Documentary film-maker Bob Sanders 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, the... 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,
He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.
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 first, and, sadly, final film appearance of Lenny Baker and his only film as a leading actor. See more »
Pepsi logo on deli across the street (visible through window in scene where Larry and Robert meet in bar) wasn't used until much later than early Fifties setting. See more »
Hi. Buenas noches, señor. Senñorita.
How are you?
Who is that?
It's Nick Kessler. He's a crazy guy. He saved up all his money to go to Mexico. Wanted to see the ruins. You know, get into the primitive thing. So, he quit his job and everything, and he took off for Mexico City on Monday. Two beers, Ray.
Right. So he got off the plane, and he ate a taco... and he got a terrible case of the shits... so he took the next plane back. He spent two and a half hours in Mexico. He ...
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Admittedly I come to this film with a deep prejudice. Though it's set in 1953, it was released in 1976, the same year I moved to Greenwich Village. In fact, much of the movie looks to have been filmed about two blocks west of where I lived for 30 years.
For a young person moving to Greenwich Village, there's something timeless about the experience, as this film shows. Directed by Paul Mazursky, the film stars Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene, Christopher Walken, Lois Smith, and Dori Brenner. Baker is an aspiring young actor named Larry Lapinsky, who leaves his parents' apartment and his sobbing mother (Winters) to take a place in the Village. There, he gets a day job, a girlfriend (Greene), a group of bizarre friends, and starts acting class. He uses a liquor bottle he finds at the subway as an Oscar and thanks the Academy while he waits for a train; he does impressions of Brando for a cop; he does a scene from Golden Boy for class.
Mazursky has left nothing out, not the overblown egomaniacal young actor (Jeff Goldblum) whom Larry meets at an audition, the bipolar young woman (Smith), the gay friend (Antonio Fargas), the poser who's a chick magnet (Walken), and everybody's friend destined to be unlucky in love (Brenner). It's a madcap, free, painful, and sobering existence.
Baker is wonderful as Larry, anxious to get out and live. He's very likable. Shelley Winters is a riot as the Jussi Bjorling-loving Faye Lapinsky, who keeps dropping in and bringing food while she and her husband are in the neighborhood. At one point, she is so convincing telling Sarah (Greene) that she doesn't care if Sarah has been having sex with Larry, that Sarah admits to it, thus driving Faye into such a state that Sarah claims she lied. Lois Smith is very effective as the neurotic Anita. Dori Brenner does a great job as the caring friend, and Christopher Walken strikes the right balance as the enigmatic, distant Robert.
Highly recommended, and if you've ever lived in Greenwich Village, or tried to be an actor in New York, don't miss it.
What makes the film is the New York energy and the locations - many of which still exist, Village Cigars, Smiler's, the lamp store, Julius' bar, the whole Christopher Street area.
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