Mother, Jugs & Speed

Mother, Jugs & Speed
Mother, Jugs & Speed

DVD cover
Directed by Peter Yates
Produced by Peter Yates
Tom Mankiewicz
Written by Stephen Manes
Tom Mankiewicz
Starring Bill Cosby
Raquel Welch
Harvey Keitel
Cinematography Ralph Woolsey
Editing by Frank P. Keller
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 26, 1976
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mother, Jugs & Speed is a 1976 black comedy film directed by Peter Yates. It stars Bill Cosby (Mother), Raquel Welch (Jugs), Harvey Keitel (Speed), and Larry Hagman as employees of an independent ambulance service trying to survive in Los Angeles.



The F+B Ambulance Company is locked in an intense battle with the all-Black Unity Ambulance Company to win a city contract for providing ambulance service to a territory within Los Angeles. Their star driver is "Mother" Tucker (Cosby), a talented antihero who drinks alcohol on duty, harasses nuns, and behaves brazenly towards practically everybody he meets, including his partner Leroy (Bruce Davison). Indeed, the entire company is a band of misfits, including the hyper-sexual John Murdoch (Larry Hagman), his partner Walker (Michael McManus), putative medical student Bliss (Allan Warnick), and brash Texan "Rodeo" Moxey (Dick Butkus). Handling calls at the switchboard is Jennifer (Welch), whom the drivers nickname "Jugs" for her ample bosom. Harry "Doughnut" Fishbine (Allen Garfield) runs the company, using occasionally underhanded means (such as kickbacks) to maintain an income stream.

When Walker is injured after falling through a staircase on a call, Harry Fishbine hires Tony Malatesta (Keitel), a disgraced police detective and former Vietnam War ambulance driver. Upon learning that Tony has been suspended from the police force due to allegations that he sold cocaine to children, Mother nicknames him "Speed". Speed is initially paired with Murdoch, though their partnership is strained when Speed must stop Murdoch from raping an unconscious female college student who has overdosed on Seconal. On a false emergency call, Leroy is shot and killed by a junkie (played by Toni Basil of 'Hey Mickey' fame) demanding drugs. When Mother pulls a gun on the junkie, the junkie commits suicide. Later that night, a drunken Mother assaults Murdoch for stating that Leroy's death "doesn't count"; though Murdoch states this in regard to the drivers' "dead body" pool, Mother perceives it as an attack on the character of his dead partner. Harry then partners Speed with Mother to alleviate his driver shortage.

Meanwhile, Jugs has obtained her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and ambulance driver certifications, and forces her way onto F+B's active roster with threats of sexual discrimination lawsuits. When Speed fakes an injury to prevent Jugs' arrest for misuse of an ambulance, the two fall in love. Though Jugs proves a capable EMT, she loses her nerve after a pregnant woman under her care suffers a severe obstetrical hemorrhage and bleeds to death in Mother's ambulance. Jugs secludes herself afterward until Mother counsels her and gives her the courage to return to work.

At a City Hall meeting, City Councilman Warren informs the owners of both Unity and F+B that they will not be awarded the contract - it will instead be awarded to a larger, established company. To save their businesses, Unity's owner, Charles Taylor (Bill Henderson), proposes that their two companies merge. Though the councilman is agreeable to the merger, Fishbine is not. The discussion is interrupted by an emergency call: Murdoch, intoxicated and armed with a handgun, has broken into F+B's bus garage office with Walker and is holding Mrs. Fishbine (Valerie Curtin) hostage. All of Unity's and F+B's ambulances descend on the F+B garage; upon arrival, Murdoch opens fire and hits Speed in the shoulder. When Mother charges onto the garage grounds to rescue his ambulance, he comes face to face with Murdoch; Murdoch tries to shoot Mother, but his gun is empty. A deputy sheriff (Ric Carrott) then shoots and kills Murdoch.

In the aftermath of this incident, F+B does merge with Unity, forming the Fishbine + Unity (F+U) Ambulance Company, based out of the old F+B garage. (The new acronym for the company is also a slang abbreviation of "fuck you"; the old F+B stood for "Fish + Bine".) Speed, who has been cleared of all charges, is reinstated to the police force, though he remains romantically involved with Jugs. Jugs is initially relegated to switchboard duty again, until Mother insists that she become his new partner. The two drive off together, with Mother harassing the nuns one more time as the movie ends.


There was originally a role written for professional wrestler Lillian Ellison (The Fabulous Moolah) in the film, but she had to drop out of the role due to a gallbladder infection.[1]

TV Version

20th Century Fox attempted to turn the film into a television series, although none of the original cast participated. The program was titled "Mother, Juggs & Speed" because the network would not allow the lead female character to have a name that made explicit reference to her breasts. Instead, producers added the concept that Jennifer's nickname was taken from her real last name, Juggston. The series was not picked up, but ABC aired the pilot as a one-time special in August 1978.


Joseph Barbera, one half of the legendary cartoon-creating duo Hanna-Barbera, served as executive producer for this movie.


  1. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 150. ISBN 9780060012588. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mother, Jugs & Speed — In diesem Artikel oder Abschnitt fehlen folgende wichtige Informationen: Vollständige Handlung Du kannst Wikipedia helfen, indem du sie recherchierst und einfügst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Йетс, Питер — В Википедии есть статьи о других людях с такой фамилией, см. Йетс. Питер Йетс Peter Yates Дата рождения: 24 июля 1929(1929 07 24) Место рождения …   Википедия