Axel Freed is a literature professor. He has the gambling vice. When he has lost all his money, he borrows from his girlfriend, then his mother and finally some bad guys that chase him. Despite all of this he cannot stop gambling.
For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.
Did You Know?
According to James Toback
, before the screenplay was accepted at Paramount and was making the rounds with actors, Peter Boyle
was first interested in playing the lead. Robert De Niro
lobbied hard for the role, to the point where De Niro started to dress like the writer. Toback pressured the director to meet with De Niro. After meeting him, Reisz said that he would not and could not consider De Niro for the role, and if Toback kept insisting he would not be allowed to collaborate on the film further. See more
The only thing that's standing between your skull and a baseball bat is my word.
Una furtiva lagrima
from the opera L'elisir d'amore"
by Gaetano Donizetti
Sung by Enrico Caruso
Courtesy of RCA Records See more