George Segal steals the show (as usual) in this romantic comedy, but it's Glenda Jackson who won the Oscar for A Touch of Class. Her stuffy and dour character (as usual) isn't really anything special -- she's the straight man to Segal's hambone, a married man who's desperately trying to get the British Jackson into bed, despite his old age (back spasms, and so on). A Touch of Class tries to turn infidelity into comedy gold, as many of its 1970s compatriots also did, victims of the sexual revolution. Too bad that today, the film is dated, relying too much on slapstick humor and saddled with now-stale gags. Hilarious for its time? (Hilarious enough for a Best Picture nomination?) You be the judge.
Radical working-class bigot Joe (Peter Boyle) certainly has some ideas ("32 percent of all liberals are queers!"), and in his namesake cult film, he discovers that the wealthy father (Dennis Patrick) of a junkie (Susan Sarandon in her awkward motion picture debut) has murdered her drug dealing boyfriend. He extorts Patrick into a friendship, and together they strike up an unlikely friendship. Unfortunately, after the initial shock wears off, so does Joe wear out his friendship in the film. Little happens for the last hour, leaving us to wonder if writer Norman Wexler couldn't have fashioned a better story for this creep to wander through.