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Straight Time (1978)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  14 July 1978 (Norway)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,174 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 38 critic

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), 4 more credits »
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Title: Straight Time (1978)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jenny Mercer
...
Willy Darin
...
Jerry Schue
...
Rita Taggart ...
Carol Schue
...
Selma Darin
Sandy Baron ...
Manny
...
Henry Darin (as Jacob Busey)
Tina Menard ...
Hotel Manager
Stephanie Ericson-Baron ...
Bar Patron
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:

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

There's a mark on the inside of Max's motel room door in one scene, then the next scene there is no mark (this is because, according to the commentary, they redid the motel room in a studio for night shots). See more »

Quotes

Max Dembo: You know what I'd like to do... Why don't you run me by that hotel we'll check it out.
Mickey: Yeah, well I'll drive you out there but I'm not gonna rob it for you, you have to do that yourself. I got stomach trouble... no guts.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.6 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Two of Us
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Nora 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.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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