Friday, September 25, 2009

Fat City (1972) Film Forum

This gritty boxing movie from the early 70's is in its second week at the Film Forum. Based on a novel by the same name this is a story of the down and out and the up and coming. The book and screenplay were both written by Leonard Gardner. This flick is directed by John Huston and is said to be one of his best. Filmed in and around Stockton California, one can see the economics of the time in every frame. Stacy Keach plays Tully an out of shape fighter with a drinking problem trying for a comeback. A young Jeff Bridges is the new man found by Tully and encouraged to use his talent. The scenes in the gym with the fighters and mangers are almost as exciting as the fights. Tully earning money as a field worker drinks all the time. The sleazy bars and dodgy hotel rooms are proof that he is a failure. This film has fun showing all the daytime drinkers and winos. Oma played by Susan Tyrrell is a drunk, a mean but sometimes sweet drunk. She tells it like it is and it ain't all that good. Tyrrell received an Oscar nomination for this interpretation of a man eating alcoholic. The story is not all on the surface, the background tells it own story. Roger Ebert said "this movie's edges are filled with small, perfect character performances." Movies from the 70's seem more real then most films written today. This is one not to miss playing only till Oct.1 on the big screen. If you don't get downtown to see it, rent it and watch at home, but you might be driven to have a little drink.

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