The Flamingo Kid (1984)
User ReviewsReview this title
Despite the fact that he is merely the cabana boy he really feels this is the life he wants to live. He looks at his Brooklyn roots and feels somewhat ashamed, and wants this life of luxury to start right now. Mr. Brody is also impressed by Jeffrey who is very smart, and a go getter. He shows Jeffrey "the ropes" and a new way of life. He even offers him a job as a salesman at one of his shops. Jeffrey is all ready to say F college! He now wants to be like his hero, Phil Brody, who also is the reigning king of the gin games at the club.
The movie is so old, but I won't spoil for you how it ends except to say that his illusions are pretty much shattered.
Great film. Great performance by a very young, very cute Matt Dillon.
One more thing. A special mention to Jessica Walter. She gave one of the most believe-able performances I've ever seen. I HATED HER.
The story takes place in the early 60s where 18-year-old Matt Dillon, a plumber's son from Brooklyn, gets a summer job at a private beach club. This was his final summer of carefree fun before going off to college, but his experiences at the beach club change his plans. He makes loads of money on tips, meets a beautiful blond and becomes fascinated by a new mentor, fast-talking businessman and cardshark Richard Crenna.
Crenna convinces Dillon that there are easier, faster (i.e. dishonest) ways to make loads of money than going off to college for years on end. When Dillon moves out of his house and cancels his college plans it naturally creates some serious friction with his father. Will Dillon go on to become the next generation's fast-talking businessman/cardshark in the mold of Crenna or will he see the error of such an enticing lifestyle?
Almost the entire film was shot on location at an Atantic beach club with loads of gorgeous females on hand, including Dillon's girlfriend in the story, Janet Jones. Cutie Marisa Tomei even has a cameo.
The bottom line is that "The Flamingo Kid" offers everything you'd want in such a film and more, including a truly interesting story in which you care about the outcome. And, thankfully, there's NO RAUNCH. In addition the soundtrack includes numerous early 60's hits like "Runaround Sue," etc. What's not to like?
Runtime: 100 minutes
Watch out for the scene where Elizondo encounters Crenna for the first time and sez: 'I already know who you are' more or less to Crenna. He can tell this is the type that would screw his friends at card games or in anything just to get ahead.
They don't beat you over the head with the 'coming of age life-lessons', but they are believably done and the movie does sink in as you watch it.
No surprise that Janet Jones greatest fame was as Gretzky's wife--now BETTING wife(!) at that---not as an actress. She's just kinda flat. Very easy on the eyes certainly but....Baywatch gal level you know? Check it out, the DVD doesn't have any extras but the story itself is well worth watching. Fun cameos by Steven Weber (Wings) and Marisa Tomei(Cousin Vinny) etc. too.
*** outta ****
A good cast and great music make this a very good movie..on a scale of one to ten.. 7
On a whole I rate the movie a 8.
Matt Dillon is our hero protagonist at the Long Island summer beach club where the boys live for the tips. But the guests here tip like Frank Sinatra, in fact some of them are paying their way through college. They're rich and like to thrown their money around. Just have your hand out and catch as a cabana boy.
Dillon is a working class kid with parents Hector Elizondo and Jessica Walter and dad's a working guy all his life and like every other parent hopes his kid will do better than being a plumber. Funny thing is that plumbers do very well and the work is steady.
But Dillon falls under the influence of charismatic car dealer Richard Crenna who eschews the value of education. He's Donald Trump with a little more polish. He also has a nice side income in some high stakes gin rummy games with some regulars at the cabana.
Essentially Dillon has to make a choice and get an education or go to work as Crenna's dealership. For all their smoothness it would probably astound Crenna at how much he does not know, but he probably wouldn't care.
Let's say Crenna is not quite the hero Dillon first thinks he is. Matt does a lot of growing up at that cabana that summer.
The Flamingo Kid is an acting duel between Dillon and Crenna. Dillon strikes a lot of emotions as the tough kid from Brooklyn who makes the right moves in the end. Crenna does one of the best performances in his career as a charming, but sneaky and potentially dangerous if the conflict was more than a gin rummy game.
Garry Marshall gives us a winner with The Flamingo Kid.