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Born to Win (1971)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,055 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 6 critic

A smart-mouthed junkie/loser known as J.J. (George Segal) spends his days looking for just "one more fix".

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Born to Win (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
J
...
Parm
...
Veronica
Jay Fletcher ...
Billy Dynamite
...
Vivian
...
Danny (as Robert DeNiro)
Ed Madsen ...
Detective
...
Marlene
Irving Selbst ...
Stanley
Tim Pelt ...
Little Davey
José Pérez ...
Junior Conception (as Jose Perez)
Sylvia Syms ...
Cashier (as Sylvia Simms)
Jack Hollander ...
Harry
Alex Colon ...
Bus Boy
Max Brandt ...
Store Clerk
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Storyline

A smart-mouthed junkie/loser known as J.J. (George Segal) spends his days looking for just "one more fix".

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their story is written on his arm. If they can get a grip on each other, maybe they can turn their lives around.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 July 1972 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Born to Win  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the original screenplay was 'Scraping Bottom'. The copyright can be read under the title clearly as being credited to Scraping Bottom Productions. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J: They same I'm a charmer... that I charm the people I hustle. Well, that comes after dealing with women, after hairdressing. I love to dress hair! But being that I know what to do, being that I'm hip enough to know, I do it!
See more »

Connections

References Sudden Terror (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad in C
by Karen Black
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User Reviews

The seventies' bleakest--and one of the best

One of the great joys of being a movie addict is loving unreasonably. There's probably no rational way to convey my adoration for this 1971 Ivan Passer movie, which was made for nothing back in the day when movies like this actually could get made and released--today, it'd be shot on digital video in someone's basement and never see the light of day. George Segal gives one of the performances of his career as J, a hairdresser turned heroin addict who vamps his way through the day with a torrent of improvised Lenny Bruce hipsterisms. Karen Black is the "straight," broken girl who falls in love with him for no good reason except that he's broken too--I can't think of a more haunting moment in a movie romance than the one where she drops him off in midtown Manhattan to score dope and implores, "J--remember to come back home." The movie fleetly conveys the romance, the soft-edgedness and wombiness of heroin--and then in short order takes you all the way down to the bitterest consequences. And it reminds you of the beauties of hard-knuckle, dirty-formica naturalism--pleasures unavailable to more stylized or more conceptual pictures. Has there ever been an actress as free as Karen Black? The way she lifts up ten fingers, over and over again, to count off the number of men she's slept with; or the strange little hair-bite she does when she oaths her love to Segal on the beach--everything is as fresh and unaffected and right as if it were playing out in your living room right this minute. The locations, the smoky, salty, funereal-blues soundtrack--Ivan Passer can't put a foot wrong in this movie. Why is this guy not being given all the work in the world? And why is this movie not acclaimed a masterpiece in a world where rusty chestnuts by Rafelson and Bogdanovich are still held in high esteem?


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