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The Flamingo Kid
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Flamingo Kid More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Flamingo Kid

Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
13 May 1999

Charming comedy from Garry Marshall starring Dillon as a Brooklyn teenager taken aback by the smooth lifestyles at a posh beach club. At the club he meets swift characters like car dealer Richard Crenna, in a wonderful role and the lovely Janet Jones, before the Gretzky. Hector Elizondo is also stand out as Dillon's father. Marshall also wrote the script for the film and it flows with heart and humor all the way through.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Stands the Test of Time

10/10
Author: (missygoldstein@aol.com) from New York, NY
9 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was so great when it came out and is still great. I just watched it again 20 years later! Wow, has it been that long???? Charming story of a very bright young man Jeffrey Willis who has a bright future as an engineer. His father, a plumber wants to see his son become a success and wants him to stay on this path, but the summer before Jeffrey is to go off to college rather than working in an office he gets a job as first a parking lot attendant, and then quickly promoted to cabana boy at a fancy long island beach club. He is so enamoured with the lifestyle of these rich folks and especially impressed by Phil Brody, who made his fortune in luxury cars and feels he's found a new mentor.

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.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Worth owning

Author: torr59 from United States
22 October 2004

Good movie, worth owning, part for the time it represents, and part because of all the good acting (understated and funny). Richard Crenna plays a great pompous jerk (are we sure he's acting?) Hector Elizondo plays one of his best parts ever as the DAD ("Now he knows Kings!"), and Gretzky's wife even does a half decent job. Fisher Stevens and Bronson Pinchot play good supporting roles as well. Matt Dillon does a great job as a kid who's enamored with Crenna's BS. (One actress who is hot as hell is Carole Davis, who plays Crenna's daughter, and who I am almost positive was a Penthouse Pet at one time. She was also in "Mannequin" and "Shrimp on the Barbie". Hotter than Gretzky's wife).......Anyway, good lines, good script, good ending, good movie.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

THIS "KID'S" A WINNER...

10/10
Author: gary renfield (gary_renfield@email.com) from NEW JERSEY, USA
24 April 1999

This is a wonderfully entertaining story chock full of lessons in life. The lessons, are pretty universal and most have to be learned the hard way. The "kid", played by Matt Dillon, enters the world of the well-to-do, more well to do than him anyway. He is from a blue-collar neighborhood in 1963 Brooklyn. His entry??? Employment at the "El Flamingo", an upper-middle class beach club. Richard Crenna, wonderful as the slick, gin rummy playing member, befriends the kid. The lessons of the world revolve around the "big" gin rummy game. Lots of laughs, lots of fun, and Janet Jones make this movie a must see. I've seen it dozens of times myself, and will probably watch it dozens more.

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.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Delightful, some great dialogue too

9/10
Author: Warren Demurjian from Cherry Hill, NJ
24 November 2001

This Matt Dillon vehicle serves as the light-hearted equivalent to "A Bronx Tale." Richard Crenna plays the Chazz Palmentieri role as the idolized kingpin and Hector Elizondo plays the Robert DeNiro role of the honorable working class father. There is some memorable dialogue, cute humor, and distinctive card playing (the upside down fan). But, best of all, are the coming of age lessons that are taught to Dillon's character about values, hard work, and summer romance. In the latter category, the movie is aided immensely by the refreshing debut of Janet Jones (now best known as Mrs. Wayne Gretsky). I recommend this without reservation!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This holds up well.

7/10
Author: gazzo-2 from United States
10 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I always enjoy seeing something set in 1963 too; last year of that '50s era before everything kinda went to the 60's everyone knows and cringes at. Very well made, fine acting, Dillon, Crenna, Walter and Elizondo especially all at the top of their games.

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 ****

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Matt Dillon's summer as a cabana boy at a private beach club

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
13 March 2014

At first glance, 1984's "The Flamingo Kid" looks like a coming-of-age beach flick. What occasionally attracts me to these types of films is their youthful energy and fun spirit, as well as the babes. It brings one back in time to the carefree time of his/her coming-of-age years. What surprised me is that "The Flamingo Kid" is more than just a youth beach flick.

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

GRADE: A-

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Comedy!

Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
6 August 2011

A great cast but the storyline is about a kid coming of age during a summer stint as a valet/cabana boy at a Long Island Beach Club. Matt Dillon does a fine job in this role as a lead. He holds his own against heavyweights like Richard Crenna and Hector Elizondo. There is Jessica Walter who played bored Mrs. Brody. The cast also featured Martha Gehman as the sister, Nikki, to Dillon's Jeffrey Willis in the role. While Jeffrey's father, Arthur, is not too happy that his son is working at the club, he deals with it and Mr. Brody's influence over him. Arthur Willis is a hard working plumber who lives with his family in a Brooklyn apartment and not a spacious mansion in Long Island like the club's crowd. I also recall seeing Fisher Stevens and Brian McNamara play his friends and Bronson Pinchot in a small role as well. It's a fine film with some comedic moments but not too many and a predictable ending.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Dillon: Young and still very good

8/10
Author: wmcduffe (wmcduffe@yahoo.com) from Canada
23 March 2001

I thought this movie was very good. The cast is excellent. I loved Dillon, Elizondo and Crenna. They had great chemistry together. Janet Jones was nice too look at, but as far as acting goes, she didn't do it for me. The story was very good and kept me interested.

On a whole I rate the movie a 8.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

overlooked Garry Marshall comic gem

7/10
Author: goya-4 from PA USA
30 September 2000

Matt Dillon stars as a Brooklyn kid who gets a job at a summer club as a cabana boy where he learns about life in this coming of age comedy directed by Garry Marshall..along the way he meets a stunning beauty (Janet Jones, angelic in her screen debut) and he begins to fall for the good life and forgets about the true value of life, work and family.

A good cast and great music make this a very good movie..on a scale of one to ten.. 7

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