Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Detective
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Jim
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Janice
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Lilly
Gloria LeRoy ...
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Ben
Harry Cohn ...
Rick
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Joe
Joe Rice ...
Old Man in Bar
Julie 'Sunny' Pearson ...
Hooker in Bar
Donald L. Norden ...
Man in Alley
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Storyline

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 <erik.wallen@bluetie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bar | whiskey | drinking | visit | money | See All (153) »

Taglines:

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bar kelebegi  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,221,568 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Trevor Jones was considered to write original music for this film, but director Barbet Schroeder felt that source music was more suited for the film's authenticity. See more »

Goofs

When Henry gets out of bed, Tully has terrible bedhead as their conversation starts. When it cuts back to her a second later, her hair has been neatly brushed. See more »

Quotes

Tully: Why did you send your stuff to us?
Henry: Well, I liked the title of the mag. It boggled my scrotum.
Tully: Why don't you stop drinking? Anybody can be a drunk.
Henry: Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.
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Connections

Referenced in Precious (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme for Ernie
By Fred Lacey
Published by Presitge Music (BMI)
Performed by John Coltrane
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Not your typical Golan-Globus production
25 April 2000 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

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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