6.8/10
5,616
57 user 36 critic

Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

R | | Drama | 4 May 1990 (USA)
Set in Brooklyn during the 1950s against a backdrop of union corruption and violence. A prostitute falls in love with one of her customers. Also a disturbed man discovers that he is homosexual.

Director:

Uli Edel

Writers:

Hubert Selby Jr. (book), Desmond Nakano (screenplay)
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6 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Lang ... Harry Black
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Tralala
Burt Young ... Big Joe
Peter Dobson ... Vinnie
Jerry Orbach ... Boyce
Stephen Baldwin ... Sal
Jason Andrews Jason Andrews ... Tony
James Lorinz ... Freddy
Sam Rockwell ... Al
Maia Danziger ... Mary Black
Camille Saviola ... Ella
Ricki Lake ... Donna
Cameron Johann ... Spook
John Costelloe ... Tommy
Christopher Murney ... Paulie
Learn more

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Storyline

Taken from Hubert Selby, Jr.'s controversial novel set in early 1950s Brooklyn. During a bitter strike by workers against a local factory, a gallery of struggling characters are crushed by their squalid surroundings and selves: an unhappily married union strike leader discovers he is gay; a jaded prostitute falls in love with one of her clients, a naive young sailor; a union negotiator attempts to peacefully resolve the strike while desperately hiding the fact that he's a communist ; the family of a striking factory worker cannot cope with the fact that their teenage daughter is illegitimately pregnant. Written by Serdar Yegulalp <syegul@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Novel That Shocked The World Is Now A Movie.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Courtney Love auditioned for the central lead female role of Tralala which was in the end cast with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Will & Grace: Last Ex to Brooklyn (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock a Bye Baby
Written by Don D. Robey & Big Mama Thornton
Performed by Big Mama Thornton
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Opposite of Pleasantville
25 October 2005 | by bill-987See all my reviews

Did you ever notice that if you were to show a film to after dinner friends, all too often what you bring out is a work that might not make a list of your personal top ten favorite movies? This is one of those films. Very postwar early 50's, but a 1950's Donna Reed would have been lost in. It truly is the opposite of Pleasantville.

Hubert Selby's dark vision of the common man is woven around several characters in a Brooklyn neighborhood. A factory worker called Big Joe is played by Burt Young. Instinctively brutal yet pathetically naive, he wanders through his Brooklyn neighborhood functioning at the most elemental level reinforced only by an inherited value system to which he is single-mindedly loyal. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a whore whose timeline for thoughts of her future stretches out only several hours. She gets by in life rolling drunks whose tolerance for liquor is less than hers, or giving sex to those who outlast her. A soldier soon to be shipped out takes her to Manhattan for his last few stateside days and falls in love with her. Tralala (Leigh's character) recognizes the attendant lust but has no clue about the implications of his love. As she sees him off, the Lieutenant hands her an envelope. Tra's face lights up as her vision of the order in life (she gives him sex, he has a good time, he gives her money) seems to have been reaffirmed. When the envelope turns out to contain a lengthy love letter she doesn't become angry or disappointed, just confused.

In addition to Leigh and Young, powerful performances are turned in by Jerry Orbach (the corrupt union boss), Stephen Lang (the closet homosexual strike-line foreman), Stephen Baldwin (a street punk), Ricki Lake (Big Joe's very pregnant daughter), and Alexis Arquette (the teen-age transvestite).

The soundtrack is excellent and unobtrusive and Uli Edel's direction insightful. You need a strong stomach to watch it and quite a bit of dedication to find it, but it's well worth the effort.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Last Exit to Brooklyn See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$186,489, 6 May 1990

Gross USA:

$1,730,005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,730,005
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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