This movie was panned by critics, but it seems to have gained cult status among those who like 70s films.
I liked it simply for its fascinating subject--Gypsies in modern day urban America.
This is certainly not a definitive study of the culture, but it is exciting and most of the acting is solid. Roberts and Shields are incredibly beautiful, and the cinematography has that ripe, but overcast look you see in so many films released during the era. Stephane Grapelli's violin in the background adds weight to the glorious score.
The biggest downside is Sterling Hayden's performance. His voice tends to rupture and bark in its heaviness; it lacks nuance. Also, I sometimes felt embarrassed for Sarandon. Though she was perfectly cast, she seems embarrassed herself at times; there is a brief scene where she has to dance, and her body language suggests she's thinking "Do I still have time to reconsider?" Another problem is the continuity. Where was the script supervisor? Shield's character was supposedly born in the 1940s, but when we see her again as a young teenager, it is clearly the late 1970s. You hear Disco in the background, see the long leather coats, and wait for John Travolta to make a grand entrance.
But enough of my nit-picking. Maybe this is not the finest film, but it is indeed a *fun* film. The subject is intriguing, and the plot itself is good. What it lacks in directorial perfection, it makes up for in soul.
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