Tom Ewell, Pamela Sue Martin and Darren O'Connor in Buzz Kulik's affecting "To Find a Man" (1972)Buzz Kulik, who died in 1999 at age 77, worked mostly in TV and is perhaps best known for his superior male weepie, "Brian's Song" (1971), about the friendship of NFLers Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and the eventual, tragic death of Piccolo.
He started his career on the tube and ended there. But for a brief period, Kulik - a selfless craftsman, if there ever was one - ventured onto the big screen with such titles as "Warning Shot" (1967), starring David Janssen; "Riot" (1969), with Jim Brown and Gene Hackman, and Burt Reynolds' "Shamus" (1973), co-starring a game Dyan Cannon.
And then there was "To Find a Man" (1972), a tiny gem-like feature, adapted from the S.J. Wilson novel by Arnold Schulman - an extremely well-cast piece about a young girl, as they used to say, in trouble and about the brave boy who steps up and shyly helps her out.
With this film and Peter Hyams' also underrated "Our Time" (1974), the young Pamela Sue Martin positioned herself as a starlet to watch before becoming waylaid by the "Dallas" TV series. She's cast opposite Darren O'Connor (brother of Glynnis), seen here in his only feature film.
They make a naturalistic, affecting couple.
The ace supporting cast includes Lloyd Bridges and Phyllis Newman as Martin's parents; Tom Ewell, cast against type as a doctor who performs abortions and Tom Bosely who, as another doctor, has the film's most memorable line. When Martin asks him what the fetus of her unborn child looks like, Bosley deadpans, "a tadpole." Also on hand are veteran character actress Antonia Rey and the then-newcomer Miles Chapin who would appear together a few years later in Milos Foreman's "Hair" (1979).
Kulik's small film brims with compassion and, in Martin, it has an unstoppable life force. The director's affection for his material and his characters has never been more fervent - something that's revealed in the fully-realized performances that dot "To Find a Man."