William Saroyan's Pulitzer Prize-winning play revolves around the denizens of a San Francisco bar in 1939. Lonely, lovelorn, weary or cynical, the characters drift in and out of the bar and... See full summary »
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Alan J. Pakula
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
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William Saroyan's Pulitzer Prize-winning play revolves around the denizens of a San Francisco bar in 1939. Lonely, lovelorn, weary or cynical, the characters drift in and out of the bar and each other's lives, giving voice to Saroyan's philosophies as they randomly comment about the impending world war, the beauty of art, and traditional notions of good and evil. At least one of the relationships stands a chance of enduring: a brawny innocent named Tom is falling in love with a vulnerable young prostitute named Kitty. Saroyan himself is heard reciting the play's prologue. Written by
It's 1936 and a bunch of people come and go in a San Francisco bar. One of them is rich but unhappy. He drinks champagne by the gallon and is constantly doing favors for the others, including a whore played by Patti LuPone.
There's not much of a story, and the acting and dialogue tend to be over-the-top. Still, along with the sometimes sentimental hamminess comes an odd liveliness that makes this worth watching.
I especially liked the final few moments, in which all the characters give a pat on the back and a thumbs-up to someone who has committed a very serious crime.
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