Henry Chinaski never cared for the American dream, the thought of needing to become 'something' and fit into the system disgusts him. He believes that life is free and yours to live like ... See full summary »
Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.
A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.
Henry Chinaski never cared for the American dream, the thought of needing to become 'something' and fit into the system disgusts him. He believes that life is free and yours to live like you see fit, and if that in some cases involves copious amounts of whiskey then so be it. Henry spends his days drinking and listening to the radio, and he spends his nights drinking and fighting against Eddy who he thinks personifies shallowness and shameless self promoting. Sometimes in the middle of this he finds the time to jot down a few lines of poetry or a short story. After fighting Eddy and winning for a change Henry is thrown out of his regular bar where Eddy is a bartender. This leads him to seek another watering hole where he happens to find Wanda who is a barfly, in her own words "if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I'd go with him". Henry is not fazed by this thou and moves in with her. Of course Wanda immediately goes off and sleeps with Eddy, but after some clothes ... Written by
Erik Wallen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The apartment building where Wanda's apartment was located was an actual building where Charles Bukowski and his lover Jane Baker Cooley, the real-life counterparts to Henry and Wanda, had lived. No one knew this until Bukowski, who was watching the filming, remembered. See more »
Henry calls an ambulance and gives address of apartment building as 334, while in scene earlier that day building is clearly marked 360. See more »
I take it you don't care for my world.
Well, baby, look around. It's a, it's a cage with golden bars.
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Barfly is a rarity in American cinema: a character study that doesn't worry about telling a story with a beginning, middle, and explosive end. Mickey Rourke is excellent as Henry Chinaski, a writer and habitue of skid row who isn't so much slumming as soaking in it. The real surprise here is Faye Dunaway as his love interest: it's easily her best performance since Chinatown and proves she still has it. Also of note is Frank Stallone as Eddie, the barman who keeps getting into one sided fist fights with Henry. A triumph and one of the best American films of the eighties.
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