7.4/10
6,771
65 user 48 critic

Straight Time (1978)

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 is decided to begin a new life 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 ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

can he go straight or will he go straight back inside? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman personally hired Composer David Shire for the film. Shire received a phone call from Hoffman one night at his home to the surprise of Shire, and immediately accepted the assignment. 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

References The Wiz (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Two of Us
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Norma Green (as Norma Helms)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
unseen gem
24 April 2004 | by pswanson00See all my reviews

My wife and I saw this in the theater at the time of its release, and I've never talked to anyone else who's seen it. This is among Dustin Hoffman's grittiest work, and he is superb (I've read that this is his favorite of his own films). Gary Busey, a gorgeous 20-year old Theresa Russell,and the old pro Harry Dean Stanton are all excellent. This film is among my all-time favorites, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Since reviews are required to be at least ten lines long, I'll add that it took me several minutes to recognize the young, skinny Kathy Bates, who was spot-on as Busey's justifiably concerned wife. I'm a fan of character actors, and M. Emmett Walsh is great as the asshole parole officer. I hope that this film will someday be re-released, ala Taxi Driver, and get a chance to prove itself to a new generation of audiences.


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