I adored MIchael Parks at age sixteen and he starred in this film shortly before his TV series ALONG CAME BRONSON. In this one he is backed by: Ann Margaret, Kim Darby, Janet Margolin, Jocelyn Brando, Mimy Farmer. It has the vibe of a sixties movie, not sure exactly where to land.
Bus Riley's Back in Town finds a young man returning from a stint in the Navy to a world that is not quite the one he left behind. His unscrupulous and devastating ex-girlfriend Laurel (Ann Margret) has married an older and wealthier man. The job he's been promised disappears. Bus Riley's relationship with his old girlfriend is no less than a drug, he cannot resist her as she zaps him of all his morality and his resolve and sense of self. His mother watches him sink, trying to hold on to her son and leave him enough room to find his way back from the hell of sexual addiction.
The film is provocative and sexy and yet rather sweet. Perhaps the scenes between the two teen girls keep the film from devolving into bathetic melodrama. This is a crossroads when the 50's greaser chic meets 60's Beatle chic, a cultural phenomenon rarely noted.
Just when it seems he is losing himself again, his little sister's best friend's mother sets their house on fire in an alcoholic haze, killing herself and leaving the girl homeless. The tragedy brings the Rileys together as they remember what matters - family - and the young girlfriend finds a home with the Rileys.