Poor Ryan O'Neal couldn't catch a break. Even two films now considered classics didn't make money in the 1970's upon release. His daughter Tatum's BAD NEWS BEARS beat the pants off both Stanley Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON and Walter Hill's THE DRIVER...

While the comparably mainstream and now basically forgotten OLIVER'S STORY did even worse... ironic being the sequel to what's considered the first most lucrative pre-JAWS summer blockbuster, LOVE STORY, as Ryan himself had a reason/theory of why it failed: Intellectual thinking man's ingenue Nicola Pagett (resembling cult starlet Pamela Franklin) was supposed to be the girl he winds up with as, early on, they share a blind date, which is more interesting and with far more chemistry than any of O'Neal's scenes with wooden rich girl Candace Bergen, who, being the studio's choice of perfect and pretty, made it so Nicola's third act return was left on the cutting room floor. And while OLIVER'S STORY is not a bad picture... with a particularly clever style of quick-editing so the scene being cut-from seems deliberately unfulfilled (like happens in ROSEMARY'S BABY)... there are relaxing moments within the mahogany-hued classy-to-poor New York City where idealistic rich kid Oliver, a lawyer, fights a slum lord with student employees: yet there's simply no inner peace or contentment for the titular character or his titular story: all he needed was the right girl, who was perfectly whin reach. Rates: ***

Nicola Pagett as Joanna Stone in Oliver's Story

Nicola Pagett as Joanna Stone in Oliver's Story

Nicola Pagett with Ryan O'Neal in Oliver's Story
Ann Risley & Deborah Rush are two bar girls in Oliver's Story

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