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Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981)

Storie di ordinaria follia (original title)
Poet/lecturer Charles Serking awakens from his alcoholic haze long enough to take a bus back to L.A. and plunge into an orgy of drink and sexual depravity.

Director:

Marco Ferreri

Writers:

Marco Ferreri (scenario), Sergio Amidei (scenario) | 4 more credits »
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9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ben Gazzara ... Charles Serking
Ornella Muti ... Cass
Susan Tyrrell ... Vera
Tanya Lopert ... Vicky
Roy Brocksmith ... Barman
Katya Berger ... Girl on Beach (as Katia Berger)
Hope Cameron Hope Cameron ... Hotel Proprietor
Judith Drake ... Widow
Patrick Hughes Patrick Hughes ... Pimp
Wendy Welles Wendy Welles ... Runaway
Stratton Leopold Stratton Leopold ... Publisher
Anthony Pitillo Anthony Pitillo
Jay Julien Jay Julien
Peter Jarvis Peter Jarvis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Paul Boucher Jean-Paul Boucher
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Storyline

After a lecture where a poem is read out to a group of bored students, the alcoholic and sex addicted poet, Charles Serking, meets a young girl backstage. Then he travels to Los Angeles, and has sex with bizarre women. When Charles meets the gorgeous self-destructive prostitute Cass in a bar, he finds his soul mate and falls in love for her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Tales of Ordinary Madness See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of several of Charles Bukowski's book of letters, he noted that, before production began, Ben Gazarra had great eyes. After the movie came out, however, he didn't have much good to say about it. See more »

Quotes

Cass: Why?
Charles Serking: Yeah, why?
Cass: Because I want to fuck you. I want to be fucked until I have nothing left for the others. Nothing!
See more »

Crazy Credits

'Copyright' is spelt as 'copyrigth'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in La dernière énigme (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-bye-baby
(uncredited)
Traditional Anglo-American nursery rhyme and ballad
Sung by Ben Gazzara
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dirty and sleazy tale of madness
25 June 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Tales of Ordinary Madness is the first film to be based on a book by Charles Bukowski and focuses on the story of one man as he descends into a life of loose women and alcohol. I have not read the book that this is based on so I don't know how it compares to the source material; but as a movie, it's very good and I was surprised to find that the writer himself did not approve of the film. The plot is fairly straight forward in the way that it focuses on just a single character; but the film changes often and this odyssey is a long way from a commercial movie and thus is not for all tastes. Our central character is Charles Serking; a writer who also happens to be an alcoholic. He goes out looking for booze and women and finds both inside a seedy Hollywood. The story really starts when Charles meets a prostitute with a penchant for cutting herself named Cass. He brings her home to meet his ex-wife and have sex; but it's not long before he begins on a downward spiral of depression and turns to the drink for comfort.

This film presents a completely downtrodden view of the world and director Marco Ferreri completely succeeds in creating a dirty and sleazy atmosphere for everything to take place in. There's plenty of full frontal nudity and sex in the film and it's all portrayed as being very dirty and thus is not erotic at all. The style of the film is excellently matched by a stunning performance from Ben Gazzara in the lead role. The actor fits into this role amazingly well and always convinces as the central character. The film doesn't hold back when it comes to showing things such as nudity either, although it's all done in such a 'matter of fact' way that sometimes the film is not even shocking. The female lead is taken by the stunning Ornella Muti, who is a real beauty and convinces alongside Gazzara. The film feels too smart to not have a point, and while the substance comes from the central character and his plight; there's not really a defining point to the film. Overall, Tales of Ordinary Madness is a film that is well worth seeking for the cult fanatic and I can recommend it.


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