For Pete's Sake
is a bright-eyed romantic comedy about a young couple, the eternally optimistic Henrietta (Barbra Streisand) and her husband Pete (Michael Sarrazin), who works by day as a cab driver while studying at night school. Money is tight, a fact constantly brought home to them by Pete's successful but tedious brother, Fred (William Redfield) and his bitchy wife Helen (Estelle Parsons, quite superb here). When Pete hears of an opportunity to make money on the stock market (on pork bellies, of all things) he's desperate to get his hands on $3,000, believing it will make everything come right. After conventional sources have turned them down, Henrietta secretly turns to a loan shark on the understanding that he'll be paid back in a week.
The comedy arises when the shares in pork do a belly flop and her contract is sold on to increasingly dubious characters at increasingly exorbitant rates of interest. Thus, we have her taken on by a high-class madam and getting embroiled in bomb-planting and cattle-rustling. As a vehicle for Streisand-the-actress rather than Streisand-the-singer, it certainly works (though she does perform the vapid title-song), her manic comedic skill chiming well with the demands of her character in this amiable piece of froth.
On the DVD: For Pete's Sake is pretty thin on the special features front: theatrical trailers; a director's commentary (reasonably worthwhile); and basic filmographies. The picture has come up surprisingly well given its age, and though it's in mono, there are no complaints about the sound either. --Harriet Smith
DVD Special Features:
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles: (Movie Only) Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Feature length time: 86 mins approx