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What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963)

A writer named Algernon (but called Harry by his friends) buys a picture of a boat on a lake, and his obsession with it renders normal life impossible. He attempts to function again by ... See full summary »

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writer:

Martin Scorsese
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Cast

Cast overview:
Zeph Michelis Zeph Michelis ... Harry
Mimi Stark Mimi Stark ... Wife
Sarah Braveman Sarah Braveman ... Analyst
Fred Sica Fred Sica ... Friend
Robert Uricola Robert Uricola ... Singer
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Storyline

A writer named Algernon (but called Harry by his friends) buys a picture of a boat on a lake, and his obsession with it renders normal life impossible. He attempts to function again by consulting an analyst and becoming married, but eventually succumbs to his strange anxiety by disappearing into the picture. Written by Mike Arndt <clayton@hooked.net>

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Plot Keywords:

picture | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1992 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Che sta facendo una ragazza carina come te in un posto come questo? See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Meet Bob Shaye (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
wacky stuff, experimental, not totally funny, but goofy in a cool way
15 September 2006 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

I wouldn't say that What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? is one of Scorsese's best short films, but it shows his earliest roots as a filmmaker as being inventive and very wacky ones indeed. His editing style here with Robert Hunsicker completely abandons any reason for convention and just bounces around somewhere in that sweet, strange realm between the avant garde and a cartoon. It deals with a man who basically has trouble sleeping, eating, and most of all writing, but then he meets a girl, but that too doesn't work out too well. There's no real 'plot' at all to describe, as Scorsese is not in the frame of mind here to go by one. It's got that style of improv-comedy that is almost like someone from the beats, only working with a more visual aesthetic here.

Sometimes its just a little too 'hip' for its own good, and the signs of first-time amateur hour almost comes into frame. But it's still a Scorsese picture all the way, with one shot that pans around the guy sitting down seeming to recall other shots in his oeuvre. Maybe the funniest part of the film though is, in the narration, how the guy keeps on referring to 'his friend(s)', to which Scorsese repeatedly cuts back to this older guy in sunglasses, who says his lines perfectly dead-pan. I was very glad to see it, even if- of course- it's not flawless, far from it. It's a quickie made on the fly, but it's got some good grit to it, and even a little musical number thrown in (the one time in the film where it actually doesn't cut TOO crazily from one spot to the next, one of the film's odd charms).


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