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  • This was really a surprise for me. Knowing this was made by Crown International in the 70's, I expected a fun, sleazy good time. Instead I found this to be a stiff, talky courtroom piece, with little going for it other than Adam West uttering a couple of vulgarities and a fun title tune by Lou Rawls. I'd really like to see how this film was sold to audiences at the time, as it plays like an R-rated episode of MATLOCK. How did Crown International get theaters who were used to their mix of vans, cheerleaders and beach babes, to show a semi-serious drama about jury tampering? Beware....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Adam West of TV's "Batman" fame stars in this bland inconsequential potboiler about inappropriate conduct between a juror and a defense counsel. He's cast as attorney Jerry Bounds, counsel for the defense in a case about a water company, where opposing counsel Pike Smith (veteran western character actor John Anderson of "Young Billy Young") is determined to have him disbarred from the trial.

    Everything starts when Smith is sacked from his job at the water company, and he wants back on the board. When the head of the water company, Arthur Farley(Chuck Boyd of "Predator 2") refuses to reinstate him, Smith hires sleazy, low-life private investigator Alec Sharkey (film director Howard Avedis masquerading as Russell Schmidt) who enlists the aid of a beautiful woman for $5-thousand to seduce Bounds and get a mistrial declared in the case. Blond Ahna Capri, a veteran TV actress that appeared in virtually every memorable 1960s' TV series from "The Wild Wild West" to "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." to "It Takes a Thief," doesn't mind displaying her ample buxom charms as Londa Weyth. People refer to her as "The Specialist" because sex is her specialty,and she sets to work to seduce Bounds. Smith arranges for Londa to serve as a juror in the case. Meanwhile,Bounds repeatedly warns her that their flirtatious affair could ruin his career. Poor Jerry Bounds is hopelessly seduced by her, and Sharkey snaps several incriminating photos of the two cavorting near a reservoir while the judge and a bailiff watch them. Bailiff Humbolt is played by none other than Alvy Moore of TV's "Green Acres" where he played Hank Kimball. Not content with having Bounds taken off the case, Smith goes even further and tries to get Bounds disbarred. Meanwhile, Bounds' wife Elizabeth (Avedis' wife Marlene Schmidt of "They're Playing with Fire") learns that Londa moved into a house a week before the trial and was seen in public with Pike Smith's son Hardin (Harvey Jason of "Too Late the Hero"), who etches nude pictures of sexy women. This is the first surprise in this tame little thriller; the wife would rather stand by her erring husband in this predicament than divorce him. Elizabeth decides to find out how Londa became juror number six in so short a time, while Bounds confronts Londa in San Francisco with a subpoena. Sharkey eavesdrops on their conversation and contacts Pike Smith; Sharkey hits Smith up for $20-thousand, so that Londa and he can clear out of the country. At the same, Smith is going to send his artist son Howard to England, because the Bounds know about his involvement in the affair. Eventually, Sharkey catches up with Smith, and they struggle in Smith's basement where the armed Sharkey tries to pick up his blackmail money. Incredibly, Sharkey—who has a revolver on him at the time—doesn't shoot Smith when he has the opportunity. Smith has Sharkey jammed in the doors of his safe room while the two struggle. Sharkey is a prime example of a stupid villain. He could have shot Smith, but he is too brainless take advantage of his one chance. The ultimate injustice comes when the Bar Association disbars Bounds despite the death of Sharkey. In the last scene, misguided, idiotic hero Jerry Bounds pursues Pike Smith outside against his wife's advice and guns him down in broad daylight with a revolver. Fade out.

    Director Howard Avedis is a fan of the slow zoom out to reveal, a technique that most filmmakers embraced during the 1960s. Aside from one or two locations, everything appears to have been lensed in cramped hotel rooms. The pacing is comatose, and the music is light but cheerful. West, Anderson, and Moore are the three biggest names in this incoherent mishmash. The only thing that stands out in this movie is that the hero is doomed by his own incompetence from the start; he repeatedly warns the femme fatale that he could lose his career as a lawyer. Nevertheless, Jerry Bounds cheats on his wife and pays the consequences. Of course, we expect that the hero will clear his name and his honor, but he does neither and that makes this half-witted Crown International release look truly dim-witted and anti-climactic.
  • Wizard-831 October 2012
    This Crown International Picture is unusual in that unlike most of its drive in movies, this effort takes itself much more seriously than usual. Oh, there are a few humorous moments (unintentional as well as intentional), and the movie does deliver a few scenes that display T and A, but otherwise the movie is surprisingly sober. I don't immediately object to the fact the filmmakers took this project more seriously, but I object to the way they depicted this serious story. The main problem is that the movie moves much too slow for its own good; a little jolt would have liven things up considerably. Also, Adam West gives a pretty poor performance, and his character gets much of the focus. The Lou Rawles-sung title song is great, and the movie has an unexpected ending, but more likely than not you'll drift to sleep long before the end credits start unfolding.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Smooth hotshot lawyer Jerry Bounds (a solid performance by Adam West of TV's "Batman" fame) clashes with huffy and powerful rival veteran attorney Pike Smith (a pleasingly crusty and lively portrayal by John Anderson) over a big case involving a water company. Smith hires the sultry and enticing Londa Wyeth (perfectly embodied by the gorgeously voluptuous Ahna Capri) to pose as a jury member and befriend Bounds so he can be disbarred from the profession. Director/co-writer Hikmet Avedis, who also appears in the film as sleazy low-rent private eye Ace Sharkey, relates the engrossingly lurid story at a steady pace, maintains a lighthearted tone throughout, and sprinkles in a handy helping of tasty female nudity (lovely blonde Christianne Schmidtmer has a small, yet memorable role as a nude model while Capri looks positively smashing sans clothes). The sturdy cast of familiar faces helps out a whole lot: Alvy Moore as the lecherous Bailiff Humbolt, Marlene Schmidt as Bounds' concerned, supportive wife Elizabeth, Harvey Jason as Pike's laid-back swinging artist son Hardin Smith, Charles Knopp as hard-nosed Judge Davis, and Chuck Boyd as wimpy law firm head Arthur Farley. Massoud Joseph's crisp cinematography and Shorty Rogers' get-down funky score are both up to speed. Moreover, the insanely groovy theme song sung by Lou Rawls, some amusingly dated slang ("far out"), a hysterically overwrought disbarment trial, and a simply sidesplitting surprise downbeat ending all greatly add to this picture's considerable kitschy appeal. In fact, this movie often plays like an R-rated feature length 70's exploitation version of an episode of "Perry Mason." A fun little diversion.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE SPECIALIST is an oddball and typically unsatisfying production put out by Crown International Pictures, a studio known for buying up and putting out all kind of independent junk in the 1960s and 1970s. This one's a slow-paced courtroom drama in which a case is launched against the corrupt owner of a water company trying to destroy a local landmark. It plays out as a skin flick at times, although it's quite tame by genre standards. Most amusing of all is the casting of Adam West as the heroic lawyer; he gives the most interesting performance here but the rest is rather stodgy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Pike Smith (John Anderson) was an attorney for the Water Company of San Clemin, California. He opposes change and is replaced by the flashy Jerry Bounds (Adam West). He brings some kind of lawsuit...to end the privatization? I am not sure. Pike hires a PI (Harvey Jason) to follow Batman around. He has an idea...bring in a ringer on the jury, a hot woman who can seduce the cape crusader and get him disbarred. Enter Londa Wyeth (Ahna Capri) a buxom blonde. Now the strings they pulled to get her to be a resident and in the jury pool were not discussed in detail. It just happened.

    This is an odd film. None of the characters were likable except for Bailiff Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore) who is always likable.

    In addition to Ahna Capri sharing her goods, so does Christiane Schmidtmer, the "Boeing Boeing" stewardess and former Playboy and Max Factor model. Lou Rawls sings the opening song. Based on a book, "Come Now The Lawyers." Camp style fun with major plot holes. Fitting ending. Available on multi-packs.
  • The Specialist is another release from B-movie producers Crown International Pictures. It's about the unethical relationship a lawyer develops with a female juror assigned to a case he is working on. Unbeknownst to him, she is a plant who has been hired to have an affair with him under the instructions of the opposing lawyer in the case. She is the specialist of the title, a professional seductress / femme fatale.

    This one features Adam West, the TV Batman, in the central role. It's a film with considerably more promise than delivery. As while the basic set-up is quite good, the execution is very underwhelming. It's sort of part courtroom drama, part thriller and part comedy, without ever really focusing on any particular genre enough to do it justice. It's probably a bit too talky for its own good too and, overall, it doesn't ultimately deliver very much. It does however have an unexpectedly decent funky soundtrack which wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Blaxploitation flick and it also features an unexpectedly nihilistic ending which some people seem to hate but which I though was the best, and most distinctive, individual aspect pertaining to the movie overall.
  • d_m_s17 August 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The Specialist deserves a slightly better than average score (when comparing against other B Movies) because I really enjoyed the first hour.

    The story was kind of irrelevant although it was half-interesting. What I enjoyed about it was its overall demeanour. I wasn't expecting much but ended up liking it pretty much from the start because it was pretty funny and had some likable characters.

    I really liked Anha Capri, I thought she gave a good, sultry yet tongue in cheek performance and her scenes with Harvey Jason were funny.

    This is definitely a film of two halves though and for every decent, tongue in cheek character and performance, there is a serious and badly acted character.

    Overall, I enjoyed the first hour but the final 30 minutes were completely out of sync with the rest of the film as lost all of its humour and interesting characters and became really boring.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Specialist" is the one movie (out of twelve) that made me buy the Mill Creek DVD pack called "Rare Cult Cinema", mostly based on Leonard Maltin's review, in which he calls Ahna Capri "well-cast as the female version of the usual macho killer-for-hire". He gets the "well-cast" part right, but the rest seems to me like a misrepresentation - Capri does NOT play a killer of any sort, she plays a professional seducer. Although she bares her stupendously great breasts only twice, those 10 seconds (out of a 90-minute movie, mind you!) are something to see indeed. Other things to watch for are a rather unusual killing, and the typically 1970's pessimistic ending. But Avedis' mostly unimaginative, TV-style direction (with an emphasis on long talky scenes) does not allow "The Specialist" to ever become the cult treasure it could have been. ** out of 4.
  • I watched THE SPECIALIST as part of BCI Eclipse' Drive-in Cult Classics (featuring Crown International Pictures releases) on DVD. As I work my way through the multiple DVD sets, I am growing to like even some of the more melodramatic offerings.

    Adam West stars as Jerry Bounds, counsel for the defense, in a case about a water company. Opposing counsel, Pike Smith, whose family built and controlled the town, is determined to have him disbarred before the case can go to trial.

    THE SPECIALIST is story of sexual impropriety, courtroom tactics; and, backstabbing politics. Yet it maintains a lively, upbeat tone throughout. Never taking itself seriously, the lurid story unfolds at a steady pace, without being overwrought.

    I really enjoyed the funky score, which is "right on" for the times. It really kept the movie moving. Moreover, the Lou Rawls theme song was great.

    A surprise treat was the appearance by Alvy Moore, who played Hank Kimball in the Green AcresTV show. As Bailiff Humbolt, he manages to use the same homespun folksiness he did on TV, using terms like "hanky-pank" and "hot-diggity-dog." Even if he tried, he could not appear creepy despite trying to seduce the sultry and enticing Londa Wyeth (played by Ahna Capri).

    THE SPECIALIST is a fun diversion; and, an unusual offering from Crown International Pictures; but, I didn't like the ending at all.