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Howzer (1973)

Howzer Cassel and his sister Deborah, feel like run-always long before they one day, at the ages of 12 and 14, scrape up enough money and actually flee to California.


Ken Luber (as Ken Lawrence)


Ken Luber (as Ken Lawrence)


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Credited cast:
Peter Desiante Peter Desiante ... Howard 'Howzer' Carsell
Melissa Stocking Melissa Stocking ... Debora
Royal Dano ... Nick Murack
William Gray William Gray ... Albert Murack
Virgil Frye ... Joe Day
Olive Deering ... Mary Carver
Ed Gilbert ... Edward Carsell
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Faye Carsell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Dean David Dean
Elaine Partnow
Wonderful Smith Wonderful Smith
Ed Van Nordic Ed Van Nordic
Steven Vaughan Steven Vaughan


Howzer Cassel and his sister Deborah, feel like run-always long before they one day, at the ages of 12 and 14, scrape up enough money and actually flee to California. Feeling misunderstood, tired of school and bored with the comfortable Midwestern lifestyle that their parents have provided, Howzer and Deborah daydream for relief. But when they aboard a train headed for Los Angeles, they believe their dream of something better will take them to a happier life. What they find is not at all what they had expected. Forced to jump the train outside Los Angeles to avoid discovery, Howzer's innocence quickly begins to be destroyed in the rugged and sparsely populated California countryside. Hungry and tired, they meet Nick and his retarded son, Albert, two hunters escaping the heat and smog of Los Angeles. They drive to "Joe's Place," a remote bar and restaurant run by Joe and Mary. As Howzer and Deborah learn more about these new adults in their lives, relief and curiosity turn to fear and ... Written by Ken Luber

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Release Date:

January 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joe's Place See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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User Reviews

28 January 2008 | by zeppo-2See all my reviews

Young twelve year old, Howard (Howzer), daydreams of running away to sea on a pirate ship but his dull existence and bland home life do little in comparison, Hence he runs away with his slightly older sister (14), Debs to seek the glamour of Los Angeles and beyond.

And really, that's it...not a lot else happens in fact. They do run into a strange ex-Nam Viet, Nick, played by old timer Royal Dano, the only 'name' in this film, in the woods when they become lost. Taken by him and his somewhat backward son to the local store cum bar, they are also befriended by the owners and given food and drink. For some reason, none of the adults seem too anxious to contact the parents who in a separate subplot blame themselves and angst all over the place.

It all seems rather twee and naive in this modern age of paedophilia and child abuse, that two young kids can wander off and come to no real harm along the way. Yes, Nick's son does go a bit strange in his attentions to young Debs but this isn't overtly sexual to my mind and when he is shot by his own father, it does seem a over the top reaction. More to do with his son's mental problems and the father's drinking than the children's.

Eventually, the kids are reunited with their parents and all is well, except in the closing scene, Howzer dreams again of the high seas of adventure and attempts to run off once more.

Guess you could put this into the film category of 'coming of age,' but it's a strange little oddity and I'm not sure what the writer or director were trying to say here. I was left with the feeling that I was watching part of an unfinished series or had missed parts along the way.

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