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Straight Time (1978)

After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole ... See full summary »


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(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jenny Mercer
Willy Darin
Jerry Schue
Carol Schue
Selma Darin
Henry Darin (as Jacob Busey)
Tina Menard ...
Hotel Manager
Stephanie Ericsson ...
Bar Patron (as Stephanie Ericsson Baron)
Dave Kelly ...
Don Sommese ...
Kit Jee Wong ...
Grocery Clerk


After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole officer. When he is released again, he assaults the parole officer, steals his car, and returns to a life of crime. Written by Andrew DeLaVergne <ajd2@acsu.buffalo.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's an ex-con. He's got to get a job . . . keep his dignity . . . and still go straight! [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

14 July 1978 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Libertad condicional  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Uncredited, Michael Mann worked on adapting the film's source novel "No Beast So Fierce" by Edward Bunker for the movie's script . The book later acted as a point of reference for Mann for the Neil McCauley character (played by Robert De Niro) when Mann later made the movie Heat (1995). See more »


Max tells the parole officer that the hotel room costs $17 per week. However, when he initially starts renting it, he agrees on the price of $18 per week. See more »


Jerry Schue: [Max, Jerry and Carol are enjoying a backyard barbecue. Carol leaves to grab some drinks] Get me outta here. They're killing me. I can't make this scene anymore, get me outta here... You got something, I know you got something...
Max Dembo: Yeah, I got something.
Jerry Schue: Well, let's do it.
Max Dembo: Don't you wanna know what it is?
Jerry Schue: I don't give a damn what it is, let's just do it... What is it?
Max Dembo: Bunch of old guys play poker over in a motel out in the valley. They got about twenty thousand dollars on the table. We just tip ...
See more »


References El bracero del año (1964) See more »


Two of Us
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Norma Green (as Norma Helms)
See more »

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User Reviews

unseen gem
24 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My wife and I saw this in the theater at the time of its release, and I've never talked to anyone else who's seen it. This is among Dustin Hoffman's grittiest work, and he is superb (I've read that this is his favorite of his own films). Gary Busey, a gorgeous 20-year old Theresa Russell,and the old pro Harry Dean Stanton are all excellent. This film is among my all-time favorites, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Since reviews are required to be at least ten lines long, I'll add that it took me several minutes to recognize the young, skinny Kathy Bates, who was spot-on as Busey's justifiably concerned wife. I'm a fan of character actors, and M. Emmett Walsh is great as the asshole parole officer. I hope that this film will someday be re-released, ala Taxi Driver, and get a chance to prove itself to a new generation of audiences.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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