6.3/10
1,960
26 user 22 critic

Telling Lies in America (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 15 October 1997 (USA)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A loner befriends a local celebrity, Billy Magic, but soon begins to tell lies in order maintain the friendship and the newfound status.

Director:

Writer:

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cynical doctor, who is dying of cancer, would like to know the meaning of his life. He has to fight for it or just get ready for death.

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Stars: Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Krystyna Janda, Tadeusz Bradecki
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

I DON'T BELONG ANYWHERE: THE CINEMA OF CHANTAL AKERMAN explores some of the Belgian filmmaker's 40 plus films, and from Brussels to Tel Aviv, from Paris to New York, it charts the sites of ... See full summary »

Director: Marianne Lambert
Stars: Chantal Akerman, Gus Van Sant
The Other Side VIII (2015)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In an invisible territory at the margins of society lives a wounded community who face the threat of being forgotten by political institutions and having their rights as citizens trampled. ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Minervini
Stars: Mark Kelley, Lisa Allen, James Lee Miller
Swagger (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A teen-movie documentary, Swagger carries us in the midst of the astonishing minds of eleven teenagers growing up in one of the most underprivileged neighborhood in France. Despite their ... See full summary »

Director: Olivier Babinet
Stars: Aïssatou Dia, Mariyama Diallo, Abou Fofana
Fast Film (2003)
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Bits of found film and different types of animation illustrate a classic chase scene scenario: A woman is abducted and a man comes to her rescue, but during their escape they find themselves in the enemy's secret headquarters.

Director: Virgil Widrich
Traveller (1997)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man, Pat, visits the clan of gypsy-like grifters (Irish Travellers) in rural North Carolina from whom he is descended. He is at first rejected, but cousin Bokky takes him on as an ... See full summary »

Director: Jack N. Green
Stars: Bill Paxton, Mark Wahlberg, Julianna Margulies
Tony Manero (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man is obsessed with John Travolta's disco dancing character from Saturday Night Fever (1977).

Director: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Alfredo Castro, Amparo Noguera, Héctor Morales
Le Park (2015)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A place with nebulous frontiers and laws. Characters captured in an existence whose outlines flee the camera's gaze. Such is the world of the old fairground located in the Arab League Park ... See full summary »

Director: Randa Maroufi
Stars: Walid Achouikh, Abdellah Adnan, Reda Afandi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A middle-aged Cuban man and a ten-year-old Mexican girl bond over being away from home in the hopeless back-drop that is Lake Los Angeles.

Director: Mike Ott
Stars: Corina Calderon, Roberto 'Sanz' Sanchez, David Ury
Kimjongilia (2009)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

North Korean defectors tell their stories of repression, escape and hope.

Director: N.C. Heikin
Stars: Young Hun Choi, Kang Chol Hwan, Lee Shin
The Cure (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.

Director: Peter Horton
Stars: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan
Camouflage (1977)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of students are spending the summer vacation at a university camp studying the science of linguistics. One of the camp directors, Jaroslaw, is a young professor who prefers the ... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Stars: Piotr Garlicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Christine Paul
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Billy Magic
... Karchy 'Chucky' Jonas
... Dr. Istvan Jonas
... Diney Majeski
... Father Norton
... Kevin Boyle
... Henry
Damen Fletcher ... Amos 'Blood Smith'
Jerry Swindall ... Andy 'Croak' Stas
... Justine
James Kisicki ... Cecil Simms
J.J. Horna ... The Blind Kid
Ben Saypol ... Timmy Morelli
... Danny Hogan
... Sgt. Disapri
Edit

Storyline

Karchy (Brad Renfro) is a boy in school who has moved from Hungary to America in the 1960s. He is struggling in school and trying to adjust to America's culture. He then hears about a radio DJ, Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon), who holds a contest for a Student Hall of Fame every week. When Karchy finally wins after several weeks, he spends more time with Billy Magic...a man with money, girls, and glam. Karchy thinks that, by spending time with Magic, he can become "cool". He then starts telling lies, to make himself seem greater than he really is. But when his lies begin hurting the people he cares about, he realizes that it isn't worth telling lies if it affects your friends. Afterwards, he learns to accept himself for the person he is, and gives up lying. And as for Billy Magic, it turns out that he pays his price for all the lies that he has told as well.... Written by <Aya704@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just don't get caught. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex related situations | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magic Man  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,470, 19 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$252,318, 16 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Candy lobbied to play the role of Billy Magic. But Candy's agent convinced him not to pursue the part. See more »

Goofs

About two-thirds through the movie, when Karchy picks his girlfriend up at the store after (her) work, they walk down a handicap wheelchair ramp which didn't exist in the 1960's. See more »

Quotes

Karchy Jonas: [sing while combing his hair] Hey, hey, what do you say... Karchy Jonas is coming your way...
Karchy Jonas: ...How are you darlin'?
See more »


Soundtracks

Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bob
Performed by Little Anthony and the Imperials
Written by Robert Smith
Courtesy of Rhino Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pants on Fire
14 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

In the early 1960s, Cleveland, Ohio immigrant teenager Brad Renfro (as Karchy Jonas) struggles with adolescence and assimilation. Mr. Renfro is working on eradicating the remnants of his Hungarian accent (his "th" sound). Meanwhile, slick disc jockey Kevin Bacon (as Billy Magic) arrives in town (one step ahead of the law), to spin "sweaty collar and dirty fingernail music" on the local rock 'n' roll radio station. Mr. Bacon is a payola player, who needs an underage kid to handle money illegal exchanges. When Renfro cheats on a radio contest, Bacon offers him big bucks to serve as "unwitting accomplice"...

Bacon swaggers through his role with perfection. And, Renfro is incredible, in a very difficult role; capturing the vulnerability of youth, as he struggles to both adopt and resist Bacon's seductive persona. Calista Flockhart (as Diney Majeski) is very effective, as Renfro's "older woman" love interest. Their performances should have received some award consideration. Maximilian Schell (as Istvan Jonas) would have been more believable as Renfro's grandfather, to support the obviously wider than envisioned cultural gap between the characters. A few of the scenes are silly, but many more work, due to director Guy Ferland and his convincing cast.

"I make things up sometimes," Renfro reveals. Don't we all. "Telling Lies in America" certainly breaks no new ground - but, it revisits cinematic themes in great style. The film builds to a fine conclusion, and the music is terrific.

******** Telling Lies in America (8/2/97) Guy Ferland ~ Brad Renfro, Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Maximilian Schell


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed