7.2/10
18,399
93 user 68 critic

Barfly (1987)

Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Henry
Faye Dunaway ... Wanda Wilcox
Alice Krige ... Tully
Jack Nance ... Detective
J.C. Quinn ... Jim
Frank Stallone ... Eddie
Sandy Martin ... Janice
Roberta Bassin ... Lilly
Gloria LeRoy Gloria LeRoy ... Grandma Moses
Joe Unger ... Ben
Harry Cohn Harry Cohn ... Rick
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Joe
Joe Rice Joe Rice ... Old Man in Bar
Julie 'Sunny' Pearson Julie 'Sunny' Pearson ... Hooker in Bar
Donald L. Norden Donald L. Norden ... Man in Alley
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Storyline

Henry Chinaski never cared for the American dream, the thought of needing to become 'something' and fit into the system disgusts him. He believes that life is free and yours to live like you see fit, and if that in some cases involves copious amounts of whiskey then so be it. Henry spends his days drinking and listening to the radio, and he spends his nights drinking and fighting against Eddy who he thinks personifies shallowness and shameless self promoting. Sometimes in the middle of this he finds the time to jot down a few lines of poetry or a short story. After fighting Eddy and winning for a change Henry is thrown out of his regular bar where Eddy is a bartender. This leads him to seek another watering hole where he happens to find Wanda who is a barfly, in her own words "if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I'd go with him". Henry is not fazed by this thou and moves in with her. Of course Wanda immediately goes off and sleeps with Eddy, but after some clothes ... Written by Erik Wallen <erik.wallen@bluetie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the exterior scenes in Barfly shows Mickey Rourke coming out of an old hotel. This hotel was actually The Royal Palms (on Westlake Ave.) which had been a swank men's club in the 30's. By 1986 it was being used to house a residential alcohol treatment program. In one scene, the camera follows the characters down the sidewalk and past a 'wino' drinking from a bottle in a paper bag. That 'drunk' was actually recruited for the movie from the residents at the Royal Palms. See more »

Goofs

Henry calls an ambulance and gives address of apartment building as 334, while in scene earlier that day building is clearly marked 360. See more »

Quotes

Eddie: I'd hate to be you if I were me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mission Hill: Unemployment: Part 2 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Sixth Symphony (The Tragic)
written by Gustav Mahler
courtesy of Supraphon Records, Prague
See more »

User Reviews

Henry, portrait of a serial drinker...
30 August 2002 | by Eric-1226See all my reviews

I've seen this movie several times... I really enjoy it, even though it centers around the lives of two wretched drunks (played by Rourke and Dunaway) who, if you met them in real life, would probably frighten you to death.

Though both of them are wretched souls indeed, there is nevertheless enough compassion, wisdom, and charm emanating from both of them to make them actually likeable screen characters. And you can't help but do a mental "double take" on many of the lines of dialogue: Rourke's character, with a sort of "beat" hipness, really makes you think about your own life and your own values.

The only flaw I could find was that, considering the incredible amount of drinking that is depicted, I felt it would have been more realistic to show Henry and Wanda having more horrible hangovers, maybe even with frequent vomiting attacks. But then again, maybe these are two people who really know how to hold their liquor. See it, and decide for yourself!

P.S.: NOT recommended that you watch this film if you are on the wagon and trying to stay on it!!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barfly See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,900, 18 October 1987

Gross USA:

$3,221,568

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,221,568
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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