5.2/10
5,737
29 user 12 critic

The Pick-up Artist (1987)

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

Director:

James Toback

Writer:

James Toback

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Molly Ringwald ... Randy Jensen
Robert Downey Jr. ... Jack Jericho (as Robert Downey)
Dennis Hopper ... Flash
Danny Aiello ... Phil
Mildred Dunnock ... Nellie
Harvey Keitel ... Alonzo
Brian Hamill Brian Hamill ... Mike
Tamara Bruno Tamara Bruno ... Karen
Vanessa Williams ... Rae
Angie Kempf Angie Kempf ... Jack's Student
Polly Draper ... Pat
Frederick Koehler ... Richie
Robert Towne ... Stan
Victoria Jackson ... Lulu
Lorraine Bracco ... Carla
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Storyline

In New York City, Jack Jericho, an elementary school teacher who lives with and takes care of his ailing grandmother Nellie, is a bit of a scammer, most notably demonstrated by he continually rehearsing his corny pick-up line in front of the mirror. Along with his good looking but slightly broken down vintage red Camaro convertible and his surface charm, Jack scours the streets for women he is attracted to to use his well-rehearsed pick-up line, he asking the important questions, such as marital status of his potential conquests, after the fact if he asks at all, the answers to which he doesn't really care. These pick-ups work a small percentage of the time, which is good enough for him as he collects his conquests' telephone numbers written down on a well-worn piece of paper he carries around with him at all times. Jack eventually uses his pick-up routine on two women he spies at a nightclub associated with who he will learn is mobster Alonzo Scolara. The first is Lulu, Alonzo's dumb... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Pick-Up Artist... has finally met his match.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cazachicas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,290,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The make, model, and color of the car that pick-up artist Jack Jericho owned, was a white-top 1968 red Chevrolet Camaro RS convertible. See more »

Goofs

When Randy leads Jack and a group of kids on a tour of the museum, she and the kids refer to a dinosaur as a 'Brontosaurus'. By the 1980s it was already well known that the correct name for this animal is 'Apatosaurus'. A tour guide should know this. See more »

Quotes

Jack Jericho: Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Degas?
See more »

Connections

References Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Susie Darlin'
Written and Performed by Robin Luke
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Molly Bets Everything
27 December 2006 | by tedgSee all my reviews

What a lesson in film-making!

Let me report that among date movies, very few age well. This one has improved remarkably with age.

Part of the reason is the two main actors. Molly is her most striking here. She's absolutely at her peak in what she does, which is a sort of sassy, deliberately fostered innocent/wise cuteness. No one can do this today, and the attempts are depressing. Kate Hudson? We all die a little when she tries.

And then we have Downey. He's already heavy into drugs and he doesn't have the drugged discipline he had in "Chaplin." But he has an energy that is so appealing. Undisciplined, druggy energy would usually be just dispersed effort, but this is a date movie, something that depends on misregistration of self.

And look who surrounds them: Aiello doing his working class avuncular bit. Keitel being such a movie gangster they bleeped his every speech. And Dennis Hopper! That man who is a permanent token of intoxicated risktaking. Three solid marks in film characters, all portrayed by their inventors.

You can see that the filmmaker is a writer. The script is actually very good. Very good indeed for what it is and the assets that are available. The direction is so inadequate it hurts. But it hurts in exactly the right way. This is a film about stretching, about yearning without touching. Its all about inadequacy in love, a sort of reality-tinged inadequacy overlain on the romantic comedy template.

Because the camera is always in the wrong place, is always too tentative, is always unsure of itself, but still goes, still goes...

It puts us in the thing as one of these kids, clumsy, bold without cause.

I recommend this. I do. Its problems work for it.

Molly has faded as a presence now. But that's inevitable because of how we all exploited her youth. We shouldn't think that she is a flake, like say Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts. This very year she starred in one of the most intellectually ambitious movies of all time, Godards "King Lear." And more recently, she was in a Greenaway film. No stupid actor would do that.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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