Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »
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William A. Wellman
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by
The film has a splendid array of impressive performances
Chance Wayne (Newman) has only one talentsexual prowessand he's been bumming around for several years, satisfying rich women in the hope that he can find fame in Hollywood
He picks up a faded screen star, Alexandra Del Lago (magnificently played by Geraldine Page), who takes constant refuge in vodka, hashish, oxygen masks and young studs She promises to get him a movie contract, and they drive to his Southern hometown, where he plans to find his sweetheart, Heavenly Finley (Shirley Knight), and take her along to Hollywood He doesn't know that on his last visit he left her pregnant, that she had an abortion, and that her father, the corrupt and vigorous politician Boss Finley (Ed Begley), is out to get him
Through a strong, powerful performance, Newman managed to be a celebritydropping names, giving large tips, arrogantly stating: "Just because a man's successful doesn't mean he has to forget his hometown."
He's also extremely sneaky and gently tolerant, as he charms Alexandra while recording what she's saying for blackmail purposes But he's finally pathetic: a desperately insecure man, addicted to amphetamines, attending to Alexandra and performing as a lover at her whim His mask of swaggering bravura really disappears when he tries to see Heavenly He becomes confused and desperatewalking with regular steps, rubbing his hands together, pleading urgently over the phone
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