5.7/10
1,346
28 user 8 critic

Born to Win (1971)

A smart-mouthed junkie and loser known as J.J. (George Segal) spends his days looking for just "one more fix".

Director:

Ivan Passer

Writers:

David Scott Milton (screenplay), Ivan Passer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... J
Karen Black ... Parm
Paula Prentiss ... Veronica
Jay Fletcher Jay Fletcher ... Billy Dynamite
Hector Elizondo ... Vivian
Robert De Niro ... Danny (as Robert DeNiro)
Ed Madsen Ed Madsen ... Detective
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Marlene
Irving Selbst Irving Selbst ... Stanley
Tim Pelt Tim Pelt ... Little Davey
José Pérez José Pérez ... Junior Conception (as Jose Perez)
Sylvia Syms Sylvia Syms ... Cashier (as Sylvia Simms)
Jack Hollander Jack Hollander ... Harry
Alex Colon ... Bus Boy
Max Brandt Max Brandt ... Store Clerk
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Storyline

J.J., a former New York City hairdresser, commits petty crimes, often with his friend Billy Dynamite, to support his drug habit. He's not very good at it, with something often going wrong. One of J.J.'s more regular gigs is working as a mule for Vivian - who J.J. calls Geek Man to Vivian's chagrin - a pimp for who J.J.'s ex-wife, Veronica, also a junkie, now hustles also to support her habit. J.J.'s life has the potential to change the result of two encounters. One is with a pair of NYPD narcs who have him over a barrel concerning his drug use and what they want out of him to make a drug conviction go away. Two is with a young woman named Parm who he meets in the act of one of his crimes. J.J. and Parm enter into a relationship, the love and support within that makes J.J. want to come out on top for once in his life. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their story is written on his arm. If they can get a grip on each other, maybe they can turn their lives around.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1972 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Addict See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the original screenplay was "Scraping Bottom". The copyright can be read under the title clearly as being credited to Scraping Bottom Productions. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J: They same I'm a charmer... that I charm the people I hustle. Well, that comes after dealing with women, after hairdressing. I love to dress hair! But being that I know what to do, being that I'm hip enough to know, I do it!
See more »

Connections

References Sudden Terror (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad in C
Written by Karen Black
Sung by Karen Black
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'Born To Win, A Gem!
8 March 2006 | by Kieran GreenSee all my reviews

'BORN TO WIN' Is a Downbeat, but Somewhat very funny look at drug addicts, in New York, The ever Excellent George Segal, plays JJ a former Hairdresser,Who is fixed on heroin,and with him on his quest for the perfect fix is his pal played by Jay Fletcer,

One night on the streets JJ is attempting to steal a car,but is amusingly caught by the owner who is played by the free spirited Karen Black,who brings Segal home together the pair fall for each other despite Segal's, desperate Heroin ridden antics,

Cult Favorite Paula Prentiss,(The Original Stepford Wives) plays JJ's former wife who is Highly strung, unfortunately she becomes property of the local pimp and supplier 'geek' played by Hector Elizondo,

One scene in this classic that's worth mentioning is Segal's superb knack for physical comedy is the 'take your clothes off' scene, that see's Segal, at the mercy of the supplier's the scene where Segal attempts to get the attention of the teenager across at the adjacent apartment is a hoot! And Segal's subsequent chase clad only in a robe is hilarious! A Very Young Robert De' Niro, plays an undercover cop out to bust JJ,

Don't be fooled by the many DVD's available of this classic with 'De Niro on the cover Segal is the Star!


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