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John G. Avildsen
Tough criminal Hank McCain gets released from prison after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Hank hooks up with his son Jack, who has devised a daring plan to rob a Las Vegas casino. ... See full summary »
A spaghetti western in which three adventurers team up during the Mexican Revolution. Mary O'Donnell, a radical Irish journalist, wants to foment a peasant revolt in Mexico. She enlists the... See full summary »
Bickford Waner, an apparently naive young man from Fort Worth, arrives in the tiny Texas town of Dime Box and takes on a variety of menial jobs. He's befriended by Reese Ford and his wife ... See full summary »
A group of misfits decide to leave for a place that they can all be free. There mode of transportation is a PBY flying boat. The only problem is that the PBY needs a lot of work and they ... See full summary »
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CRAZY JOE is a independent short film about Joe, a man who has suffered a great loss after a tragic accident. He tries to move on and get through life, with the help and love of his 11-year... See full summary »
Clarke M. Smith
Brian Buckley Smith,
When the movie starts, the date is Sept. 15, 1960. The men are riding in a car. They begin to sing along with an opera that is playing on the radio. The car arrives at it's destination, a charcoal grill. When they exit the car it is plain to see that the car hasn't even been built yet. It is a 1963 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. See more »
"What do these Hollywood types know about gangsters?" (Crazy Joe, when he encounters a film crew on the street)
Ironically, a good point. (Or was the irony intentional? I doubt it...) Hollywood types have generally proved to know very little about the mob (or almost anything else for that matter), or at least often present aspects of that culture in a misleading or somewhat romanticized manner. However, there isn't too much silliness or idolatry going on here, i.e. CJ's mobsters are to the most part portrayed accurately/realistically, in other words as the uncontrollable sociopaths that they are and always will be. Thankfully, this isn't a Sydney Lumet picture in which the viewer is required/asked to sympathize with criminals by taking an irrational, liberal, childishly anti-establishment attitude. (See "Find Me Guilty", a fantasy mobster court-room drama in which a "happy ending" constitutes a dozen mobster defendants being acquitted of crimes they did commit...)
The radiant 70s look, a brisk plot development, and the generally good cast make up for some occasional flaws.
Fonz as a gangster?? He is about a head shorter than all the (fe)male cast members - and that includes Harve Villachaize. Truly threatening-looking. Not to mention his perpetual "mild-mannered accountant's" facial expression, which he cannot get rid off even if a team of top plastic surgeons tried to help him in that fantastic feat. That was a major casting blunder. What's next... Kate Hudson as head of NASA? Casey Affleck as Superman?
Another casting error, though far less dramatic than the Fonz fiasco, was picking Charles Cioffi to play a rising mob star. An actor's Italian name alone does not necessarily a suitable mafiosi make. He too lacks the aura of psychopathy that even the least violent mobster (which isn't saying much) has, lurking below the surface.
Why do mobsters' wives and girfriends, i.e. harlots, nearly always get portrayed favourably in movies? It doesn't take a brilliant deductive mind or world-class detective skills to figure out that such women can't be morally much more impressive than the scum they they date. Admittedly, Paula Prentiss's character is underdeveloped, but whatever little we see of her seems to be far too flattering for that kind of woman.
On one or two occasions the jumps from one scene to the next are too quick, making the flow of the movie somewhat shaky. It's as though the initial running time of CJ had been 30 minutes longer, and a commercially-driven butchering job had been implemented at the last minute in the editor's room.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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