Documentary film-maker Bob Saunders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, ... See full summary »
Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, ... See full summary »
Broad satire and buffoonery presented as a series of movie trailers. Among the titles and subjects are: "The Howard Huge Story", "Skate-boarders from Hell", "The Invasion of the Penis ... See full summary »
Royce D. Applegate,
A sobering mid-life crisis fuels dissatisfaction in Philip Dimitrius, to the extent where the successful architect trades his marriage and career in for a spiritual exile on a remote Greek ... See full summary »
A gang of thieves plan a daring bank robbery, making their escape across the rooftops of Los Angeles. The police are quickly called in, however, and only one of the robbers, Murdock, makes ... See full summary »
An aspiring Jewish actor moves out of his parents' Brooklyn apartment to seek his fortune in the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in 1953. He struggles to come to terms with his feelings about his mother's overbearing nature, while also trying to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend. Written by
The bar where Larry goes to talk to Robert, is a real bar, in Greenwhich Village. Julius's a gay hustler bar, and has been at the same location for decades. See more »
Labels on Campbell's soup cans in Larry's kitchen are printed in upper and lower case typeface design not used until years after 1953, when company's soup flavors were still printed in all capital letters. See more »
Was everything a joke to you?
Herbert Berghof - Acting Coach:
See, you're joking right now, right?
What do you want me to say?
Herbert Berghof - Acting Coach:
Joking is what's doing you in. Joking is the American actor's disease. It's the American person's disease. Because what you're doing is you're keeping reality out so that it won't touch you. The worst kind of joking you can do is keep life out. Commenting, editorializing, joking - terrible! Don't do it. It's fatal.
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During June of 1954 in New York City, I graduated junior high school and, to celebrate the event, joined three of my classmates on a forbidden sojourn to the city's famous Greenwich Village. Exiting the subway station at Christopher street, we were amazed at the apparent ordinariness of this place we'd heard so much about from older adolescents and adults.
In fact, at first glance, nothing extraordinary seemed to be happening there, with the sole exception of more White people being present than four Black teenagers from Harlem were were accustomed to seeing.
For you see, this was the mid 1950's, Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. had as yet to lead any freedom marches, Southern schools were as yet to be integrated, and in many Southern states Black people were lynched on Saturday nights as town entertainment. But three hours later, we knew that everything we'd heard about Greenwich Village was true and more. For this was a place far ahead of it's time.
In the Greenwich Village of the 1950's, racial integration had been in place for well over two decades. But far more important, forbidden talk of sexual liberation, interracial sex, homosexuality, along with political, artistic and literary freedom at all levels were openly discussed, flouted and displayed for all to see; performed to a background mixture of new age Jazz, early Rock and Roll and Folk Music. Virtually nothing was excluded from the social or musical menu this incredible place had to offer.
I can't speak for the rest of my friends on that day, but I immediately fell in love with the place and remained so, until it's untimely demise at the hands of the high rise-high priced real estate industry toward the mid 1970's. By then, the people who had made the place justifiably famous and notorious for what it was, could no longer afford to live there. So the Village remained,in name only, as it is today: a mere shadow of what it used to be.
Joyfully, director Paul Mazursky has managed to capture on film, a moving snapshot of the social life and time of a remarkable neighborhood, in what was probably the last fifteen to twenty years of it's legitimate life. And I do remember it so well. The rent parties for starving (sometimes talented) artists, the ubiquitous book shops, the coffee houses featuring impromptu poetry readings, the fashion statements (or blatant lack thereof), the mixing and making of all sorts of colorful characters who, even in their farcical attempts to parody themselves, were more alive and real then those who would put them down. This was the Greenwich Village of the 1950's and of legend.
This magical place was for me and many others (as was for the director who produced this film as an ode to his time there), our first real awakening and taste of adult life. And far more important, a fortuitous preparation for the new social order that was, in time, to come.
The place, as it was, is truly deserving of this wonderful little gem of a film.
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