A cynical look at the life of a not so nice country-western singer, Maury Dann - played by Rip Torn in one of his most memorable performances. He ruthlessly manipulates every one around him... See full summary »
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William A. Graham
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A cynical look at the life of a not so nice country-western singer, Maury Dann - played by Rip Torn in one of his most memorable performances. He ruthlessly manipulates every one around him to suit his selfish needs...he even gets his limo driver to take the blame for the death of a fan which he stabbed. Written by
Ian Johnston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film that should have made Rip Torn a movie star
Rip Torn was originally slated to play the lawyer role that Jack Nicholson played in "Easy Rider". After a last-minute spat with Dennis Hopper, Torn was no longer part of the project. (Nicholson, who had pretty much given up on acting by then and was working in a technical capacity on the film, stepped into the role and the rest is history.) No matter; Torn went on to do this movie a couple years later, and if there were any justice in the movie biz (there isn't) this role would have made Rip Torn a bona fide movie star; (instead he is a respected film/t.v actor and a bona fide star of the American stage; most people in the public simply don't know who he is or they get him confused with Rip Taylor, the comedian/magician). CHECK THIS MOVIE OUT, if you're lucky enough to find it; (don't bother with the big video chain stores--you'll need a hip mom/pop shop to locate this one). It is well worth the search. Torn (as Maury Dann) does his own singing (a precursor to Robert Duvall's work in "Tender Mercies") and does it well; the supporting actors are great, the writing quirky and strong, and the direction bold. The film is also filled with some unforgettable scenes: Maury confronted by a jealous boyfriend in a diner tops the list; also, the strangely funny scene where Maury goes home and visits his barbiturate-addled Mother, and the scene where Chicago, the driver, talks about his love of cooking. Other scenes, such as when Maury goes "bird shooting", are memorable simply because they ring out as authentic and true. Some of the other comments seem disappointed with the ending; it didn't bother me. Though disturbing, I thought it worked. There was a sense of inevitability leading up to it. This is a portrait of a singer living on the edge of country music stardom and riding a "downbound train". The film is powerful and stays with you. And, yes, almost nobody knows about it.
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