ROBERT DRIVAS AND EDY WILLIAMS ARE WHERE’S IT AT!
I recently caught on TCM one of those outdated late Sixties generational gap movies I love to watch. This one is called Where’s It At and centers on a father and son. Daddy owns Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas. He is a Type A personality always barking orders to everyone around him including his new young wife, his insecure secretary, and practically anyone who wanders into his path. His shy Princeton graduate son, with the 1964 Beatles haircut and mod clothes, wants nothing to do with his father’s business and only wants some bread to go to Europe. A losing bet keeps sonnyboy in Vegas for the summer where he slowly turns into dear ole dad–even swiping majority ownership in the casino and knocking up poppa’s secretary. The movie is fast-paced and entertaining, nicely capturing the Vegas of yore, but horribly edited and disjointed at times complete with Laugh-In-type fast clips of Vegas with jokey voice-overs by a then comedy troupe.
The film’s two major stars were David Janssen who bellows his way through the movie as the father and the always annoying Brenda Vaccaro in her Golden Globe-nominated screen debut as the secretary who falls for the son.
For me, more interesting is the rest of the cast beginning with sexy Robert Drivas as the son. Sadly the actor died of AIDS in 1986 and I am not certain if he was homosexual, but his character’s sexuality is questioned throughout most of the movie. His father even calls him a Faggot once or twice. If this talented guy was gay, that must have stung. He gives an intense believable performance though he is ridiculously costumed, even for 1969, but does sport quite a cute little butt. Watching I kept seeing him as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. One wonders if he was considered for the part. Drivas’ prior movie was Cool Hand Luke and he would make a few more forgetable ones before becoming a respected theatre director before his death.
Pretty Rosemary Forsyth plays Janssen’s young wife and with her short blonde hairdo she surprisingly resembled Carol Lynley and Diane McBain. I found her to be a bit too wispy, but liked her. However, her part is particularly poorly edited as you just don’t follow the character’s motivations. She and Janssen began an affair during production that went on for 3 years.
Finally, two showgirls are played by Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood’s Warrene Ott and the always scene-stealing Edy Williams who for me is the standout actress not Vaccaro. Ott (films include Rat Fink; The Undertaker and His Pals; The Invincible Six; and The Witchmaker) is totaly overshadowed by the blonde buxom Williams as a shrewd showgirl who likes money. When Janssen offers her a spot as a topless showgirl, she wants to know how much more money it pays and then for a price agrees to seduce his son to see if he is straight. Drivas finds the scantily-clad Williams in his bed and turns out she is smarter than what she pretends. He leaves without having sex with her, but not before planting a deep long kiss on her confusing the girl even more.
Here’s to you Edy: