Original release date 1974
Directed by H. Kaye Dyal, Sr.
Written by Ellen Greer
Ellen Greer as Betty
Peter Brown as Winston
Will Greer as Motel Manager
John Cypher as Brad
Barbara Colby as Iris
Bob Hogan as John
H. Kaye Dyal, Jr. as Preacher
Herta Ware as Mother of Bride
Charlene Polite as Stella
Joyce Easton as Lisa
Melora Marshall as babysitter
Rose Marie as Ida
Robbie Rist as Rudder
Ann Elizabeth Beesley as Becky
Sandra Leone as teacher
Bill Hutton as piano player
Ellen Greer wrote and starred in Memory of Us, a small, quiet 1970s feminist film. It's so tied to the 1970s, minus 70s rock, that it's unlikely to ever get much tv play, although it would seem a natural for the Lifetime Movie Network.
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.
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 plays Winston, the tall, denim-clad hitchhiker but the description of the plot isn't quite accurate. Memory of Us has controversial elements such as wife swapping, alcoholism, pot smoking, but nothing to take it beyond a PG rating.
Betty's husband, played by Jon Cypher (right), wants an open marriage as that term was bandied about in the 1970s.
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 1970s version of the mini-van, she spots Winston hitchhiking on a corner. Betty offers him $20 to be her fake boyfriend for the evening. He agrees. (See how bad inflation has gotten. Try getting an evening with Peter Brown for $20 these days.)
Winston 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.
Winston (he only gives Betty 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 (alias 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.
With his silver and turquoise jewelry, cowboy hat, wide bell bottom jeans, sideburns, low cut shirt, two day's growth of beard, exaggerated southern 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.
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.
The people in this movie are middle class folks playing around with the new sexual freedom, pot and other trappings of the 1970s. Betty, dissatisfied in her marriage, is trying to find herself with little cooperation from her husband.
It would be good as a double feature with another quiet 1970s feminist movie with a similar theme, Separate Tables, in which another star better known for westerns, Robert Fuller, has a featured part.
Official Peter Brown Fan Site