7.3/10
17,010
88 user 65 critic

Barfly (1987)

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Szenen eines wüsten Lebens 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,221,568
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Cannon Group company allegedly had restrictive bank covenants which limited the number of films it could make during periods of financial distress, which it was experiencing at the time. Because of expensive forward commitments to other stars on other films, Cannon decided to exclude Barfly (1987) from its production slate, because Cannon would have otherwise been forced to abandon another film in its place which had substantially greater monetary penalties to its star for non-production. The film was ultimately produced because Barbet Schroeder allegedly appeared at the Cannon offices one day with a battery powered portable saw and threatened to cut off his finger unless Cannon reconsidered its decision and agreed to make the film, stating that he (Schroeder) was represented by the law firm of Black and Decker and would be forced cut off his finger to allegedly show to the world that Cannon was cutting off a piece of him by abandoning the film. Cannon (to its credit) allegedly decided that violating its banking covenants was the lesser evil compared to denying birth to what was ultimately to prove be a classic and important artistic work. Fred Roos and Francis Ford Coppola from Zoetrope Studios were certainly important components in ultimately shaping the business plan going forward, but the decision was irrevocably made and committed to the day that Schroeder allegedly showed up in the offices with both a portable battery powered saw and the will and determination to use it exactly as he said he would if the decision to abort the film was not rescinded that morning. This true story was later fictionalized and retold in Charles Bukowski's novel "Hollywood" (1989). See more »

Goofs

When Henry gets out of bed, Tully has terrible bedhead as their conversation starts. When it cuts back to her a second later, her hair has been neatly brushed. See more »

Quotes

Henry: Some guys really know how to get the women.
Jim: Now, you don't know how?
Henry: Hey, I can get one for ten minutes. That's my limit.
See more »


Soundtracks

The New Albion Chorale
written & performed by Terry Riley
published by Ancient Word Music (BMI)
courtesy of Celestial Harmonies
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mickey Rourke at his finest!
30 December 2000 | by pizowellSee all my reviews

Barfly is the delightfully gritty tale of a warrior poet (Rourke) disguised as a drunken idiot who lives in a roach motel and, you guessed it- a drunk who can never pay his bar tab. Mickey Rourke shines in the lead role and in my opinion deserved an Oscar for his brilliant performance. Faye Dunaway also gives a great performance as The Mick's love interest. Rourke creates a cult icon that will keep you in stitches and riveted for the duration of the film. You'll talk about this movie long after viewing it. "A drink for all my friends!" Rent Barfly ASAP you won't be disappointed!!


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