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JACK NICHOLSON PEAKS WITH SUSAN STRASBERG IN 'PSYCH-OUT'

Jack Nicholson and Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT Year: 1968 Rating: ***1/2

In 1968, Susan Strasberg, a passive deaf girl hiding out in San Fransisco, happens upon members of a hopeful rock band consisting of a completely miscast Jack Nicholson and Adam Roarke, looking more like blue collar roughnecks than guitar-slinging hippies, and Max Julien, far more aligned with the drugged-out, passive aesthetic...

Other young future-classic actors include Bruce Dern as Strasberg's troubled brother, the movie's McGuffin that little sister's seeking, fitfully named The Seeker, and Dean Stockwell as a "wise" hippie, reminding Jack, who wants his group to make it big, how shallow money and success are...

Narc Garry Marshall and Adam Roarke in PSYCH-OUT

While the songs by the fictional band Mumblin' Jim are pretty awful, filler tunes by The Grass Roots and Strawberry Alarm Clock are nice, fitting the colorful explosion of San Fransisco during its literally acid-packed peak... 

But the genuine appeal is the direction by Richard Rush, who also directed Nicholson in biker flicks, moving the action nicely, especially the "peak" as Strassberg takes bad STP and (in her mind) is stalked by flames... 

Jack Nicholson and Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT

So while very dated clothing, bad wigs and annoying idealism, there's a pretty good story here, led by Strasberg from start to finish while Jack... 

With the arched eyebrows while almost reaching the cocky charisma from EASY RIDER... only as a somewhat unlikable womanizer... is but paint on the paint-splattered canvas.  

    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT and Henry Jaglom
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
Adam Roarke and Max Julien in PSYCH-OUT
Garry Marshall as a cop in PSYCH-OUT
Max Julien in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson in PSYCH-OUT with Adam Roarke
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
Jack Nicholson in PSYCH-OUT with Adam Roarke and Max Julien
Acid overdosed Henry Jaglom in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
Junkyard bully Gary Kent in PSYCH-OUT
Junkyard bully Gary Kent in PSYCH-OUT
Kirk Scott and Jack Nicholson in PSYCH-OUT
Bruce Dern in PSYCH-OUT
Jack Nicholson in PSYCH-OUT
Bruce Dern in PSYCH-OUT
Gary Kent in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Dean Stockwell
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
    Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT with Jack Nicholson
Linda Gaye Scott in PSYCH-OUT
Unnamed Beauty in PSYCH-OUT
Jack Nicholson and Susan Strasberg in PSYCH-OUT

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