7.2/10
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43 user 43 critic

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

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1:50 | Trailer
An exploration of the careers of four unrelated professionals: a lion tamer, a robotics expert, a topiary gardener, and a naked mole rat specialist.

Director:

Errol Morris
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11 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dave Hoover ... Himself (Wild Animal Trainer)
George Mendonça ... Himself (Topiary Gardener)
Raymond A. Mendez ... Himself (Mole-Rat Specialist) (as Ray Mendez)
Rodney Brooks ... Himself - Robot Scientist
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Storyline

What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common? Both nothing and everything in this unconventional documentary directed by Erroll Morris. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (Referring to the robot specialist's strange philosophy of robot design structure, not Erroll Morris's documentary techniques!) interplays, overlaps, and interrelates these four separate and highly specialized documentary subjects in order to in truth study all of humanity, raising questions about the future of mankind. Written by Matthew F. Griffin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Schnell, billig und außer Kontrolle See more »

Filming Locations:

Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,665, 5 October 1997

Gross USA:

$878,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$878,960
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Discussed in Episode 97 of the popular radio program This American Life. The subject was "Death to Wacky" and it originally aired on March 20, 1998. See more »

Quotes

[On pointing the four legs of a chair in a lion's face]
Dave Hoover: His mind now has been completely distracted from his original thought: "Eat the man in the white pants."
See more »

Connections

Features Challenge of the GoBots (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Less than the sum of its parts
3 February 2007 | by FlickManSee all my reviews

Hiding within this movie are four fairly interesting mini-documentaries about four men, each with a vision - perhaps even an obsession - about one particular facet of life. The common thread uniting them is that each of the four is fascinated by the ways in which animals, men, plants, and even machines evolve, learn, and grow. A recurring theme is training or control.

Unfortunately, these four interesting stories are chopped up and interwoven in ways that often seem arbitrary and pointless. Plus, about 25% of the movie is made up of clips from other, mostly bad, movies... and the soundtrack music is often intrusive and annoying. So I'm mystified why a number of critics thought this was the best documentary of 1997. Maybe there were just a lot of bad documentaries that year!

Worth watching if you have nothing else to do, but nowhere near great.


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