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The California Kid

214 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A forgotten action gem about a young man (Sheen) who faces off against the sinister sheriff (Morrow) who killed his brother. Featuring the most daring and amazing car chases this side of Bullitt, The California Kid burns rubber with a dynamite cast, including Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte. Vic Morrow turns in one of his finest performances as the twisted sheriff, a man with nasty habits that must be seen to be believed. A wonderful, action-packed film, filled with exotic antique cars and beautiful mountain vistas.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Michelle Phillips, Stuart Margolin, Vic Morrow, Martin Sheen
  • Directors: Richard T. Heffron
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shout! Factory / Timeless Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000S88JT8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The California Kid" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b VINE VOICE on July 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very good TV movie from the mid 70's. The story is about a small town and it's sadistic sheriff(played by Vic Morrow) who has a unique way of dealing with out of town highway speeders. He just rams them until they go out of control and go over the side a famous cliff on the outskirts of the small town. Saves a lot of time and the tax payers money! right? That is until the "California Kid"(played by Martin Sheen) comes to town looking for his brother, who's missing! I was lucky enough to order this through Amazon when it was available! The DVD transfer is very good, but no extras. I would be happy to have a few classic TV movies on DVD like this, extras or not! Keep them coming! "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark", "Bad Ronald", "The Boy Who Cried Werewolf", "Trapped", "Dark Night Of The Scarecrow" Oh the 70's TV movies were great!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Trevor William Douglas on January 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a pleasant surprise to find this 1974 televison film in pristine condition!

Billed as ABC TVs 200th 'Movie Of The Week'

Martin Sheen is excellent as always and is ably supported by Nick Nolte, Stuart Margolin and Michelle Phillips.
Vic Morrow steals the show as Sheriff Roy Childress.
Look fast for Martin's real life brother Joe Estevez, playing his screen brother, at the beginning of the film.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Green Manalishi on May 24, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Awesome early 70s soundtrack - as funky as that car - it's ultra swanky with lots of wah-wah guitar and stuff that could have worked for Soul Cinema or Blaxploitation movies - in a word, it's very well done and contributes a lot to the atmosphere of the film - even though the story is supposedly taking place in the 50s, a good decade or so before music sounded like this! Actually, the movie is a mixed bag for me.

The Good:

Martin Sheen and Vic Morrow put in great performances.
Music is great, as mentioned.
Story has potential, but...

The Bad:

...but kind of falls flat in the end so that when it's over you're like, "That's it?". Anti-climatic.

The Ugly:

Bare bones production. But I didn't really mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 19, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Just popped in the new Blu-Ray version....it looks very very good. Much better than one might expect from a decades old TV movie of the week. Obviously shot on film its a nice 73minute flick that is almost more fun from the standpoint of watching Vic Morrow (between this and Dirty Mary Crazy Larry he corned the market on jerkwater USA Sheriffs in the 70's), and a very young Martin Sheen and Nick Nolte than the story itself. If you are into retro shows or car movies and haven't bought it I'd recommend the extra couple of bucks for the blu-ray.
There are NO bonus features.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rykre on August 14, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
This is a pretty decent made-for-TV movie. Even here it's in the 1:33 standard TV frame. The story is pretty decent but it's definitely nothing you'd enjoy in the theatre. It was made in 1974 and for a TV movie, it certainly has an impressive cast. Seeing Martin Sheen in his 20's is a treat for Sheen fans, and this movie also had Vic Morrow (Bad News Bears, Twilight Zone: The Movie) as a sadistic sheriff and Michelle Phillips (formerly a singer from the Mamas and the Papas), Nick Nolte (48 hours, Cape Fear) and even Gavan O'Herlihy (Never Say Never Again, Superman III).

The story was pretty predictable: Kid seeks revenge from a bad sheriff who killed his brother though it was reported as a speeding accident.

The only problem with this movie is the fact that it's on Blu-Ray. For Blu-Ray, this picture quality is deplorable. I found it in the discount bin basket at Frye's Electronics. All the Blu-Ray discs in there were selling for about 6 bucks or less. Oh well, I've spent more on two beers so I guess that wasn't too bad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Only Bond on September 20, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
FINALLY after watching this for years on a lousy tape copy, The Kid arrives on DVD!! My only wish is that they would have also included the SPEED CHANNEL 25th Anniversary Special. Hmmm.... perhaps a SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION is in the works for a future release that will include this special with interviews with Kid builder Pete Chapouris, producer Howie Horwitz and revisiting the town "Clarksburg, CA" used in the filming. Never got to see this on SPEED CHANNEL.... or any where else for that matter.

I have always dreamed of owning my own Kid someday but sadly I'll have to settle for the movie. This is a MUST HAVE MOVIE for any hot rodder or car nut and is enjoyable over and over!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 12, 2015
Format: DVD
When you think of the coolest cars to ever appear in a television show or movie, what do you think of? The Barris Batmobile? The Duke’s General Lee? The Bandit’s Trans Am? For me the coolest car ever was the California Kid! That’s not the nickname of a character in this movie, it’s the name of his hot rod!

OK, it’s 1958 and Sheriff Roy Childress (played by Vic Morrow) believes that lawbreakers should be punished, especially those who drive fast...like the hit-and-run driver that killed his wife and little daughter. To help their punishment along, the Sheriff has souped-up his squad car, and uses his push bars to force speeders off the road on a particularly dangerous curve. But, when a stranger drives into town in the hottest of hot rods, and begins digging into the recent “accidents,” Roy knows that trouble has come. Michael McCord’s (Martin Sheen) brother was killed on that dangerous curve, and he knows that something is seriously wrong in Clarksberg. And he’s going to put it right.

When you think of made-for-TV movies, you figure the movie is probably pretty bad, right? Well, this 1974 ABC movie is surprisingly great. Martin Sheen does a great job of playing the role of a sort of grown-up James Dean, a rebel who now has a cause. And Vic Morrow presents a very good Sheriff Roy, a man who is deadly earnest...deadly, deadly earnest. Plus, there’s even a rather young Nick Nolte. The story itself is very good, as we watch Roy as the bad guy, and McCord unraveling the mystery of his brother’s death.

The music is very 70s, which is no surprise, and having been a TV movie, it has that irritating thing of musical crescendos coming right before where a commercial would have been. But, that said, it is a great movie.
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