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Drive, He Said

Drive, He Said

Drive, He Said is a 1971 American independent film directed by Jack Nicholson, in his directorial debut, and starring William Tepper, Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Robert Towne, and Henry Jaglom. Based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Jeremy Larner, the film follows a disenchanted college basketball player who is having an affair with a professor's wife, as well as dealing with his counterculture roommate's preoccupation with avoiding the draft in the Vietnam War. The film features minor supporting performances by David Ogden Stiers, Cindy Williams, and Michael Warren. The screenplay was adapted by Larner and Nicholson, and included uncredited contributions from Terence Malick.

Plot

Hector Bloom is a laconic, libidinous college basketball star distracted by obligations and current events: the misadventures of his volatile roommate Gabriel, a potential pro career, the draft, campus unrest, and a turbulent affair with Olive, the wife of Richard, a professor and friend. His coach pays special attention to him, given Hector's abilities, but is unsure how to get him to focus and fulfill his potential. Hector's attitude, and his coach's frustration, is exemplified by a meeting before an important late-season game where the coach instructs him to "play it straight out there tonight, I don't want any fooling around at all"; to his coach's exasperation, Hector replies "Why not?"