An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, NY after returning there for the first time in decades.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

Albany, New York, Halloween, 1938. Francis Phelan and Helen Archer are bums, back in their birth city. She was a singer on the radio, he a major league pitcher. Death surrounds them: she's sick, a pal has cancer, he digs graves at the cemetery and visits the grave of his infant son whom he dropped; visions of his past haunt him, including ghosts of two men he killed. That night, out drinking, Helen tries to sing at a bar. Next day, Fran visits his wife and children and meets a grandson. He could stay, but decides it's not for him. Helen gets their things out of storage and finds a hotel. Amidst their mistakes and dereliction, the film explores their code of fairness and loyalty. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tallo de hierro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,393,346 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A large part of the picture was filmed on location in Albany, the state capital of both New York and Albany County, in the USA, where the film's actual story is set. Specific Albany locations included Jay Street, Lark Street, Clinton Avenue, The Miss Albany Diner and The Albany Rural Cemetery. See more »

Goofs

When Francis returns to his wife's house, the kitchen floor has 12-inch vinyl composite tiles (VCT tiles). While VCT did exist in the 1930s, they were only in the 9 inch size. 12 inch VCTs were not made until the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

Francis Phelan: Goddamn dead men, traveling around together.
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Homer the Moe (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

He's Me Pal
Performed by Meryl Streep
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User Reviews

 
Depressing drama. Very good acting.
15 August 2000 | by (Muskogee OK) – See all my reviews

Jack Nicholson usually relies on his quirky mannerisms and catch phrases; in this movie he shows his acting talents in a more serious manner. This movie is a brutal look at street people in the late 1930s. Meryl Streep immerses herself into her part as usual. This movie is harsh, cold and depressing. And the running time almost pushes two and a half hours long. I honestly don't know what they could have left out to make it shorter. Once is enough for this one. It will take a while for you to get your mind off of the abundance of hardship and sadness.

Nicholson and Streep are joined with a solid, diverse cast that includes Carroll Baker, Michael O'Keefe, Tom Waits, Nathan Lane and Fred Gwynne.


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