Atlantic City is a place where people go to realize their dreams, the promise of the future manifested by the demolition of the old crumbling buildings to be replaced by new hotels and casinos. Someone who recently came to Atlantic City for that promise is native Moose Javian (Saskatchewan) Sally Matthews, who currently works as a waitress at a hotel oyster bar, but who is training to be a black jack croupier and wants to be more cultured, such as learning French, in order to work at the casinos in Monte Carlo. Another dreamer who came to Atlantic City decades ago is Lou Pascal, who has long worked as a numbers runner and who claims to have been a cellmate and thus implied confidante of Bugsy Siegel. Although Lou still dresses to the standard to which he is accustomed, his dream long died as he only works penny ante stuff for Fred, most of his current income from being the kept man of widowed recluse, Grace Pinza. Grace too came to Atlantic City to fulfill her dreams - most ...Written by
Actress Ginger Rogers was offered the role of Grace but turned it down, the part in the end being played by Kate Reid. Reportedly, Rogers replied with a note saying: "How dare you! At this stage in my career, that I'm going to end up in this filth!". See more »
There is no channel 7 on TV in Philadelphia. However, channel 7 may have been used in order to distance the fictional portrayal from the actual Philadelphia stations. See more »
Mrs. Matthews, you can claim the body tomorrow.
[walking away to the exit]
I don't want the body!
See more »
As the end credits roll, an old building on the boardwalk is demolished to some of the tunes that appear earlier in the film. Each time the wrecking ball hits, we hear a cymbal crash and the soundtrack jumps to a different song. See more »
Screenwriter John Guare and director Louis Malle give tribute to people in transition, set to the back drop of a city in transition.
Set in 1970s Atlantic City in the early days of legalized gambling, we find a young woman (Susan Sarandon) working in the fish section of a casino restaurant while learning to be a card dealer. At the same time, an elderly, small-time hood (Burt Lancaster) is stuck taking care of a gangster's widow (Kate Reid). Sarandon's husband and her younger sister ran off together and unexpectedly reappear looking for a place to stay. Her sister is now pregnant and her low-life husband is trying to sell drugs stolen from a big-time dealer in Philadelphia. Sarandon's husband meets Lancaster in a bar while trying to set up a deal to sell the drugs, and he convinces Lancaster to be his "mule." Lancaster and Sarandon being neighbors -- with her brother in law as the mutual acquaintance -- are brought together and become involved in more trouble than they ever thought imaginable.
The refreshing aspect of this motion picture is that it avoids the typical Hollywood pitfall where character development and dialogue play second fiddle to car chases and stunt scenes. In Atlantic City the odious characters and sticky situations are secondary to the development/relationships of the lead characters. This is the first excellent performance on film of a young Sarandon, and one of the finest performances of Lancaster's distinguished career.
This film has been butchered on cable, VHS, and laserdisc. Please let's have a quality remaster on DVD in widescreen format.
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