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Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981)
"Storie di ordinaria follia" (original title)

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Poet/lecturer Charles Serking awakens from his alcoholic haze long enough to take a bus back to L.A. and plunge into an orgy of drink and sexual depravity.



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Title: Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981)

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Complete credited cast:
Charles Serking
Tanya Lopert ...
Roy Brocksmith ...
Katya Berger ...
Girl on beach
Hope Cameron ...
Hotel proprietor
Patrick Hughes ...
Wendy Welles ...
Stratton Leopold ...
Anthony Pitillo
Jay Julien
Peter Jarvis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Paul Boucher


After a lecture where a poem is read out to a group of bored students, the alcoholic and sex addicted poet, Charles Serking, meets a young girl backstage. Then he travels to Los Angeles, and has sex with bizarre women. When Charles meets the gorgeous self-destructive prostitute Cass in a bar, he finds his soul mate and falls in love for her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

11 September 1981 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A hétköznapi őrület meséi  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charles Serking: [voiceover] Cass had that special look that got to me. Like she'd been blown away by the winds of eternity and was swimming back against the current. There was something mysterious going on and I plunged right in. I was in over my head, my mind kept telling me. I had to come up for some air. But Cass was like fluid fire and her flesh had already sucked me in. I had to get away from her before I got burned. But that was like trying to climbe out of a whirlpool...
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Crazy Credits

'Copyright' is spelt as 'copyrigth'. See more »


Traditional Anglo-American nursery rhyme and ballad
Sung by Ben Gazzara
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User Reviews

Masterful vision of a man enslaved by sexual and alcoholic gluttony
8 December 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

Spectacularly sleazy, beautiful, boisterous and sexy, this is the real Bukowski deal, a booze-fueled erotic odyssey by the adventurous Ferreri with the perfectly cast Ben Gazzara as Charles Serking (Bukowski).

Ornella Muti, as Serking's sexual muse, is Venus incarnate and turns in a powerhouse performance as Cass, an emotionally damaged whore with a penchant for pain. The scenes of Gazzara swaggering in and out of LA's fleapit bars, apartments and hotel rooms convey a filthy, delirious ambiance that is vividly captured by Tonino Delli Colli's superb cinematography and Dante Ferretti's exquisitely oily production design. This is such an amazing looking film with a thick, steamy, anything-goes atmosphere of lust-ridden anarchy.

Much grittier than the accomplished "Barfly" and more watchable than "Love Is A Dog From Hell", the entire affair has an emotional, raw resonance that slavishly captures the Bukowski sensibility and remains consistently perverse in its singular vision of a man enslaved by alcoholic and sexual gluttony.

Phillipe Sarde's score is moody and rich, as is Gazzara's breathy voice-over.

A masterpiece.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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