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WILLIAM SHATNER & ANDY GRIFFITH IN 'PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS'

Title: PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS Year: 1974 Rating: ***1/2

One of many Hollywood morality-tales against corporate competition, which ironically keeps showbiz going, and, combining the counter-culture biker flick era with city-guys-out-of-their-element DELIVERANCE, what's really behind PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS is a kind of DEATH OF A SALESMAN character in William Shatner, semi-fired from an advertising agency, and whose only chance is relying on bigwig client Andy Griffith...

Famous for playing a good guy on television... which also includes THE BRADY BUNCH Robert Reed and of course Shatner from STAR TREK (clad in familiar Starfleet-yellow) with Marjoe Gortner as the token youngster... there's a bit of Griffith's intimidating FACE IN THE CROWD formidable, bullying persona...

William Shatner and Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS

The opposite of Shatner, our affable buried lead playing a decade older, he's the most reluctant of the three, all practically forced to go on a dirt bike excursion into the desert wilds of Baja, California...

And there's domestic trouble-in-false-paradise back home, which is the primary flaw for WILDCATS including contrived, melodramatic voice-overs from scenes that occurred fifteen minutes earlier, and particularly the sporadic b-stories involving troubled, nagging, soap-operatic wives...

William Shatner in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS with Robert Reed

From Angie Dickinson (who'd cheated on Reed with Shatner) to old-school housewife Lorraine Gary (Shatner's) to Gortner's pseudo-progressive girlfriend in Janet Margolin, this could've been an otherwise tightly-wound survival thriller (including the pivotal roundabout death of two hippies) without cutting back and forth from the gritty desert exterior to bland suburban-set interiors...

As if WILDCATS was catered mostly for a mainstream television audience, blunting genuine risks that the men-in-peril story promises, and yet, the entertainment value of an ABC Movie-of-the-Week is ever-present, and you'll want to see just how far Griffith will take things... if only he had the chance to escalate into a nefarious businessman's EASY RIDER than being too quickly hindered by Shatner's BORN TO BE MILD moral compass.

From PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
William Shatner and Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marjoe Gortner and Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Andy Griffith and William Shatner in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marjoe Gortner and Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
From PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
William Shatner in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
William Shatner and Lorraine Gary in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Janet Margolin in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS with William Shatner
Marjoe Gortner in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS with William Shatner
Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS with John Brascia
Marilyn Hearn and Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn and Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn and Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn and Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
William Shatner in Star Trek yellow for PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn and Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Marilyn Hearn and Robert Burton in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Reed and Star Trek-yellowed William Shatner in Pray for the Wildcats
KINO LORBER BLU RAY of PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS with John Brascia
William Shatner in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Angie Dickinson and Robert Reed in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS
Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS

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