Bennie travels to Buenos Aires to find his long-missing older brother, a once-promising writer who is now a remnant of his former self. Bennie's discovery of his brother's near-finished play might hold the answer to understanding their shared past and renewing their bond.
Francis Ford Coppola
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Bernard Chanticleer's father gives him two simple words of advice: "Grow up." Bernard knows that his first step is to find a girl who's "willing," but he passes up a sure thing, Amy Partlett, for a more elusive goal. Her name is Barbara Darling, an inscrutable go-go dancer. More than a few obstacles keep Bernard from his dream world. There's his doting mother, who mails him locks of her hair and weeps at the thought of her baby as a man; there's a malicious rooster, trained to attack pretty girls, patrolling the halls of his New York City rooming house; and most of all, there's Barbara herself. She turns out to be a man hater, emotionally scarred by the lecherous wooden-legged hypnotherapist who "counseled" her in high school. All in all, Bernard finds himself in an improbable universe with a calculated clumsiness designed to evoke his confusing coming-of-age. Written by
The nightclub has scenes from Dementia 13 (1963) (also directed by Francis Coppola) projected onto the wall. See more »
As Barbara Darling is ripping the buttons from the front of Bernard Chanticleer's shirt, she pulls off the top button first. In the next edited shot, as Barbara's hands move to the lower buttons, the top button is back on. In the next shot, the top button is missing again. See more »
Seen it 50 times and it's always as good as the 1st time
I remember the day I bought the movie for $2 in Bennington, Vermont. I was in a bad mood that day. I read on the back of the VHS box how this was FFC's master's thesis at UCLA and thought that it could be a cool viewing. I watched it later that day and it changed my mood to great, and it became my favorite movie.
Some of the sequences and lines and maddeningly dizzy and dizzyingly mad. The names and objects and places Bernard gives to initials is wonderful. Barbara Darling dancing up in that cage in the underground club! The music (Darling Be Home Soon is a masterpiece)! The cinematography! The deliverance of sexy lines! (Hair?! You collect, hair!?"). Del Grado's poetic musings on life (funny where they got him ...). The views of 1966 New York City, pre-World Trade Center.
I've seen it about 50 times always trying to figure out the theme, and I still haven't come up with one, although, Bernard goes from a milk-spilling virgin to a maturing lad who finally opens his eyes to life and stops spilling milk.
That $2 VHS copy is gone. I wish I could find another copy, or, one on DVD.
It's the most dizzy, maddeningly wonderful sexy piece or cinema I've seen, or ever will experience.
So is there a way to find love with a woman like Amy Partlett with streaks of Barbara Darling that run through her veins? (And no, I don't collect hair, and stopped spilling milk years ago).
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