William Saroyan's Pulitzer Prize-winning play revolves around the denizens of a San Francisco bar in 1939. Lonely, lovelorn, weary or cynical, the characters drift in and out of the bar and... See full summary »
In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper's... See full summary »
Joe spends a lot of his time at Nick's Pacific Street Saloon. Tom, who credits Joe with once saving his life, stops by regularly to run errands for Joe. Today, Tom notices a woman named Kitty when she comes into Nick's, and he quickly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, a distraught young man repeatedly calls his girlfriend, begging her to marry him. Nick himself muses on all the various persons who come into his bar, some to ask for work and others just to pass the time. Written by
From what I'd heard of this film, I was expecting something dull and boring and Eugene O'Neill-ish.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a lot to love in this film. In fact, it left me happy and smiling. James Cagney's character is so off-the-wall in comparison to his other film roles. He just sits quietly, leading a seemingly monotonous life. He listens to a couple of songs over and over; he drinks champagne. Most of all he interferes for good in other people's lives.
I also watched this film because I'm fascinated with Jeanne Cagney and how much she looked like her brother. It's great to see James and Jeanne working together, particularly in this story, where he's playing an Irishman and she's Polish - but she's got his face. Yes, I'm easily amused.
It's a random film. It appears on the surface to be patched together and no, it's not action packed and fast-paced. But look beneath the surface, and you'll see it's about the value of observing, paying attention to things and people around you, and acting on what you see. We all could do with a little more of that - although I don't think we need to do it for hours on end in a bar. It can be done during normal life too.
I felt this film moved along pretty steadily. There was always some new thing popping up as something else was being resolved. And, although on the surface everything is resolved in the end, there are still a lot of questions one asks. I won't go into details here - I'll let you discover for yourself... and I strongly recommend you should do so!!
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