Arctic prospector Jack McCann (Gene Hackman), after fifteen years of solitary searching, becomes one of the world's wealthiest men when he literally falls into a mountain of gold in 1925. Twenty years later, in 1945, he lives in luxury on a Caribbean island that he owns. But his wealth brings him no peace of mind as he copes with Helen (Jane Lapotaire), his bored, alcoholic wife; Tracy (Theresa Russell), his dear, but headstrong, daughter who has married a dissolute, philandering social-climber; and Miami mobsters who want his island to build a casino. His life is entangled with the obsessions of those around him with greed, power, and debauchery against a background of occult symbolism.Written by
Jerry Caplin <JCaplin001@aol.com>
The character of Mayakofsky (Joe Pesci) is a thinly disguised name for real-life mob boss Meyer Lansky. According to Wikipedia, source novelist Marshall Houts "proposed the theory that American gangster boss Meyer Lansky was behind the killing of (Harry) Oakes (the real-life person on whom Gene Hackman's Jack McCann was based), due to Oakes' resistance to casino gambling in the Bahamas." See more »
Jack McCann's discovery of the gold is several times said to take place in the winter of 1925. At this time, McCann has no family and is a complete loner. Yet, when the film moves forward to 1945, he has a married daughter who is said to be twenty years old in the early part of 1945. Her mother, McCann's wife, is an aristocratic Englishwoman who has married him for his money, and who therefore cannot have married him before 1926 at the earliest, which makes the daughter unlikely to be more than 18 in the 1945 scenes. Theresa Russell, who plays the daughter, was in her late twenties when the film opened. See more »
I loved my father before I loved you.
Claude Maillot Van Horn:
Was he more violent than me?
Stop asking me about violence!
Claude Maillot Van Horn:
Your father was savagely murdered, beaten, his head cut off. I'm on trial for my life. If I'm found guilty they'll hang me by the neck. This isn't a time or place to be shy about violence.
See more »
Although the UK cinema version was intact the 1986 Warner video release was missing 7 seconds from the death of Jack McCann, notably shots of a flame thrower being run over his body and face. These were not cut by the BBFC so presumably they were distributor edits. DVD releases are fully uncut. See more »
Eureka is the kind of film you think you'll hate unless you give it a fair shake. It is a interplay between many characters, much like a soap opera. It works only if you take a general interest in the trivialities of each character. Jack McCann (Hackman) is the center of the film. His life is all about the gold he felt he earned, and the principle that he will never have any partners to share a percentage with. His life is ravaged by Mayakofsky (Pesci) and his henchmen. Charles Perkins, a friend of Jack's spent much of the movie trying to warn him that these men were dangerous. Jack's dilemma wasn't that he was waiting for his death, but the fact that he thought he was invincible. Being stubborn and set in his ways, Jack refused to give in to Mayakofsky. Jack was a man preoccupied with gold, but not loveless. He seemed to love all the women in his life. Also his daughter, Spacey Tracy. A loose young woman married to Claude (Hauer). Tracy had her head in the clouds, and wanted to live in a fantasy world. She did not provoke the fights between her father and Claude, but instigated them. She wanted Claude to fight as a proof of his love. Claude was most elusive. You never get his angle. If he loved Tracy or was just using her. She even used the witness stand as a way of finding out where Claude stood with her instead of pinning for the guilty ones involved in the tragic end of her father. (Claude did his own defense in court!) The movie has it's funny points. Like the dinner table scene at the McCann's where Jack makes some insulting remarks to the guests. Some of the best scenes involve Aurelio D'Amato, played by Mickey Rourke. He's cast in another glossed over film where he is perfect, but forgotten. D'Amato is a yiddish associate of Mayakofsky. And one of the main guys pestering Jack to sign the Luna Bay deal.(Mayakofsky wanted to build a casino on it.) There are scenes where D'Amato is begging Jack to sign. His baby face and soft voice should have gotten the devil to sign the document, but Jack wasn't so easy. Rourke's performance alone is reason enough to see this movie. And its not surprising he has a night with Tracy. Tracy loved Claude, but how could she resist D'Amato? Eureka is more of a film about the desires of man. Each character wants something, and they spend the entire film in pursuit of those things.
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