A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Atlantic City is a place where people go to realize their dreams, the promise of the future manifested by the demolition of the old crumbling buildings to be replaced by new hotels and casinos. Someone who recently came to Atlantic City for that promise is native Moose Javian (Saskatchewan) Sally Matthews, who currently works as a waitress at a hotel oyster bar, but who is training to be a black jack croupier and wants to be more cultured, such as learning French, in order to work at the casinos in Monte Carlo. Another dreamer who came to Atlantic City decades ago is Lou Pascal, who has long worked as a numbers runner and who claims to have been a cellmate and thus implied confidante of Bugsy Siegel. Although Lou still dresses to the standard to which he is accustomed, his dream long died as he only works penny ante stuff for Fred, most of his current income from being the kept man of widowed recluse, Grace Pinza. Grace too came to Atlantic City to fulfill her dreams - most ... Written by
One of 26 films to be Oscar nominated for all 5 key Academy Awards of Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay and one of six of these films not to win any Oscars at all. See more »
Before she goes to lunch with Lou, Sally cuts her hand at the oyster bar (drawing blood). But at lunch (and afterward), Sally's hand is unbandaged and healthy. (There's even a close-up of her hands when she examines Lou's cigarette case.) See more »
Why are you doing this for me?
Hey, it's nothing, Sinatra gives wings to hospitals. We all do what we can.
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Kate Reid is credited as "Kare Reid" in the end credits. See more »
Burt Lancaster gives an astonishing performance aching with melancholy in this lovely, quiet little film by Louis Malle. He plays a one-time gangster (in his own mind at least quite a big shot) who, like the city that gives the film its title, isn't what he used to be. Susan Sarandon, in an early-career performance, plays a woman who works in one of the casinos and whose life intersects with Lancaster's because of a drug deal her no-good husband was involved in. The two don't ever become friends exactly, but they each get something from the other until the sad ending, when Lancaster realizes that there isn't a place in his life for Sarandon, and that there may not be a place in the world for him.
The film is a low-key character study that completely satisfies, and gives Lancaster perhaps his last great role.
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