A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.
While on the run from the police, Steve Railsback hides in a group of moviemakers where he pretends to be a stunt man. Both aided and endangered by the director (Peter O'Toole) he avoids both the police and sudden death as a stuntman. The mixture of real danger and fantasy of the movie is an interesting twist for the viewer as the two blend in individual scenes. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Co-scriptwriter Richard Rush has said of adapting this film's source Paul Brodeur novel: "There was an irresistible metaphor in the book that kept haunting me, and I kept going back to it in my head". See more »
The car used in the main "driving off the bridge" scene is consistently described as a Duesenberg, but it has the well known Mercedes-Benz hood ornament. See more »
Why are you trying to save my ass?
Because you're almost as crazy as the young man I'm making this film about. Besides, I've fallen madly in love with the dark side of your nature.
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After the credits end, the movie-within-a-movie director (played by Peter O'Toole) yells, "Sam, rewrite the opening reel! Crush the little bastard in the first act!" And then he laughs during the fade-out. See more »
This movie is a slightly surreal comedy about moviemaking. It's told with the perspective (if not always from the point of view) of a young fugitive who wanders onto the set and gets hired due to various complications. The movie people all seem larger than life to the fugitive, and since he's a little paranoid anyway, their motives seem complex and suspect. Peter O'Toole gives his usual performance, and he's perfect here as the flamboyant director (he must have had a great time sending up some blowhards of his past with this role). Steven Railsback does his usual disoriented guy on the edge, and he does it with a rather touchingly naive quality this time. Barbara Hershey is the leading lady love interest, delivers an intelligent and understated performance, and is appropriately bewitchingly beautiful.
Roger Ebert didn't like this movie, but he got confused into thinking that it was something deeper than a comedy. It's about as deep as "Get Shorty", but with a completely different feel.
The movie holds up pretty well, although the special effects look a little clunky sometimes, and I remember thinking they were pretty good when I saw the movie in its initial release. But the clunkiness isn't really distracting, and since the movie's attempts to "deceive" are all firmly tongue-in-cheek, it doesn't hurt.
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