by Johnny Web (Uncle
Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Julie Robinson was a luminously beautiful
actress who appeared in three films in the 1971-72 era:
- A Safe Place (1971)
- The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
- A Fan's Notes (1972)
She is so dimly remembered that IMDb has her filmography
completely screwed up. Those three films are attributed
to three different actresses: Julie Robinson (II), Julia
Robinson (II), and Julia Anne Robinson. She appears in
the closing credits of A Fan's Notes as Julia Anne
Robinson, although IMDb scores it in the Julie (II)
She was an interesting, complicated person whose
wholesome, glamorous appearance belied her background as
a semi-famous hippie with some serious addiction
problems. She had actually traveled with Ken Kesey on
the legendary magic bus, and apparently had developed
some serious drug issues along the way. Peter Biskind
discussed her at some length in "Easy Riders, Raging
Bulls," because producer/director Bob Rafelson was
obsessed with her and thought he could make her a star.
Ms. Robinson certainly had the looks for stardom, but
there was one thing that prevented her from being the
next Julie Christie in the glammed-up hippie department:
she had absolutely no acting talent. She delivered every
line with an awkward stiffness that sounded like a 5th
grader reading aloud in a remedial class.
Actually, I guess there was another thing that cut her
career short. The other major factor is that she died in
a fire, an event which is generally not conducive to
prolonging any career, possibly excepting Larry King's.
Up until today, I thought her only screen nudity was in
The King of Marvin Gardens, but that's because I had
never seen A Fan's Notes, despite the fact that the
source novel is one of my ten favorite books, and is
often considered to be among the very best "first
novels" ever written. It's not just me who missed this
film. Nobody has seen it, even though the lead role was
played by a future star, Jerry Orbach. It's an obscure,
poorly paced Canadian film filled with the typical
self-indulgence of the early 1970s, absent any of the
quirky counter-culturalism, fiery passion and gritty
realism that made some of the films of that era
memorable. I'm not certain of this, but I don't think it
has ever been issued on any home media, not even on VHS.
The only reason I have seen it now is that Warner, which
owns it, has put it up on their YouTube catalogue
channel, where you can watch it for two bucks, as I did.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you
need to read the
explanation, because the grading is not linear.
For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+
is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As.
Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:
I love the witty, insightful book, but not this bland