5.5/10
1,366
35 user 14 critic

Pocket Money (1972)

Broke and in debt, an otherwise honest cowboy gets mixed up in some shady dealings with a crooked rancher.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

Terrence Malick (screenplay) (as Terry Malick), J.P.S. Brown (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Jim Kane
Lee Marvin ... Leonard
Strother Martin ... Bill Garrett
Wayne Rogers ... Stretch Russell
Hector Elizondo ... Juan
Christine Belford ... Adelita
Kelly Jean Peters ... Ex-Wife
Gregory Sierra ... Chavarin (as Gregg Sierra)
Fred Graham ... Uncle Herb
Matt Clark ... American Prisoner
Claudio Miranda Claudio Miranda ... Ministerio Publico
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Storyline

Jim Kane is a loser cowboy in Nogales, Arizona.He has more good nature than good sense and often takes jack-of-all-trades jobs. His bank loans are jeopardized when his latest horse purchase is a bust. His horses are quarantined with STD. Jim is broke. The local hotel clerk sympathetic about his situation lets him live in the hotel maid's room for free. His ex-wife goes gentle on him when he cannot make the alimony payments. Jim turns down his uncle's offer of a job but accepts a deal to buy cattle in Mexico for a shady businessman who has a bad reputation. Jim travels to Mexico where he teams up with another loser, an old friend by the name of Leonard, who moved to Mexico in order to pursue one of his many failed get-rich-quick schemes. The two amigos set out to buy Mexican cattle from various local ranchers but they experience difficulties and soon run into trouble. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The two most memorable characters the West can never forget!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jim Kane See more »

Filming Locations:

Ajo, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of Paul Newman's demands was that he got to spend an hour each morning on location in a sauna. That's why his character in the film uses the shower steam to create a sauna early in the story. See more »

Quotes

[In anger, a television was just thrown out a hotel window]
Bill Garrett: That's hotel property, and I'm just sittin' here waiting for the house dicks to come.
Leonard: [pretentiously, with sort of a faux-cool] But you're the one that's gotta have to pay.
Bill Garrett: Who the hell is he?
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Connections

Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Pocket Money
Written and Performed by Carole King
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

quirky, sure--but memorable!
11 October 2000 | by whitecargoSee all my reviews

This film is not as bad as the previous reviewer would have you believe. It just takes a different kind of mindset to enjoy it--you have to like nonlinearality. You have to be in a relaxed, maybe even coming-down-off-a-jag state of mind to appreciate its structure.

Paul Newman, affable as always in the lead, is not placed in any of the more familiar predictable, and simplistic predicaments cited by my colleague ( though, if anything, "character study" would come the closest to describing this film).

But, instead of an "easy" situation--the kind that makes us smug to be able to identify quickly--in this picture Newman battles ineffectually against a more subtle and insidious malaise, one not often focused on in film in this manner. Its a common problem--something we all deal with at one time or another--its that type of confidence-effacing, will-sapping, ego-draining personal economic debt that for many adults never really seems to go away.

Just like the rest of us, Newman's simply got an ego that wants to assert itself--but at every turn he's being strung up by the short-and-curlies due to lack of $$. He keeps trying however. Still, we see that throughout the film, each new situation somehow gets away from him and leaves him with nothing to show for his troubles. He's just too nice a guy to come out a winner.

He always needs more money than he's got and it affects everything he does--prevents him from really enjoying what might be an otherwise pleasant life. In the end he's forced to face that:

1) his troubles are maybe never going to be conquerable,

2) there will be a lot more (of the same kind of humiliation he's undergone all throughout the movie)throughout the rest of his life, and 3) despite this, there are still some dividends in life that make things easier to bear, like having a best friend, a car that runs, or just having enough money in your pocket to get a Coke.

Its true the movie has an unsatisfying conclusion--the very human plot in this film just doesnt have a happy resolution, (coincidentally, just the way real-life problems dont work out, what a concept for a film, right?).

But the hangdog ending, just like the rest of the film, is somehow difficult to forget. It has such an unusual, low-key pace and rhythm that it really stays with you. I have seen it come up at least 4-5 times on the late show and never been displeased--its rather like seeing an old friend.

Dont dismiss it--its a movie that can cheer you up under the right circumstances.


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