7.4/10
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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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

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

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

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

Taglines:

"Please God, don't let him get caught." See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 July 1978 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Libertad condicional  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Mann was one of three writers who worked on the script for the film. Mann wrote the original draft with Edward Bunker, who was an ex-convict and served as the film's technical consultant. Mann worked with Bunker for three months, during which time he visited Folsom prison and interviewed a number of inmates who had known Bunker during his time there. Mann's draft of the script was written when Dustin Hoffman was slated to direct the film. When Ulu Grosbard took over directorial duties, he hired Alvin Sargent and Jeffrey Boam to rewrite Mann's script. Sargent, Boam and Bunker all received writing credits, but Mann did not. See more »

Goofs

The first time Dembo meets his PO he is offered a cup of coffee in a very distinct mug... A few scenes later he is at the work temp agency and the boss of the office has the SAME mug on her desk. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Straight Time: He Wrote It for Criminals (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Searing Character Study...Not To Be Missed
10 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whatever the weaknesses of STRAIGHT TIME, the strengths render them meaningless. This is at the center a small story about a small man of no consequence in the world. Dustin Hoffman's character is never going to do Great Things with his life. He's probably never going to hold a meaningful job thanks to his criminal record. Whether it's due to the inequities of the system or his own character's weaknesses, it doesn't matter. He'll never have a family or make a contribution to society. But we still care about him. Hoffman's amazing performance makes us care and gives him meaning that few actors could imbue.

The storyline is slow and downbeat. Nothing good is going to come to the inhabitants of this movie. However, that is the unrepentant message of STRAIGHT TIME and it is delivered with amazing power and stark desperation. I can see why this sad premise was a commercial flop but there is not a single false note in the entire heartbreaking two hours. The stellar supporting cast features early roles for Gary Busey, Kathy Bates and M. Emmett Walsh. One of the great noirs of the seventies and a must see for anyone who is a fan of Hoffman or film noir in general.


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