Oh, before I forget, POLK COUNTY POT PLANE is based on a true event that happened in Polk County, Georgia in August of 1975. You can read all about it in the articles below and also here. I see nothing about prison escapes, high-speed chases, people hanging from helicopters, or cars demolishing modular homes, so I'm guessing the filmmakers embellished just a little.








12 comments:

William said...

This film is hugely entertaining! How can a film not be when the leads are named Oosh and Doosh?

Eric Harvey said...

IN HOT PURSUIT played some Eastern Federal drive-ins in Jacksonville, FL in the early 80's and that's the only version I've seen. I'll be looking forward to checking this out!

John Charles said...

Your post prompted me to finally watch this and as low-budget regional movies go, it ain't half bad, with a decent pace and plenty of fairly well executed action.

The Mill Creek DVD version (part of their Drive-In Movie Classics set and almost certainly sourced from the Paragon tape) is likely the re-edited version as there are several instances where music cues and dialogue are bluntly cut off. Running time is about 88 minutes.

Levi said...

I was raised In Cedartown Georgia, Polk County, and I remember this event, of course the movie is a little off but the real story is just as exciting if not more

jonbecker03 said...

"In Hot Pursuit" was shown on television as part of the late-night "Movie Greats" series. Although it was a "regional" production, New York-based Tom Forcade (publisher of "High Times" magazine) was involved in the distribution, and possibly even in the production, of this film.

Thomas T. Simmons said...

Damn, you guys dug up news clippings on IN HOT PURSUIT! You are my new heroes.

Christian said...

LOVE this movie! Caught it late one evening during a Night Owl movie thon. Un-cut version! OMG. I would love to get my hands on that! "lets go smoke a joint and talk about it" haha! I also only have the Dive in movie theater version but used to have the old VHS and it was the same cut.

Michael said...

I actually got to this site after the bust but before the plane was flown out of there with the assist of JATO bottles. They came in so low that there were small tree branches in the landing gear. There was a guy up in a tree with a flashlight at the approach end of the strip and I was told the plane knocked him to the ground and broke his arm. By the time the plane had stopped it was only about 100 ft from the trees at the other end. One hell of a pilot.

Anonymous said...

Tom Forcade was involved in the distribution of Polk County Pot Plane ("In Hot Pursuit"); however, illegally so. He never owned the rights to distribute the movie or to put it on tape. The movie appeared on VHS shortly after James I. West, Jr handed over a copy to Tom's people during negotiations.

Tom Forcade, however, was not involved in the production. This film was written, directed, & produced by Big Jim West (ie, James I. West, Jr). Check out the credits: Just about everywhere you see a first name "Jim" or "James" that means "James I. West, Jr". All of the actors were local, some were even family members. All of the cops are real cops and the scene on the roof of the jail was actually shot on the roof of the Clayton County Jail in Jonesboro, GA. There were no stunt men used. For the more dangerous scenes, the actors got liquored up with "liquid courage".

goldieloks said...

Thank you for your comment anonymous, you are right. The Story about How the movie was made, including the purchase of the mtn, plane, and getting the rights to the movie. Making the movie, what fun to turn it down and have James I. West Jr. "Jim" tell all about it!

Sean Howe said...

Forcade died in 1978--surely before the videotape was released?

Anonymous said...

I'm wife of Doosh (Bobby Watson). If movie is every featured again at a indy festival, would love to attend. Great storys, and yes, he did all the stunts with no safety protection. NUTS!