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
Legendary superstar Barbra Streisand brings her magic to the screen as Henrietta ('), the devoted but zany wife of cabby Pete (Michael Sarrazin). Henry will stop at nothing to put Pete through school, so when Pete gets a hot tip on the stock market, Henry raises $3,000, convincing him that the loan came from her rich uncle instead of the local loan shark! But as the stock tumbles, the interest rate escalates - and so does the pace as Henry gets herself into one wacky mess after another trying to earn the money back before Pete finds out. A hilarious farce with a marvelous supporting cast, including 1967 Oscar®-winner Estelle Parsons (Best Supporting Actress for Bonnie and Clyde), Molly Picon, William Redfield . . . and a Brahma Bull!