A once-great silent film director, unable to make the transition to the new talkies, lives as a near-hermit in his Hollywood home, making cheap, silent sex films, and suffering in the knowledge of his sexual impotence, and apathetic about the plans to demolish his home to make way for a motorway. His producer and his producer's girlfriend come by to see how he is doing (and to supply heroin to the actress as her payment). The girlfriend stays to watch them filming, and is deeply impressed by his methods. When the actress goes to the bathroom, and dies there of an overdose, the girlfriend takes her place in the film. Then the producer returns... Written by
Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
Sitting at piano, Boy Wonder plays song Moonglow, written in 1934. The movie takes place at least three or four years earlier (characters repeatedly talk about a then-unknown actor named Clark Gable, already a big star by time song was written). See more »
Rex, are you going to stand there all day and oil your cuff-links on the top of your greasy head... or do you wanna get to work?
See more »
The end credits are shown in black-and-white, against a backdrop of a silk cloth. It is also grainier and scratched in spots compared to the rest of the film. It is very reminiscent of the credits of vintage 30's melodramas. See more »
It's Sure Good To Know That Your Rope Can Still Rise
This odd little film is typical of Dreyfus's early work, like "Duddy
Kravitz", with an intriguing performance in an odd role. Dreyfus plays
The Boy Wonder, a once highly talented silent film director who, by the
early 30s, has become a ghost story, directing stag films for a living.
While no actual connection is made, I believe that The Boy Wonder was
also a name for Fatty Arbuckle, who this could easily "be" -- years
after the scandalous incident that ruined his career.
This film also gets interesting performances from Jessica Harper ("My
Favorite Year"), Veronica Cartwright, and, long
before his toon experience, Bob Hoskins.
It takes place entirely within a house, during a single morning, and
could easily be done as a stage play. It would classify as a fairly
common "Slice of Life" film, excepting for the rather strong nudity and
sexual content. In fact it was a bit scandalous when it was released,
as an "X" movie with a major star like Dreyfus in it.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?