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Separate Ways (1981) HD online

Separate Ways (1981) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama
Original Title: Separate Ways
Director: Howard Avedis
Writers: Leah Appet,Leah Appet
Released: 1981
Duration: 1h 32min
Video type: Movie
A wife unhappy in her marriage begins an affair with an art student, unaware that her husband, a race driver, is also having an affair.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Black Karen Black - Valentine Colby
Tony Lo Bianco Tony Lo Bianco - Ken Colby
Arlene Golonka Arlene Golonka - Annie Donahue
Monte Markham Monte Markham - Cliff Johnson
David Naughton David Naughton - Jerry Lansing
Jack Carter Jack Carter - Barney Brodsky
Sharon Farrell Sharon Farrell - Karen Haskell
William Windom William Windom - Huey Block
Robert Fuller Robert Fuller - Woody
Walter Brooke Walter Brooke - Lawrence Stevens
Jordan Charney Jordan Charney - Harry Bartoff
Sybil Danning Sybil Danning - Mary
Angus Duncan Angus Duncan - Allen Haskell
Bob Hastings Bob Hastings - Jack
Noah Hathaway Noah Hathaway - Jason Colby

Reviews: [8]

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    One of the strangest chapters in the history of Crown International Pictures was when they picked up the independently produced SEPARATE WAYS, a movie that had actually been completed in 1979 and sat in limbo for a while as the producers looked for a distributor. It was a strange choice for C.I.P. because while the movie is rated "R" and involves infidelity, it's not a sleazefest. It is actually a sober look at both partners in a troubled marriage. The movie is well acted by Karen Black and Tony Lo Bianco, and you can sense the filmmakers were really trying to make a compelling drama, but it doesn't quite work. It feels kind of dry, kind of like what a made-for-TV movie of the era would play out if it had "R" rated elements. It's not a terrible movie, just kind of flat. A word of warning if you plan to rent or buy the movie - while the movie has been given an official DVD release, the DVD company just copied an ex-rental video cassette instead of finding the movie's negative and making a copy directly from it.
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    Vain, neglectful former race car driver turned automobile dealership owner Ken Colby (a fine portrayal by Tony Lo Bianco) and his sweet, but fed-up wife Valentine (a marvelously warm and appealing performance by Karen Black) are having marital problems. Not only does Ken have his hands full with his faltering business, but he's also having an affair with fetching co-worker Sheila (lovely Katherine Justice). When Valentine discovers Ken's infidelity, she has a fling of her own with nice, decent college student Jerry Lansing (the always affable David Naughton). This tasteful and thoughtful feature represents a radical departure for director Howard Avedis, who usually made such enjoyably trashy exploitation fare as "The Teacher," "Texas Detour," and "They're Playing With Fire." Avedis eschews his standard gleeful wallowing in the sleaze to offer instead an observant and compelling portrait of the difficulty found in sustaining a romantic relationship throughout the years and the severe toll a lack of open communication can have on said relationship. The uniformly excellent cast play their well-drawn and engaging true-to-life characters with commendable conviction: Lo Bianco and Black do stellar work in the lead roles (Black in particular is a total delight and looks absolutely gorgeous), with sturdy support from Arlene Golonka as Valentine's loyal, supportive best gal pal Annie Donahue, Sharon Farrell as Valentine's perky friend Karen Haskell, William Windom as Ken's excitable business partner Huey Block, Noah Hathaway as the Colby's darling son Jason, and Jack Carter as jolly bar owner Barney Brodsky. Both Dean Cundey's slick cinematography and the jazzy, tuneful score by John Cacavas and Bonnie Becker are up to speed. A poignant little dramatic sleeper.
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    Karen Black and Tony LoBianco star as a couple having marital difficulties. Will they be able to pull it together for their son? I came across this film as a part of a DVD collection of thrillers. Why it was included is beyond me since its not really a thriller rather its a domestic drama. That said its not a bad one. On some level I kept thinking that perhaps it was little more than a bumped up TV movie with some nudity and some foul language, however as time went on it kind of won me over and I actually wanted to see how it came.

    Far from the best film out there it is rather enjoyable on its own terms and is the sort of thing you won't mind watching if you are stuck watching it.
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    A woman lives in an unsatisfying marriage to a car dealer. She catches him cheating on her which leads to her embarking on an illicit liaison of her own. She finds this essentially dissatisfying and decides to separate from her husband but in doing so finds life tough outside the safety net of their relationship, made worse by her missing her young son.

    Separate Ways is a slightly unusual release from Crown International Pictures. It doesn't fit the description of one of their typical genre offerings. It might feature some nudity but it is of a very half-hearted variety and in the main this is a quite a thoughtful drama in many ways. Seemingly it sat on the shelf for two years before a distributor was found to release it but this is no indication that the product is low quality, as in my opinion this is a pretty good domestic drama. It has a few interesting observations about relationships and dependencies. It benefits also from featuring Karen Black in the lead role, she is a much better calibre of actor than Crown International usually are fortunate to have any involvement with and her presence here definitely improves the film. I have found that its often the least typical Crown offerings that often are among their best and this one is no different to that rule of thumb.
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    SEPARATE WAYS feels like a TV movie version of the kind of film that KRAMER VS KRAMER was - i.e., a slow-moving drama about a marriage in trouble. The plot involves Karen Black, who plays an unhappy housewife who begins an affair with a much younger man. Problems arise as it transpires that her husband is also having an affair, and sparks fly when the truth is uncovered.

    This was put out by the notorious Crown International Pictures, so you might be forgiven for expecting this to be full of sleaze and depravity, but it's no such thing. In fact, even the sex and nudity is kept to a bare minimum. It's more of a dialogue-heavy drama, although sadly for me the material isn't really something that grips my attention. While it's nice to see Black in a straight role for a change, she was much more interesting in genre fare like TRILOGY OF TERROR, although a bunch of old-time actors like William Windom and even Sybil Danning do show their faces.
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    I came across this movie looking through a list of films that Robert Fuller was in. A review of the cast list, and the basic scenario; and the fact that I could watch it on Amazon Prime made it an easy decision to give it a look. I enjoyed where the movie tried to go in telling a story of a couple dealing with infidelity. I thought there was good character development with the Colby's but I did wonder about the chemistry between Tony LoBianco and Karen Black; for all the nudity, the closed lip kisses seemed out of place. My only quip would be that I would have liked to see at least one scene that solidified the fact Ken and Woody were best friends; I, as a viewer was told this through casual conversation in the movie, but the movie didn't really show me that bond on screen. It also felt more like a made for TV movie sprinkled with nudity. That aside, I liked it.
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    The only reason why I bother, is because this one was included with the answer to my quest to find NIGHT CLUB, the Crown International rip-off (er, strike that, I have found some interesting performances) known as "Dangerous Babes" that notorious 3 disk set with 12 movies by the kings of loser fare.

    You could say that it is my misfortune to have seen NIGHT CLUB decades ago, barely remembering it, wanting to see what my fuss was about, but being unable to find it in singular form. I wasn't keen on the purchase.

    Scouting those included titles, I spotted some dodos, not that I knew any of them, but this one, SEPARATE WAYS, featuring Karen Black, I just new this to be a no-hoper. The name Karen Black doesn't exactly give me a buzz. I always thought she was the wrong choice for CAPRICORN ONE. She's best remembered as the horror face in BURNT OFFERINGS. Not exactly romantic movie material.

    This afternoon though, I do believe, I have now seen everything, believe me, I have. Karen Black as a Foxy Lady. Actually, she was kind of cute, with the big red tail and pointy ears, cute in a Karen Black way.

    A couple days ago I learned that she died a few years ago. So, with that damper on things, not gonna say much more.

    A reviewer here mentioned that Karen is a better actress than the average Crown International fare. Could be. Fails to make one damn difference to the viewing experience. For it's a hell of a boring relationship drama movie with unappealing main protagonists.

    And hardly a good print. Looks like it went a couple rounds through some hicksville drive-in theaters.

    Avoid. Avoid it if you can. I've now seen five of the twelve, busy with a sixth, and the consensus is: AWFUL movies, here and there saved by pretty girls making noteworthy appearances. But the movies are AWFUL as in BAD as in YUCK.

    Crown International Pictures, not a symbol of quality. Understatement.
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    The Plot.

    A wife unhappy in her marriage begins an affair with an art student, unaware that her husband, a race driver, is also having an affair.


    Crazy Karen Black stars in what appears to be a TV movie but it's not.

    It's just directed that way.


    Black still had a good body when this was made.

    She must have been a firecracker in bed during her prime.

    Alas, Black's enormous jugs do not a movie make and soon you will be bored out of your mind.

    This happens about 19 minutes in.