Steelyard Blues is an erratically amusing slapstick comedy about non-conformists.
Screenplay spotlights Donald Sutherland as ring-leader of some drop-outs which also include kid brother John Savage and Peter Boyle, who does a hilarious takeoff of Marlon Brando’s The Wild One image. Jane Fonda is the town hooker whose customers include most of the city hall, including Sutherland’s prime-adversary, his older brother Howard Hesseman, a politically ambitious DA.
The drop-outs focus their energies on restoring an old US Navy amphibian plane, and their search for spare parts leads to a climactic raid on a nearby naval air station.
Like many other films, this one suffers from a lingering late 1960s social-protest plot fibre, the result being an odd combination of nostalgia and anachronism.