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The Gig (1985)
Great Little Movie
"The Gig" is a tight, funny and poignant little movie about a group of friends that have gathered together on a regular basis to play Dixieland for fun. The group unexpectedly lands a real paying job, in musician's parlance; a "gig".
They travel to upstate NY for a two week gig at a summer resort minus one member, who bows out due to contracting cancer. At the last minute, they hire a professional to take his place. Things get sticky as an over-the-hill Frankie Valli type attempts a comeback at the resort and tries to utilize the group as his band.
The attitude the professional bass player gave the guys rang true. By signing up to play the two-week gig, they were taking bread out of the mouths of someone who needed the job to feed his or her family. While Pop, Rock, Rap, Country and Western, and R&B stars make money off of albums. Jazz musicians have to travel abroad to make a living. Almost nobody gets rich. The guys living their dream also cost others a needed income.
I believe that almost everyone who can play a musical instrument with some proficiency dreams about playing a paying "gig" one time or another, Woody Allen and Kevin Bacon are two popular examples of this amateur-to-professional crossover. I especially recommend this movie to anyone who has ever played music professionally. My mom, who was a musician, LOVED it.
The Bachelor Party (1957)
Terrific, realistic slice-of-life "Lost" movie NOT on DVD!
This is one of my favorite movies,"Marty" is my number one!. Wonderful acting and realistic dialog not seen today except in small independent movies. As each character shows himself, we can see our own doubts and struggles with marriage and the accompanying responsibilities. I like how Nancy Marchand appears in this, she was "Clara" in the live TV version of "Marty" opposite Rod Steiger.Terrific location shots of New York in the 1950s especially Greenwich Village.
Now let's see the third in what I call the "Paddy Chayefsky Trilogy": "Marty", "The Bachelor Party" and (also, another "Lost" film not on DVD) "Middle of the Night"!
You're a Big Boy Now (1966)
A little-known gem of a little movie
One of my VERY favorite movies, but then again I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1960's and very much identified with the lead character, Bernard, when I saw the movie in 1966 at 13. Touching, funny, terrific Broadway cast and very well done especially considering the minuscule budget Coppola had to work with. I can imagine Mayor Lindsay's involvement, allowing Coppola to interrupt the Times Square "crawl" and to shoot in the NYC 42nd St. Library. Check out Coppola on "Inside the Actor's Studio" on Bravo talking about this film. He said he wanted to make a movie about the two best things in life; young love and hot pretzels!