This story of four working-class kids in a small industrial town--who go their separate ways after high school in the innocence of 1961 and come together again at the end of the turbulent ... See full summary »
After incurring the wrath of the mob, a comic flees Detroit for Chicago taking the name "Mickey One" from a stolen Social Security card from a homeless bum he witnesses being beaten up and robbed. As he returns to the stage and becomes successful, he fears that the mob will track him down. He wishes to square himself with the mob, but doesn't know what he did to anger them or what his debt is.Written by
Location filming was done in Chicago March through May of 1964. The stars stayed at the Astor Towers Hotel during filming. Interiors were shot at Fred Niles Studios which are now Oprah's Harpo Studios. The exterior of the Xanadu night club in the film was the old Gate of Horn folk club at the southeast corner of Dearborn & Chicago. The interior night club scenes were shot in what had been the short-lived "new" Chez Paree at 400 N. Wabash. The film opened in Chicago on October 27, 1965 at the Woods Theater which can be seen in film with the film "The Cardinal" listed on the marquee. See more »
(Spoilers) Strange motion picture out of the 1960's about a comic on the run from the mob who in the end gives up running and finally faces what fate, or the syndicate, has in store for him.
Polish/American stand-up comic Mickey One(Warren Beatty),a name that he took later in the film while on the lamb, feels he's lived beyond his means and now has to pay up to keep himself from being done in by the Detroit mobsters who he's deeply in debt to.
We see at the beginning of the movie a montage of Micky One's lifestyle with money, that the mob advanced him, going up in smoke with his gambling drinking and women women women with no end in sight. Now Mickey realizes that he's got to pay up to keep from getting his arms and legs broken and goes to see his manager Rudy Lopp, Franchot Tone, to see what he owes.
Micky finds out that he's squandered well over $20,000.00 of the mobs money and has no way of paying it back. Terrified and fearing that he's on the mobsters hit-list Mickey makes a run for it out of Detroit and during the next four years drifts all throughout the USA finally ending up in Chicago.
Working all kinds off odd jobs one in which he disposed the garbage at a local flop-house Mickey slowly goes back to what he does best stand-up comedy. By doing that Mickey's exposing himself to the mobsters who have been out looking for him in all the major nightclubs from Detroit to Denver trying to find and even murder him.
Like a man on a tightrope Mickey has to be good on the stage in order to support himself as a stand-up comic but at the same time not that good in order not to draw attention on himself and thus have himself beaten or rubbed out for his compulsive gambling and womanizing. That lead to him sticking the Detroit Mobsters with a +$20,000.00 tab.
Trusting no one Mickey lives in this run down apartment building in the Chicago slums and one day a young women Jenny, Alexandra Stewart, mistakenly end up in his apartment thinking that it was vacant by paying the landlady the rent. Reluctantly letting Jenny stay with him turns out to be at first the worst and later on the best thing that happened to Mickey One in the movie.
Stark and brooding "Mickey One" is one of the best example of surrealistic American cinema to come out of the 1960's or 70's. Watching the film you get the impression that your seeing a Salvador Dali painting come to life.
A lot of the scenes in the film don't seem to make any sense even for a movie as surrealistic like "Mickey One". But they somehow or another make the film move towards it's somewhat freaked-out conclusion without interfering with the movies basic plot: a man on the run for his life.
The ending of the movie, with Mickey driven to the point of not caring if he lived or died anymore, is really something to watch. Beaten and battered, from a bar fight that spilled into the street the night before, Mickey goes on the stage of a swanky Chicago nightclub, the Xanadu, to do what may very well be his last performance in show business and possibly his life.
Besides the aforementioned cast the movie also has veteran actors Hurd Hatfield and Jeff Corey as the Xanadu's owner and manager Castle & Fryer as well as Teddy Heart as Mickey's sad and tragic booking agent Georgie Berson.
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