A highly successful advertising executive decides to put his job on hold after getting an update from his father that he and his wife are divorced and decides to extend his break after revealing that his father is a diabetic.
Set in Brooklyn, 1963, Jeffrey Willis has just finished high school and isn't quite sure what the future holds. His parents expect him to go to college but he is starting to find his close-knit family stifling. He gets a summer job at the Flamingo beach club where he meets Phil Brody, a successful car dealer who fills Jeffrey's head with ideas about how to make his fortune. Phil is everything Jeffrey would like to be - popular, rich and the best gin rummy player the club has ever seen. Jeffrey's coming of age includes a romance with the very pretty Carla Samson, but the shine on Phil Brody's philosophy of life wears off when he uncovers a significant flaw in his character.Written by
The song, "Stand by Me", is credited to Ben E. King (as King), Elmo Glick (as Glick), Jerry Leiber (as Lieber), and Mike Stoller (as Stoller). 'Elmo Glick' was a pseudonym used by Leiber and Stoller, so there is a redundancy in the credit. See more »
See, Jeffrey my boy, God put certain people on the earth to give you money. And your responsibility in life is to go out there and take it.
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Matt Dillon's summer as a cabana boy at a private beach club on Long Island
Released in 1984, "The Flamingo Kid" is a coming-of-age beach flick. What occasionally draws me to these types of films is their youthful energy and fun spirit, as well as the oceanic locations and the women. It brings one back in time to the carefree era of his/her coming-of-age years. Thankfully, "The Flamingo Kid" shoots for something deeper than just a shallow beach flick, which the best ones do, e.g. the original "Gidget" (1959).
The story takes place in 1963 where 18-year-old Jeffrey (Matt Dillon), a plumber's son from Brooklyn, gets a summer job at a private beach club on Long Island called the El Flamingo. This was his final summer of carefree fun before going off to college, but his experiences at the club change his plans. He makes loads of money on tips, meets a beautiful blonde and becomes fascinated by a new mentor, a fast-talking businessman and card shark, Phil Brody (Richard Crenna).
Brody convinces Jeffrey that there are easier, faster (i.e. dishonest) ways to make loads of money than going off to college for years on end. When Jeffry cancels his college plans and moves out of his house it naturally creates friction with his father (Hector Elizondo). Will he go on to become the next generation's fast-talking businessman/card shark?
Almost the entire film was shot on location at a Queens' beach club with loads of gorgeous females on hand, including Jeffrey's girlfriend in the story, Carla played by Janet Jones, whose body is so well sculptured she could've been Wonder Woman (the movie even jokes about this). Carole Davis also shines as Brody's brunette daughter, Joyce, a low-key part. Cutie Marisa Tomei even has a cameo.
The bottom line is that "The Flamingo Kid" offers everything you'd want in such a film and more, including an interesting story where you care about the outcome. And, thankfully, there's NO RAUNCH (well, maybe a flash). In addition, the soundtrack includes numerous early 60's hits like "Runaround Sue," etc. What's not to like?
The film runs 1 hour, 40 minutes.
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