After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit.
Billy is released after five years in prison. In the next moment, he kidnaps teenage student Layla and visits his parents with her, pretending she is his girlfriend and they will soon marry (and forcing her to say the same). Written by
"Buffalo '66" is a different kind of low budget film. It is the kind of film that most high budget films should attempt to emulate!
Tons of congratulations to Vincent Gallo. He wrote the story and screen play, directed the film, and was the main star. People are always told to write what they know something about. It is true. Vincent wrote about Buffalo, New York, where he was born and raised. He even used the same house he grew up in as well as local places in Buffalo for his scenic backgrounds. I hear that the budget for this film was only $1.5 million dollars. It proves that a good story with good writing and actors who are intensely dedicated to their craft can surpass even the most expensive movie that is lacking in telling a meaningful story.
I won't retell the story as enough has already been written about it. Vincent Gallo did a great job in his role as Billy Brown. Christina Ricci plays a wonderful low-keyed costarring role as Layla. I was pleasantly surprised to see Rosanna Arquette appear in a small role as Billy Brown's school heartthrob, Wendy Balsam. Look for her to appear in the scene at Denny's Restaurant. Anjelica Huston was wonderful as the disinterested mother, Jan Brown, who seems to have spent her life adoring the Buffalo Bills football team instead of being a loving mother. Ben Gazzara played his mean and overbearing father, Jimmy Brown.
One actor who should have received film credit is Billy's only friend, Rocky the Goon played by Kevin Corrigan. Kevin was excellent in his role. Other notable surprises in this film are appearances by Mickey Rourke, Jan-Michael Vincent, Kevin Pollak, and Alex Karras. A number of small role performers seem to be local Buffalo citizens doing small one-liner parts as the film progresses around the City of Buffalo. A good move on director Vincent Gallo's part because using local citizens in speaking roles assures that the script is believable and natural.
Regardless of the comments Vincent Gallo made about himself in his trivia section of his Internet Movie Database I think he deserves credit for bringing this film to the attention of the movie world. I would hope that Roger Ebert selects this film for one of his Overlooked Film Festival viewings. The film is that good.
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