Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues is one of my favorite recent obscure cinematic finds. Available on DVD thru Warner’s Archives label, this is a sly, strange, and totally cool movie that juggles genres and tones all the way up until the surprisingly nasty finale. Directed by Paul Williams (Out of It, The Revolutionary), Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues was released in 1972, and was based on the novel by Michael and Douglas Chrichton under the pseudonym Michael Douglas(!). The plot centers on a Harvard law grad student, played by the interesting if a bit stiff Robert F. Lyons, who decides to smuggle of massive shipment of marijuana from Berkeley to Boston after doing numerous smaller-scaled jobs. Along for the ride is Barbara Hershey, in all of her youthful, gorgeous splendor, as the reluctant pseudo-girlfriend who decides to help with the big score, but soon finds herself in way over her pretty head. And can she fully be trusted?
Produced by cinematic legend Ed Pressman (Conan the Barbarian, American Psycho, Walker, Blue Steel, Wall Street, Phantom of the Paradise), Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues has the distinction of having one of longest official titles in movie history. The film also sports a nifty supporting cast including John Lithgow (in his film debut as a shifty pot dealer), Charles Durning as a shady cop, Paul Sorvino as a cabbie, and the prolific character actor Victor Argo. The jazzy and offbeat musical score by Michael Small contributed to the overall stoniness of the entire picture. It was also very well shot by cinematographer Edward R. Brown (The Hot Rock, Lovin’ Molly), who gave the film a laid back vibe while still keeping things visually interesting. Funny, weirdly sexy, offbeat, and dangerous in spots, this is a unique item that would likely please many viewers who are looking for something totally unexpected.