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Grand Theft Auto
Buy the DVD  Barnes &
Buy the VHSBarnes &
Length:1 Hour 24 Minutes
Cast:Ron Howard, Ron Howard, Nancy Morgan, Marion Ross

In exchange for being allowed to make his directorial debut in Grand Theft Auto, Ron Howard agreed to take no salary as a director, merely as star and co-screenwriter (with his dad Rance). The perfunctory plot finds Sam Freeman (Howard) eloping with his heiress girlfriend Paula Powers (Nancy Morgan). Her mob-connected dad Bigby Powers (Barry Cahill) vehemently opposes the marriage, and isn't about to change his mind now that Sam has stolen his Rolls-Royce and sped off to Las Vegas with his daughter in tow. The car-crash scenes are effective without being spectacular, while the chase sequences are enjoyable without ever lapsing into Smokey and the Bandit silliness. Marion Ross, Howard's Happy Days mom, scores with an offbeat supporting characterization. Featured in the cast of Grand Theft Auto is former child-actor Bobs Watson, who by 1977 had become an ordained minister (and is appropriately cast as one). Hal Erickson

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