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Monday, March 5, 2012

Pat Boone Helps Erik Estrada Find God in 1969's The Cross and the Switchblade

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge sc_33_thecrossandtheswitchblade.jpg

One of the helpful things about statistics such as book sales or film viewings is that you can neither prove nor disprove them. Has the novel of Battlefield Earth sold more than 6.5 million copies in 24 languages worldwide, as its website claims? Sure, why not? Has the Left Behind series sold 63 million copies, like its website says? Because every thrift store in existence has some, that could well be the case.

So when the official website of The Cross and the Switchblade calls it "one of the most-viewed films in the world," all I can say is, heck, I don't know what the rest of the world is watching. I hardly ever leave San Francisco.

It also means that, statistically, you've already seen this movie -- just like It's a Wonderful Life -- so let's take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the highlights!

The opening Word from the Producer sure makes the Brooklyn Bridge sound ominous (and shadowy).

An underage prostitute leads Pennsylvanian missionary Pat Boone into a drug lair enjoyed by gangs and stinky hippies.

Erik Estrada's movie-length slow boil begins, Pat informs the gangs that his god knows what they're looking for when they play with sex, and he flinches at the word "Allah" (peace be upon him).

The lengthy rumble, set not to Link Wray but rather composer Ralph Carmichael's own funktastic "Rumble." Carmichael's soundtrack is chock full o' fun -- but not always as funky -- Mike Curb Congregation-wannabe tunes. Download it for free here.

Pat's Sermon on the Bench. Erik starts to simmer.

Erik's rumble-flashback nightmare is interrupted by Pat, and the tighty-whitied Erik starts boiling over.

Erik's multisyllabic pronunciation of "whore" is entertaining...

... but not quite up there with Danny Devito in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Anyhow, Pat finally gets through to Erik, causing Erik to trip balls on Jesus.

But, sadly, Pat Boone's burden is never done. Those teens are a challenge, dontchaknow.

The entire film can be watched on YouTube -- 52 views and counting!


Sherilyn Connelly is a San Francisco-based writer. She also curates and hosts Bad Movie Night at The Dark Room, every Sunday at 8pm.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF (follow Sherilyn Connelly on Twitter at @sherilyn) and like us on Facebook.

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