Kansas City Bomber (1972)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Sports Drama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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A clichéd, at times trashy melodrama, Kansas City Bomber nonetheless has a certain gritty power to it that keeps it sticking in the mind. True, it's undeniably campy in places -- the mere thought of Raquel Welch as a roller-derby queen makes that unavoidable -- and at times it seems as if the creators threw in every dramatic cliché they could think of; however, it's not as bad as it seems it really should be. It's not good, either, mind you, just more memorable than one would expect. Surprisingly, Welch acquits herself pretty well. She's impressive in the skating sequences and she gets through the dramatic scenes with few major missteps. Kevin McCarthy does even better with his thankless oily-heel role, Jodie Foster is fine in a small part, and Helena Kallianiotes manages to rise above the material to give a genuinely impressive performance. Jerrold Freedman's direction too often emphasizes the obvious, but he shoots the action scenes well and creates a convincingly shabby atmosphere as he chronicles the not so glamorous life of the skaters and their equally not so glamorous fans.