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Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a fortune by running a brothel himself and returning to the States to lead a life of luxury. Savvy but not unsavory he strikes up a friendship with William Leigh (Denholm Elliot), a genial and decent auditor who travels to Singapore every year. Ultimately, the background of the Vietnam War comes into the picture as Jack is offered the opportunity by the CIA to run a brothel for the R&R activities of U.S. soldiers on leave in Singapore. Written by
Knowing full well that the Singaporean authorities would never sanction a film that depicted their city as being a hotbed of corruption and sleaze, the script that Peter Bogdanovich submitted to them had been specially rewritten with all the contentious elements removed. Approval was granted. However, when the film was completed, the Singaporean authorities were horrified to see the true nature of the film and subsequently banned it. See more »
an interesting story that probably worked better in print than film.I did not read the novel.Good Singapore location shots. There's probably more depth to the character Jack Flowers than most Gazzara roles as we watch him roam the underbelly of Singapore soliciting women, and in one scene,a pair of transsexuals.Technically, it's well done with slightly above average acting and direction.Good performances by some unknown actors. Still, one walks away wishing there was a little more substance to the main character and the film overall.All 'n all, it is worth seeing although it lacks in certain areas.
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