blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Amblin’ (1968, Steven Spielberg)

A scene from AMBLIN', directed by Steven Spielberg for Four Star Excelsior.

Amblin’ might have more charm if I cared about hippies. The film should be called, The Adventures of Two Hitchhiking Hippies. Or one and a half hippies. I’m not even sure they’re supposed to be hippies, maybe just kind of hippies. There’s no dialogue in the film (oddly, it’s not even implied the two protagonists talk to each other even off screen) so it’s hard to know.

The majority of the film’s very long twenty-six minutes plays like a reel of commercials. There’s a cigarette commercial, a candy commercial, then some unspecified ones. They’re well-made commercials, I suppose.

Spielberg has some good shots. Nothing great, but some decent, ambitious composition. His story’s pretty lame though. Leading man Richard Levin is bad even without having to speak. Pamela McMyler is far better.

The big reveal is weak and obvious; it ruins any good will Amblin’ had going for it.

1/3Not Recommended


Written, directed and edited by Steven Spielberg; director of photography, Allen Daviau; music by Michael Lloyd; produced by Denis Hoffman; released by Four Star Excelsior.

Starring Richard Levin and Pamela McMyler.


2 responses to “Amblin’ (1968, Steven Spielberg)”

  1. That’s wild! I’ve never seen this movie but have heard about it for eons, since it was of course Spielberg’s film debut. Jerry Lewis even makes a glowing reference to it in his 1970 book “The Total Film-Maker.”

  2. Martin Fennell

    I thought it was very good.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: