7.4/10
6,063
58 user 44 critic

Straight Time (1978)

Fresh off his most recent prison term, an ex con assaults his former probation officer and goes on the run.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Willy Darin
...
...
Earl Frank
...
...
Selma Darin
...
Manny
...
Henry Darin (as Jacob Busey)
...
Hotel Manager
Stephanie Ericsson ...
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:

21 April 1978 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Libertad condicional  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ulu Grosbard was the person who gave Dustin Hoffman the novel "No Beast So Fierce" by Edward Bunker to read. Hoffmann became fascinated with the project ever since he got the book. 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 ...
[...]
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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)
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User Reviews

 
An excellent film. Hoffman at his apex.
24 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

A great film. Dustin Hoffman is at his peak here, and shows why he's one of the five greatest actors of his generation as he inhabits the character of Max Dembo, a career criminal who's just been released on parole. The movie is brilliant in it's pacing, as we see the layers of Dembo slowly revealed. We want to believe he's a good guy who just made a mistake ("I just want the same things everyone else wants..."), but as the film goes on we see one transgression after another that ultimately reveal to us that he may not be the man we thought he was in the beginning. An excellent portrayal by Hoffman is at the center of the movie, but there is also fine work on display from M. Emmett Walsh (maybe the greatest character actor of all time) as his parole officer, and Theresa Russell (looking like she's about 18) as his naive love interest. Hoffman is brilliant in his interpretation of a prison lifer. Check out the scene where his P.O. throws him back in jail on a petty bust just so he can show Dembo who's in charge. Walsh nails his part as the small man who compensates for his shortcomings by abusing what little authority he has (in other words, a dead on portrayal of almost all law officers), but Hoffman is absolutely perfect as he goes into his thousand yard stare mode while going through the jail house routine of frisking and delousing. The look on his face says "You can't hurt me because I'm numb". Very few flaws in this film. Hell, even the Randy Newmanesque music that plays throughout is perfectly suited. I was enthralled from the opening scene to the last, which is, fittingly, a series of mugshots of Hoffman's Dembo over the years. Highly recommend.


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