1971 Gilda Texter
Seventeen-year-old Ricki (GILDA TEXTER) runs away from her small mid-Western hometown in search of Roger, her only friend and confidant, who is living in Venice, California. Ricki believes that finding Roger and resuming their platonic friendship will straighten out her mixed-up life. She is the illegitimate daughter of the town whore who has grown up suspicious and hateful of all men.
She hitchhikes to California and soon discovers that she is prey for lone male drivers who expect favors from attractive girls. After a succession of nightmarish incidents, including an attack by a sharpy in a Cadillac (RON GANS) from whom she escapes by hitting him over the head with a rock, she encounters Frank Gardner (WILLIAM SMITH). She instinctively trusts him and accepts a ride which takes her to Venice. A private detective on his way to a special assignment, he doesn't demand sex from her and they strike up a genuine friendship.
Frank leaves Ricki in Venice with a promise to keep an eye out for her while he works
in the area and she searches for her friend. Alone in the beach town, Ricki encounters some of the strange types who live there, including a Chopper Rider (JIM WHITWORTH), an Old Bum (CARL STEPLING) and a Drunk (DON GAZZANICA) in an alley who tries to attack her. She flees and meets up with a young girl hippie, Addle Johnson (PAULA GUYTON) who takes her to shelter in a communal crash pad. She attracts the attention of the commune leader (REED BOOKER) who drugs her and tries to take her. She resists and when his attention is diverted, she escapes.
The half-nude Ricki is rescued and given new shelter by Lorri Nor-cross (RITA MURRAY), a beauty who sleeps with men for money but who prefers women for real love and passion. Lorri is immediately attracted to Ricki and decides to gradually and subtly convert her to Lesbianism by befriending her while she seeks Roger. The plan works and Lorri gradually overcomes Ricki's aversion to sex, although it results in an extreme emotional dilemma for the already mixed-up girl. Ricki's emotional confusion increases after an encounter with Lorri's mother (JOANNE MOORE JORDAN) and, afterward, she unsuccessfully tries out heterosexual love with a young stud, Buddy (TOM BAKER) who she meets through Addie.
Her emotional problems are diverted when she meets Frank again and they join in a renewed search for Roger. The trail leads to an encounter with a strange young man, Nathan (DAN KNAPP), who clues them to the conclusion that Roger is committed to a homosexual life, and thus the trail ends. However, Ricki realizes that Frank may be the person. she really has been looking for and who may help her to a normal relationship with men. She begins to straighten out, but their relationship has to end when Frank's work calls him back East. Ricki remains in Venice and starts a new life by befriending a kind young man, Gregg (ROBERT BEAN), whom she had met earlier but to whom she had then been unable to relate.