C.C. & Company (1970) – Broadway Joe Goes to Hollywood

“That’s what gives motorcycling a bad name.”

Drake’s rating: Hut one! Hut two! Hut! Hut!

Drake’s review: Joe Namath was a pretty big deal in the ‘70s. As a college quarterback for the University of Alabama, he won the national championship and was subsequently picked first overall by the New York Jets in the 1965 draft. In 1969 he shocked the sports world by guaranteeing a victory for the underdog Jets against the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, a game that New York did win 16-7.

“Broadway Joe” had secured his status as a sports icon, and Hollywood came calling.

Professional athletes appearing in movies is a storied tradition stretching all the way back to the Silent Era, when heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey starred in the 1920 serial Daredevil Jack. But while Namath may not have shared the screen with Lon Chaney, as Dempsey did, he was lucky enough to have a supporting cast that included bona fide movie star Ann-Margaret and iconic cinematic tough guy William Smith.

In C.C. & Company, Namath is the titular character, a biker who belongs to the Heads. This is a motorcycle club that evidently picked their name out of a hat. C.C. is easy-going and likable, polite to women and generally charming. He’s the Good Biker. Yet Moon (Smith) is the leader of the Heads, and as he is quick to anger, abusive, and generally anti-social, he’s the Bad Biker.

When C.C. rescues Ann (Ann-Margaret) from a broken-down car and then from a pair of fellow Heads, it sets into motion the conflict between the two bikers. Then when C.C. wins a motocross race, the divide grows as Moon becomes jealous of his rival’s success. Eventually, it escalates into all-out conflict when the Heads kidnap Ann.

Helmed by prolific television director Seymour Robbie and written by Ann-Margaret’s husband and manager, Roger Smith (no relation to William), C.C. & Company is a light, breezy affair, especially for a biker flick. The Heads, aside from Smith, are generally goofy rather than menacing, and Namath is his usual likable self. Unfortunately, he’s not much of an actor. His character can basically be summed up as, “Joe Namath… but on a motorcycle!”

William Smith is ideal as the heavy, however. A veteran actor and B-movie stalwart by 1970, and known for his roles in biker films such as Run, Angel, Run!, the muscular Smith could always be counted on to play a threatening baddie. Fluent in five languages (“…and a little bit of English,” he joked in Louis Paul’s Tales from the Cult Film Trenches), Smith would later work for director John Milius as Conan’s father in Conan the Barbarian and as the Russian Colonel Strelnikov in Red Dawn.

Unfortunately, Ann-Margaret isn’t given much to do other than look beautiful and showcase some outstanding 1970s eyeliner. A motorcyclist herself, she never gets the chance to prove it in the film, other than to zip around on a mini-scooter alongside C.C.’s chopper in a single scene. It’s a missed opportunity, especially as the movie’s climax would have been much improved by Ann-Margaret saddling up on a hog and racing William Smith, with a laconic Joe Namath looking on from the sidelines, football in hand and toothy grin in place.


  • Among the Heads are Bruce (father of Crispin) Glover and future Rob Zombie regular Sid Haig.
  • The music is by Lenny Stack, who went on to score awards shows for some four decades.
  • William Smith created his own monologues for both Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn (the latter of which he spoke in Russian).
  • Smith also taught Russian studies at UCLA while working towards his PhD.
  • Ann-Margaret and Roger Smith were married for fifty years, until his death in 2017.

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