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A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.

Director:

Mike Hodges

Writer:

Mike Hodges
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Mickey King
Mickey Rooney ... Preston Gilbert
Lionel Stander ... Ben Dinuccio
Lizabeth Scott ... Betty Cippola
Nadia Cassini ... Liz
Dennis Price ... The Englishman
Al Lettieri ... Miller
Leopoldo Trieste ... Marcovic
Amerigo Tot Amerigo Tot ... Partisan
Robert Sacchi ... The Bogeyman (as Roberto Sacchi)
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini ... Typing Pool Manager
Joe Zammit Cordina ... The Beautiful Thing
Luciano Pigozzi ... Clairvoyant
Maria Cumani Quasimodo ... Office Manageress (as Maria Quasimodo)
Liù Bosisio Liù Bosisio ... 1st Typist (as Liu Bosisio)
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Storyline

Michael King is a seedy writer of sleazy pulp genre novels under a half dozen sensational pseudonyms whose ambition is to dictate 10,000 words per minute to stenographers a la Earle Stanley Gardner. He's recruited by the agent of Preston Gilbert, a quirky ex-Hollywood star currently living reclusively in exile in Malta, to help him write his biography. Despite being pursued by an enigmatic hit man, Gilbert has a large entourage of eccentrics and remains an inveterate practical joker. After Gilbert is eventually murdered by an apparent priest, King tries to stay alive himself while interacting with a variety of idiosyncratic characters including an ersatz princess, a henpecked clairvoyant, and a cross-dressing hit man. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Write it. Live it. But try not to be it. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Memoirs of a Ghostwriter See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original title was "Memoirs of a Ghostwriter". See more »

Goofs

In his narration, Michael Caine claims that five people were in their graves, as a result of the proceedings of the movie, but there were actually six: Preston Gilbert; the singer at Preston's banquet; the accordionist at the banquet; the servant at the poolside shooting ("the projectionist," according to Nadia Cassini); the old Italian who directed Caine to the beach; and of course, Jack Miller. See more »

Quotes

Mickey King: You like being the wife of a politician, kissing babies and all that bit?
Princess Betty Cippola: I don't stop at babies.
Mickey King: Are you trying to canvas me, princess?
Princess Betty Cippola: [laughs] I can always use a floating voter.
Mickey King: But I don't have a title.
Princess Betty Cippola: King's good enough. Come up to my castle sometime. This weekend's fine with me.
Liz Adams: [cattily] Betty, What special qualities do you need to be a princess?
Princess Betty Cippola: Only one - I'm very good in bed.
Preston Gilbert: So I've been told.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The words "The End" are 'incorrectly' typed and appear as "The Enf1/2". See more »

Connections

References The Flying Nun (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Funiculi Funicula
(uncredited)
Written by Luigi Denza and Peppino Turco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Comedy Treat
19 April 2005 | by ms015g6428See all my reviews

This film confounded those who were expecting a performance from Caine that echoed the 'hard man of few words' character which he mastered in Get Carter only one year before Pulp. Some saw it as playing his recent success for laughs, but when viewed separate from Get Carter, the jokes still stand up. The sense of farce builds and the sinister setting and plot twists move the story along without breaking the essential flow. Much of the comedy comes from well delivered one liners parodying the pulp novelist, so often seen today but done well for the first time in this film, but the understated "black slapstick" and the stoic character portrayed by Caine have much comedic value. The main reason this film is little known now is that it never quite fit into a genre very well. The only advice I can offer is to watch the film without Caine preconceptions and let the laughs come.


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