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Tropic of Cancer (1970)

NC-17  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  27 February 1970 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 355 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 25 critic

The film depicts the adventures of expatriate American writer Henry Miller and his friends, as they pursue art, money, food, and sex in Paris.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Tropic of Cancer (1970)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Fillmore
David Baur ...
Carl
Laurence Lignières ...
Ginette (as Laurence Lignères)
Phil Brown ...
Van Norden
Dominique Delpierre ...
Vite Cheri
...
The Princess
Raymond Gérôme ...
M. Le Censeur
Ginette Leclerc ...
Madame Hamilton
Sabine Sun ...
Elsa
Sheila Steafel ...
Tania
Gladys Berry ...
American Lady
George Birt ...
Sylvester
Stuart De Silva ...
Ranji
Steve Eckardt ...
Cronstadt (as Steve Eckhardt)
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Storyline

Henry is an ex-pat in Paris, cadging drinks and meals and places to sleep, giving advice about women to clueless men, flirting with the wives of acquaintances, burning bridges, and making philosophical observations. In vignettes we see his wife Mona come to Paris and leave immediately when she tastes Henry's vagabond life; he tries teaching English at a school in Dijon, takes the son of a wealthy Indian to a bordello, gets a job as a proofreader at the Herald Tribune, and helps out a pal who's in and out of an asylum and deeply in love with a whore. Can Henry make his own discovery of ecstasy? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for strong language and sex-related dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De kreeftskeerkring  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Evans's biography, "The Kid Stays in the Picture", this film was made as the result of a bet between Evans and Henry Miller in which Miller won. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Henry Miller: This, then, this is not a movie. This is a libel, slander, defamation of character, a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of art, a kick in the pants to God, man, destiny, time, love, beauty, what you will. I'm going to sing for you. A little off-key perhaps, but I will sing. I will sing while you croak. I will dance over your dirty corpse.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Aufschwung (Flight)
from "Phantasiestücke (Fantasy Pieces), Op.12"
Composed by Robert Schumann
(Elsa plays it)
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Take on Miller's Work
21 June 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Tropic of Cancer (1970)

*** (out of 4)

Good art film has American writer Henry Miller (Rip Torn) traveling through Paris trying to score as much free food and sex that he can get. Along the way he discusses these adventures with his friends as they too are after the same thing. TROPIC OF CANCER is based on the controversial work of Miller and it's easy to see this is a film from the 70s as the decade broke down all sorts of barriers about what could or couldn't be shown in movies. I always enjoy watching this more adult, X-rated films from the 70s because you could argue that cinema was changing during this period as much as it had since silent was passed by sound. The sexuality of the novel are on full display as the film kicks off with non-stop nudity and sexuality and this continues to the very end. I think what will effect people the most is the actually sexual dialogue, which is pretty raw and frank and I'd say that this talk would probably shock people a lot more today than the actual nudity and sex. Torn turns in a pretty good performance as Miller. I've read other opinions stating that he was way over-the-top but I think this was more of the character than the actual performance. Ellen Burstyn, appearing totally nude, is also good as Miller's wife, although she isn't given too much to do. TROPIC OF CANCER has some pretty weird style going in it and I think at times the film is extremely uneven but for the most part it works thanks to the subject matter and performances. This is certainly far from a classic but fans of the sexual liberation of the 70s should enjoy it.


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