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A lonely Navy sailor falls in love with a hooker and becomes a surrogate father figure for her son during an extended liberty, due to his service records being lost.Written by
Dana Luke <email@example.com>
John's back pay of $1,400 would equate to $8,300 in 2018. See more »
James Caan is wearing on his right shoulder rocker assigned to the USS Orlando. The only USN ship named USS Orlando was was sold for scrap 10 November 1947, 25 years before the time setting of the movie. See more »
You are so dumb you make me sick, whitey.
John Baggs Jr.:
Well I'm getting kinda fond of you too, spook.
See more »
The film's title refers to a real-life temporary "pass" or "leave" issued to navy personnel. In this fictional story, John Baggs, Jr. (James Caan) is one such sailor, stuck in Seattle on leave, a man who doesn't know what to do with his time, or his life. He ends up at a beer joint where he meets Maggie (Marsha Mason), a part-time hooker and pool hustler. "Cinderella Liberty" is the story about how these two lonely people meet, and their on-again, off-again romantic relationship.
Baggs is a low-key sort of fellow. But he doesn't take any guff from anyone. Maggie is on welfare. She lives with her eleven-year old son, Doug, in a dingy apartment in a dingy tenement building. Baggs tries to help the kid, but Doug has lots of emotional baggage, as does his mother.
The main characters are somewhat tragic. Baggs is certainly no war hero. Indeed, he's rather ordinary, but very caring. Yet, despite his best efforts to unite the three of them into a family, things don't always work out. But the film has a surprise ending that helps offset earlier distressing plot points.
Mostly downbeat and depressing, "Cinderella Liberty" is very 1970ish. Cinematography conveys an evocative mood, dark and dreary, and some of the images have a reddish tint. Post Viet Nam, the military is portrayed as somewhat bumbling. There's an obvious absence of military bravado and swagger, which engenders the story with a sense of realism.
Casting and acting are fine. The chemistry between Caan and Mason seems genuine. The film was shot entirely on-location in Seattle. No film studios were used.
This is a story of dashed hopes, of opportunities lost. Although not for everyone, mostly because of the very slow plot pace, "Cinderella Liberty" is a realistic, character driven story, the kind that's rarely made by contemporary Hollywood.
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