After being released on parole, a career burglar assaults his former probation officer, returns to a life of crime, and goes on the run.

Directors:

Ulu Grosbard, Dustin Hoffman (uncredited)

Writers:

Edward Bunker (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Max Dembo
Theresa Russell ... Jenny Mercer
Gary Busey ... Willy Darin
Harry Dean Stanton ... Jerry Schue
M. Emmet Walsh ... Earl Frank
Rita Taggart ... Carol Schue
Kathy Bates ... Selma Darin
Sandy Baron ... Manny
Jake Busey ... Henry Darin (as Jacob Busey)
Tina Menard ... Hotel Manager
Stephanie Ericsson Stephanie Ericsson ... Bar Patron (as Stephanie Ericsson Baron)
Dave Kelly Dave Kelly ... Counterman
Don Sommese Don Sommese ... Waiter
Kit Jee Wong Kit Jee Wong ... Grocer
Peter Kwong ... Grocery Clerk
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Storyline

After many juvenile detentions and six years in prison, the small time thief and burglar Max Dembo is released on parole. Max has an initial friction with his nasty parole officer Earl Frank, but the officer agrees to let him live in a hotel room if he gets a job within a week. Max goes to an employment agency and the attendant Jenny Mercer helps him to get a job in a can industry. Max decides to go straight and visits his old friend Willy Darin and his family. When Willy brings Max home, he injects heroin and leaves his spoon under Max's bed. Max dates Jenny, and on the next day after hours, he finds Frank waiting for him snooping around his room. Frank finds the spoon and sends Max to prison for tests to prove whether he had a fix or not. Despite the negative result, Frank leaves Max for a week imprisoned. When Max is released again, Frank gives a ride and presses him to tell who had a fix in his room. Max hits Frank, steals his car, and seeks out his former friends to restart his ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's an ex-con. He's got to get a job . . . keep his dignity . . . and still go straight! [Australia Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Bunker: Wrote the novel on which the film is based, after spending time in prison for armed robbery. See more »

Goofs

At the 87 minute-mark, in the office of Jerry's shop, when Max and Jerry are discussing their next stickup job and the subject of a driver comes up, Max says he knows someone, picks up the phone to call him, but dials only six digits instead of the standard seven. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Schue: [Max, Jerry and Carol are enjoying a backyard barbecue. Carol leaves to grab some drinks] Get me outta here. They're killing me. I can't make this scene anymore, get me outta here... You got something, I know you got something...
Max Dembo: Yeah, I got something.
Jerry Schue: Well, let's do it.
Max Dembo: Don't you wanna know what it is?
Jerry Schue: I don't give a damn what it is, let's just do it... What is it?
Max Dembo: Bunch of old guys play poker over in a motel out in the valley. They got about twenty thousand dollars on the table. We just tip toe in,...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Straight Time: He Wrote It for Criminals (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Harry Dean Stanton
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User Reviews

 
Excellent Film!!!
29 January 2005 | by xlpSee all my reviews

I wasn't expecting much from this film especially since it's only 6.9 on IMDb, and barely any posts about it, but don't let that fool you, this is probably one of the most under-appreciated movies i've ever seen in my life.

I really see why Dustin Hoffman is sometimes regarded as one of the best actors of all-time.. he had such a strong performance, so congruent and alpha. It's really a movie where you just GOT to keep watching to see what happens next, and it's well worth watching, you'll love it. I think if more people see it, it's going to be a "cult favorite".

8.5/10 GO SEE IT!


48 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Cantonese

Release Date:

21 April 1978 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

No Beast So Fierce See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First Artists, Sweetwall See more »
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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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