6.7/10
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32 user 44 critic

Heavy Traffic (1973)

An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Kaufmann ...
Beverly Hope Atkinson ...
...
Terri Haven ...
Ida Corleone (voice)
Mary Dean Lauria ...
Molly (voice)
Jacqueline Mills ...
Lillian Adams ...
Rosa (voice)
Charles Gordone ...
Crazy Moe (voice)
...
Voice characterization
Morton Lewis ...
(voice)
Bill Striglos ...
(voice)
Jay Lawrence ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
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Storyline

An animated feature which begins, ends and occasionally combines with, live-action filmed on location. A white dropout struggles to create comics and animated films, drawing inspiration from the harsh, gritty world around him. Still sharing his run-down apartment with his middle-aged parents, an oafish slob of an Italian father and a ditzy nut-case of a Jewish mother, he is ridiculed and looked down upon by his friends, hypocrites who run with violent gangs and the Italian Mafia, and a shallow Black girl who makes her living downtown with the pimps and pushers. This cartoonist gets a chance to pitch a film idea to a movie mogul, but the story proves too outrageous: a far-future Earth, destroyed by war and pollution, where a mutant antihero challenges and kills God. Complications ensue when the cartoonist's parents react in irrational ways to his various involvements. Written by orb

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

More Spice from the makers of Fritz the Cat! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Flipper City  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph Bakshi lists this as his favorite among his own films, while many critics claim it to be his best film. In fact, some have debated it as the greatest non-Disney animated film of all time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael: What makes you happy? What makes you happy? Where do you go? Where do you go? Where do you hide? Where do you hide? Who do you see? Who do you see? Who do you trust? Who do you trust? Who do you screw? Who do you screw? What kills the pain? What kills the pain? Game up, game win. Bug around, set it straight. Transaction. Play it hard, hurts so bad. Gotta win. Everyone loses. Everthing loses. Gotta win big. Sick and tired of losing. Where does it all go? Where does it all go? Where ...
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Connections

Referenced in Wizards: Ralph Bakshi - The Wizard of Animation (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Five
Composition by Paul Desmond
Performed by Dave Brubeck Quartet
Courtesy Columbia Records
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User Reviews

 
Generally Disappointing
7 June 2013 | by See all my reviews

An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

Another reviewer said that people who review this film poorly are either offended by the nudity or just do not get it. The nudity (and blood) do not bother me in the slightest -- fill the screen with as many animated sex organs as you feel necessary, for all I care. On the second point, it is possible I do not get it.

While I understand the animation was innovative for its time and that the film shows urban decay -- both with cartoons and actual locations -- I cannot help but think that it just has not aged very well. Some scenes I found excellent (such as the God segment), while others were completely forgettable. It balanced out to be average at best.

The New York Times called it the "most original American film of the year." Could they look back now and say that again? I am not so sure.


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