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Heavy Traffic (1973)

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An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writer:

Ralph Bakshi
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Kaufmann Joseph Kaufmann ... Michael Corleone
Beverly Hope Atkinson Beverly Hope Atkinson ... Carole
Frank DeKova ... Angelo "Angie" Corleone (voice)
Terri Haven Terri Haven ... Ida Corleone (voice)
Mary Dean Lauria Mary Dean Lauria ... Molly (voice)
Jacqueline Mills Jacqueline Mills ... Rosalyn Schecter (voice)
Lillian Adams ... Rosa (voice)
Jamie Farr
Robert Easton
Charles Gordone Charles Gordone ... Crazy Moe (voice)
Michael Brandon ... Voice characterization
Morton Lewis Morton Lewis ... (voice)
Bill Striglos Bill Striglos ... (voice)
Jay Lawrence Jay Lawrence ... (voice)
Lee Weaver ... (voice)
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Storyline

An animated feature which begins, ends and occasionally combines with, live-action filmed on location. A white dropout struggles to create comics and animated films, drawing inspiration from the harsh, gritty world around him. Still sharing his run-down apartment with his middle-aged parents, an oafish slob of an Italian father and a ditzy nut-case of a Jewish mother, he is ridiculed and looked down upon by his friends, hypocrites who run with violent gangs and the Italian Mafia, and a shallow Black girl who makes her living downtown with the pimps and pushers. This cartoonist gets a chance to pitch a film idea to a movie mogul, but the story proves too outrageous: a far-future Earth, destroyed by war and pollution, where a mutant antihero challenges and kills God. Complications ensue when the cartoonist's parents react in irrational ways to his various involvements. Written by orb

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's animated, but it's not a cartoon. It's funny, but it's not a comedy. It's real. It's unreal. It's heavy. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Yiddish

Release Date:

17 November 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Flipper City 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

Ralph Bakshi lists this as his favorite among his own films, while many critics claim it to be his best film. In fact, some have debated it as the greatest non-Disney animated film of all time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael: What makes you happy? What makes you happy? Where do you go? Where do you go? Where do you hide? Where do you hide? Who do you see? Who do you see? Who do you trust? Who do you trust? Who do you screw? Who do you screw? What kills the pain? What kills the pain? Game up, game win. Bug around, set it straight. Transaction. Play it hard, hurts so bad. Gotta win. Everyone loses. Everthing loses. Gotta win big. Sick and tired of losing. Where does it all go? Where does it all go? Where ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1974, the film was cut and rereleased with an "R" rating, replacing the previous "X" rated version. See more »

Connections

Edited from 42nd Street (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto in B Flat Minor
By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Peter Tchaikovsky)
See more »

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User Reviews

Can someone help me here?
2 November 2003 | by Bill21See all my reviews

Can anyone give me one single reason why anyone should watch "Heavy Traffic"? I think it may be the worst film I've ever seen, and I'm saying that without a shred of hyperbole.

First, the animation: I know a lot of people find it charming, but it stinks. Yes, there are a few good sequences and some clever parts, but 95% is just crude and terrible. It's something that would have been much better if put into live action. Why animate something when it would be easy to show it live?

Second, the story. Where the hell is it? An "underground animator" (how cliche) hates his life and then goes out to become a pimp? Are you kidding me? There is no semblance of plot or logic. I know it's a "fantasy world" and all but that doesn't forgive Bakshi of not having any kind of plot whatsoever. A pathetic excuse for a script.

Thirdly, the stereotypes. Gays, blacks, Jews, Italians, the handicapped, everyone is fair game. And while I wasn't offended by these creations per se, I just found them lazy and uninteresting. Is there anything that separates Bakshi's Jewish mother from any other stereotype of a Jewish mother that you've ever seen?

I found this film a complete waste of time.


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