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This adaptation of Price's novel takes such liberties as to make this an almost totally different story.Where do we begin? 1.)The DeCocos,in the story,are a much more grotesque and brutal outfit.Sorvino is much too attractive to play Chubby-it should have been Victor Buono.LoBianco is much too short,and nowhere near ominous enough to do Tommy-it should have been Richard Kiel.And Goldoni is a 100 pounds too light to be playing Marie. 2.)Gere is much too young to be doing Stony.The boy is only 17 years old,and just graduated from high school 2 weeks before the story opens. 3.)The whole business about Sooky involves Chubby-showing that he,in particular,is very unhappy with his marriage. 4.)While Marie is the one who seduces Jack Cutler(as in the book),it is Chubby who,by accident,receives the call from Mrs. Cutler,and,enraged, mistakenly assaults assaults HIS wife.This shows us that even the jovial, genial,good-natured Chubby,who loves his family,has his dark and brutal impulses lying close to the surface. 5.)In the book,after Phyllis is hospitalized,Tommy gives Stony permission,NOT to become an electrician,and Stony CHOOSES NOT to leave his family,staying in the pathological but familiar system to which he is accustomed.In the film,Tommy orders Stony to enter the construction trades,and Stony flees,taking Albert with him.A happy ending,of sorts,which is totally out of synch with the novel. So,it seems that the screenwriters decided to homogenize,clarify,and tack a happy ending onto a novel which was intended to demonstrate a bleak and tragic slice of American life.Perhaps it wouldn't have arrived in screen,otherwise.
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