Norman Mailer's first feature filmmaking effort stars the director and his two longtime collaborators Buzz Farbar and Mickey Knox as a trio of gangsters holed up in a ramshackle New York apartment, drinking, braying, and fighting.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Prince
Buzz Farber ...
Buzz Cameo
Mickey Knox ...
20 Years
...
Margie
José Torres ...
Kid Cha Cha
Mara Lynn ...
Lillian
Dick Adler ...
Lieutenant
Harold Conrad ...
Boots
Brian Hamill ...
2R
Milt Machlin ...
Chief Inspector
Ramona Torres ...
Carmela
...
Al
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Norman Mailer's first feature filmmaking effort stars the director and his two longtime collaborators Buzz Farbar and Mickey Knox as a trio of gangsters holed up in a ramshackle New York apartment, drinking, braying, and fighting.

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Comedy | Crime | Drama

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7 January 1968 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Prince: You know what you are? You're the prunes.
Buzz Cameo: Prunes? You're the dunes.
Prince: Yeah, you're the real prunes.
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Smug travesty.
26 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In his directorial debut author/journalist and tireless self promoter Norman Mailer has nowhere to go but up after this incoherent mess about three "tough guys" holed up in a grimy room in lower Manhattan spouting nonsequiter gibberish throughout its length. Rock doc low rent Maysles Brother wannabe DA Pennebaker is also along for the ride to take blame for the "script" and the atrocious camera and sound work in as abrasive an Indy as one could ask for.

The film opens with a sloppy tracking shot of a clock reading 6 (AM, PM?) with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. It then cuts to a sparse mostly unfurnished apartment where the self satisfied Prince (Norm), Buzz Cameo and 20 Years drunkenly palaver and brag as they drink from quart bottles of Old Grand Dad, Seagrams and box with a light bulb. Some people drop in ( Mailer's wife, Light Heavyweight Champ Jose Torres as Kid Cha Cha) on the incipience to add nothing and the film ends as it began with a tracking shot of the same clock at 6:04. Was it all a dream? Try a case of very bad indigestion.

As famous for stabbing one of his wives at a party, sucker punching a gay writer (Gore Vidal) or making outrageous statements to an adoring NY Press as his checkered literary forays Mailer dives into filmmaking with the same braggadocio but with even worse results. Conversations are muddily recorded, shots over-lit, Mailer's inebriated musings indecipherable most of the time. From its all around sloppy construction I would venture the self assured Mailer probably caught a late night showing of Cassavetes, Shadows and a few hours of Warhol to know he could deliver the goods with his cool buddies and overwhelming charisma dispensing add-lib bon mots. He doesn't and it doesn't. Did it dent Mailer's ego or confidence as a filmmaker? Hardly, there would be more. Not as bad as Wild 90 but nevertheless terrible.


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