Theme Song: Although there is no specific theme song to speak of, all the other music is credited to veteran composer Francis Lai. None of it is very remarkable, though.
Interesting Dated References: People coming up with kidnapping schemes in order to make money.
Best Line: Said by a bitter, jaded actor played by Robert Vaughn – “I’d rather puke than ride into another sunset.”
Social Context: The making of this movie must have been so confusing: French director – Italian producers – American and French actors. Even the title is confusing since almost everything you can read about this movie online refers to it as Scar Tissue. It’s no wonder the movie is a bit disjointed and has basically been disowned by all involved. In fact, director Rene Clement (Is Paris Burning?) never made another movie after this. But it’s not the worst movie in the world, and it hardly seemed to merit abandoning an entire career.
Summary: Young actress Ann is having an affair with a wealthy food baron, whom basically tells her to get lost, and in a fit of passion she runs out of the house and gets hit by a car. Fast-forward an uncounted number of months, and Ann is all better and has become a good friend and roommate with Michelle, a passenger in the vehicle that hit her. She’s also become close with Henderson, the man who witnessed the accident, who also happens to be the accountant of the food baron she was withdrawing fluids from. Totally plausible.
After her recovery, Ann immediately goes back to work on a movie, and during a proposed nude scene with Robert Vaughn, she freaks out. Turns out she has giant scars all over her boobs. Instead of telling anyone about this, she just lets them all think she’s overly dramatic about showing her boobs. Ann then goes home and talks to her roommate Michelle about how broke they are.
Michelle is played by actress Maria Schneider who was fresh off her run with Last Tango in Paris , The Passenger, and a bunch of other foreign movies Americans don’t care about. As a result, I think the filmmakers thought they had a guaranteed international hit on their hands.
Ann is played by Sydne Rome who is an Ohio-born European actress who recorded pop songs, acted in Euro/Italian movies, and made exercise videos. That seriously sounds like a great career.
Okay, so in order to make some cash, Michelle takes a babysitting gig, despite her boyfriend/fiancé’s annoying protesting (and over-acting). As it would turn out, and I’m going to ruin the whole movie here, but does it really matter, the babysitting gig is an extortion scheme, set-up by bitter actor Robert Vaughn’s character, Accountant Henderson, Young Actress Ann, and a disgruntled stuntman. The plan is to kidnap the food baron’s kid, get a bunch of money, return the kid.
Ann kidnaps the kid by posing as a babysitter and stashes him at a secure location. Michelle arrives to baby-sit, and the kid hides from her, thinking her to be the person who kidnapped him. During the course of this hiding, he finds none other than Vic-fucking-Morrow hiding in the garage.
This freaks out Michelle and the kid, whose name is Boots, but sounds like “Boobs,” and they proceed to hide in terror. Eventually they signal an elderly neighbor, but before she can do anything, the maniacal Vic Morrow runs across the street and kills her.
Vic is balls-out-of-the-front-of-his-pants nuts in this movie. Everything he says is shouted.
So Vic’s killing of the old lady causes a whole backlash with Robert Vaughn and the rest of the extortionists.
This entire time there’s a subplot going on with Michelle’s fiancé. He’s trying to locate her and keeps going to the police. Eventually he figures out where she is being held and Vic Morrow chases him off. He then tells Ann and Robert Vaughn. Playing dumb, Robert Vaughn takes him to the police. When the bumbling fiancé, Robert Vaughn, and the police arrive at the house, Vic Morrow and Ann have already cleaned it up and made it look vacant.
Then there’s a cash drop and just when Robert Vaughn gets his money, Vic Morrow blows up his car and makes off with the cash. Oh and somewhere in there, Vic Morrow went nuts on Michelle and chopped her hair up like she was going to art school.
Boots (the kid) is returned home safely. Michelle returns home to find Ann dead in the bathtub. Vic Morrow shows up all upset, then Michelle recognizes him and runs away. Her solution to her problem is to go lie down in some weird bed that I think is on the stage Ann was acting on when she wouldn’t show her disfigured breasts. I think.
Poster and Box Art: The box art for this particular Beta looks like a bad 1980s Andy Warhol print. Wanted: Babysitter received a wide international release under a handful of different titles. I think the main reason was because of Maria Schneider’s international fame after Last Tango in Paris. Look at all these different posters:
It’s almost comical. There are a few more I didn’t include. None of them even have anything in common, they’re all totally different!
Availability: Since nobody seems to want to take ownership of Wanted: Babysitter or it’s various title incarnations, it seems to have fallen into public domain. That means you can get a shitty washed out print on DVD for $10. As an added bonus, it appears the print of the movie on this DVD is in black and white.