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  • Honestly, I don't remember this film tremendously well as I was only 13 when I saw it; however, as I grew up in Atlantic City, I think my attention was mostly focused on seeing any street corners or things I knew very well and while I've not seen the film since it's premier (it was at the Charles Theater in Atlantic City; Mr. Tannenbaum, the owner, always let me in for free as he was friend of my dad's), I'd like to see it again and maybe this time focus more on what was going on with the story! It has a wonderful cast, so right off, I tend to think the crummy reviews may be a bit overstated.

    My memories of the film (other than the location shooting!) was that it was kind of an "art" film--although I was too young at the time to know exactly what constituted an "art" film and was perhaps a little "too" off-key to register with my 13-year-old brain (although I was quite a radiantly bright rascal at the time).

    So at this point in time, until I can see this film again, my personal rating is based on the knowledge that if I can find it, it would be like revisiting my childhood again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Struggling small-time con man Roland (a solid and credible performance by Graham Beckel) decides to improve his miserable lot in life by abducting the children of prominent businessman Richard Banks (a fine portrayal by Laurence Luckinbill) and holding them for a hefty ransom.

    Writer/director Chuck Workman relates the compelling story at a steady pace, makes nice use of seedy Atlantic City locations, and astutely nails a sense of raw desperation with several down on their luck characters resorting to drastic measures in order to keep themselves afloat (in a neat touch, it turns out Banks is in dire financial shape just like Roland). The sound acting by the capable cast holds this movie together, with especially stand-out contributions from Regina Baff as Roland's ditsy girlfriend Lucy, Sam Levene as well-off rich guy Lou Maurice, Jerry Lacy as Banks's nervous business partner Phil, Robert Miano as no-nonsense pool manager Steve, and Antonia Rey as feisty maid Pearl. Popping up in nifty bits are Danny DeVito as an amiable bartender and Josh Mostel as a Wheel of Fortune operator. The sharp cinematography by Burleigh Wartes provides a pleasing crisp look. Worth a watch.
  • Out of enough pesos for a better night out on Magsaysay, I saw this movie for $.35 (American!) on the Navy base at Subic in 1979. The major problem wasn't the plot, which was fairly interesting, but it was completely overshadowed by the incredible number of times the boom mike fell down into nearly every shot. I can just imagine the director (Rod Amateau) cringing at the dailies... it makes his Gilligan's Island efforts look like DeMille epics. There's also an incongruent appearance by a Coke machine in a parking lot, that leaves you wondering why it's there, except it gives the lead something to vent his anger upon. Funny what you remember 24 years later, huh? Would've been better as a ABC Tuesday Night Movie instead of a feature. Watch for Danny DeVito.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I would like to give this movie a rating, but it is too strange for that. It shows what Jersey was like in the mid-70s. I remember the cars around back then. The movie centers around a rather unlikeable young man who dreams of making enough money to get out of his state. His main skill is that he is determined to make money. At the beginning, there is an audiotape of a "self help salesman". At the end, the audiotape is played again, and one must admit it was effective. The movie is a real yawn. It was filmed so amateurishly, and the plot got so boring at time. However, you did feel for the insanity of the situation, when the rich guy he was extorting was really not that rich at all. And that is even more true in 2009 than 1975. All and all it was a rather strange film.