Rheinhardt, a cynical drifter, gets a job as an announcer for right-wing radio station WUSA in New Orleans. Rheinhardt is content to parrot WUSA's reactionary editorial stance on the air, even if he doesn't agree with it. Rheinhardt finds his cynical detachment challenged by a lady friend, Geraldine, and by Rainey, a neighbor and troubled idealist who becomes aware of WUSA's sinister, hidden purpose. And when events start spinning out of control, even Rheinhardt finds he must take a stand.Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
First, the man took a drink, friends. Then the drink took a drink. Then the drink took the man. Now that could be the end of the story. But because there is a power greater than ours that man was able to raise himself up and walk again in the sunlight of grace. Dearly beloved, that young man was myself.
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The preview version ran 3hrs and 10 minutes according to cast member Robert Quarry. Much of his character and several other characters' motivation and dramatic development scenes were cut out before release. See more »
A drifter comes to Louisiana and gets a job as a DJ at a ultra conservative radio station. Despite being a professed liberal Newman decides to just go along with it's right wing rhetoric because he has grown apathetic with things and now just wants to 'blend in'.
The idea has a lot of potential, but is never able to take off. Part of the problem is that instead of trying to play it like satire (ala NETWORK) it instead works it with almost pinpoint seriousness. The film seems intent of saturating the viewer with it's gloom and doom message. It becomes such a long and winding stream of social complexities that the viewer, as with the main character, just grows apathetic with it all. It's 'powerful' statements are simply redundant. It is just too engulfed with the politics of it's day to give anything that is broadly insightful.
It is easy to see why this is probably Newman's most forgettable film. There is just nothing unique or even slightly diverting about it. It meanders badly and there is absolutely no action. The 'exciting' mob scene at the end looks staged and unconvincing.
The film looks to have leanings of a character study, but even they are weak. Newman's angry loner role is simply a less intense version of his HUD character. Woodward as the prostitute with a 'heart of gold' is cliched and dull. Perkins is the only one that comes off as interesting, but it's not enough to save it.
This is truly a limp and lifeless picture. It would be amazing if there was ANYONE who would like it.
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