7.3/10
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88 user 65 critic

Barfly (1987)

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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

According to Charles Bukowski's novel Hollywood, which was based on the events surrounding the making of Barfly, it was at Mickey Rourke's insistence that his close friend Frank Stallone have a part in the movie. 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

Henry: Why did it have to be Eddie? He symbolizes everything that disgusts me. Obviousness. Unoriginal macho energy. Ladies man...
Wanda: You're right. He's not much
See more »


Soundtracks

Symphonie Conercertante for 2 Violins and Orchestra
written by Karl Stamitz
performed by Chamber Orchestra of the Sarre
courtesy of Musidisc
See more »

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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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