Add a Review

  • This is an offbeat little indie film that came out a couple years ago about a new york city Hustler and his somewhat odd relationship with a client(Mr Smith) who hires him. An unusual, type of movie with quirky characters and an engaging story.

    I wanted to see this movie because I am a big fan of Larry Pine the actor who plays Mr Smith. Actually though all the featured performers are good in this and the story though odd, is quirky, touching and different. I suppose if the subject matter is distasteful one won't like this but this is not a movie about sex, more of a character study. I found it wellwritten and very good.Would easily give it an 8 out of 10. I'd like to see these performers in more movies.
  • As the end credits for this film rolled, I said to my viewing companion, "It's films like this that remind you what utter crap most of the big-name pictures that the majors churn out these days are." Even if one of the big-studio execs had the guts to green-light a project like MR. SMITH GETS A HUSTLER, the star casting, phony gloss, cookie-cutter direction and inevitable contrived ending would have ruined it. This gritty little movie lacks all of those "attributes," I'm happy to say, and is all the better for it.

    MR. SMITH is not for those with, shall we say, delicate sensibilities. It is not a docu-drama on the world of male hustlers or a study of the psyches of its denizens, and the reality of the lives of those who rent their bodies out in the Big Apple is irrelevant to the plot. Matthew Swan's script establishes a shadowy world on the fringes of what we call "society," and tells, in a simple but compelling manner, the story of how a particular set of circumstances impacts the lives of a half-dozen of its inhabitants.

    The characters are complex and credible, as are the top-notch performances of all those portraying them, from the central ones (Alex Feldman as hustler Bobby and Larry Pine as the mysterious client Mr. Smith) to the peripherals (such as Jodie Baker as Sheila). Special praise is deserved by J.D. Williams as Abe, a "colleague" of Bobby's who finds himself in over his head.

    Ian McCrudden's direction is spare in style and rich in character development, and the rough-edged production design and cinematography suit the story perfectly.

    If you saw HARD EIGHT and liked it, give MR. SMITH a shot. I stumbled across this one, and I'm very glad I did.
  • Bobby Blue is a NYC hustler who supports his dysfunctional mother with his earnings. Their fiction is that he's working at a restaurant and making great tips. When Bobby Blue meets a new john who isn't interested in sex and takes him to a basketball game, Bobby doesn't know what to think.

    This not-so-well-made film suffers from all of the typical indie woes. Some of the problems may have been budgetary but others seem to just be bad story telling.

    It may have been the theater I saw this in, or that we were seeing a video of a film print, but the color in the film seemed to be way off and many parts of the movie were terribly overexposed.

    Scenes that took place in a bar in the meatpacking district seemed very off. The only customers in the bar were the principals, Couldn't they get any extras to appear as other customers?

    Also, having lived in NYC for the last 20 years and having met a few boys that have made their living this way I felt that the film-maker could have done his homework better. The relationship between Bobby and his `pimp' seemed very unrealistic (at least different from any that I had heard of). Also the going rates in the film seem to be way off. From what I hear, $600 will buy you a LOT more than what these boys were offering from boys that are way more attractive. Also the few hustler bars that I've actually been into would never charge $20 a beer.

    Overall, I'd have to give this film a miss.
  • bkoganbing16 November 2006
    There are some bad films that gain cult status and some that are just plain bad. This one will probably not gain any cult following even in the gay community.

    Shot on a shoestring budget in New York City, it's about a New York City rent boy who operates out of a bar where the owner pimps him out with the knowledge of his substance abusing mom.

    A mysterious stranger named Smith hires him out and makes no sexual demands on him. He's got oodles of cash and is willing to spend it. I think you'll figure it out long before it's revealed.

    Photography is bad, acting is pretty mediocre. Alex Feldman playing Bobby Blue has done better things, he was in a Law and Order Special Victims episode I saw where he showed me a lot better talent.

    I was sad to read about Benjamin Hendrickson's suicide. He plays the bar owner/pimp and all I got from his performance was a poor imitation of Jack Nicholson. I saw he was a regular on As the World Turns where he must have done a lot better work.

    I'd avoid this one if I can.
  • Much better than the title would suggest, but not as good as it could have been. I had low expectations, so I pleasantly found the film much more engrossing than I expected. OK production quality, generally quite good acting. My main complaint is they seemed to wrap things up to quickly at the end, as if they were running out of budget or film. But, good plot twists; keeps you wondering were the plot is going. At first I thought it was going to be a "gay Pretty Woman" - the client falls in love with the (male) hooker and rescues him from his low life surroundings. Then another plot twist; no love story, but the client will still rescue the hooker. In the end, it's the hooker who rises above his surroundings by himself.
  • Saw this movie completely by accident. Didn't know any of the actors involved but was prepared for the worst but was genuinely surprised. The movie was good overall and had a likable character in Bobby-the lead character.

    Most movies that deal with this topic have characters that come off as homophobic straight boys or stereotypically gay, but the character of Bobby is different and this credit goes in part to the young actor and the director/script for giving him a likable disposition and circumstances that traps him into the lifestyle.

    Props goes out to the supporting cast who did a great job showing that no one is either pure innocent or pure evil when you're dealing with prostitution and the resulting lifestyle.

    The end song, "Wings on my ankles" is even catchy.

    Definitely worth a look if the topic ever interested you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This isn't a horrible movie for a independent film with a clearly small budget; however, the problems are more than the usual and include the production values and unevenness of the performances, particularly some of the secondary - though somewhat key performances - such as that of Abe. The film stock in some cases looked overexposed, in others it looked underlit. The bar, as other's have commented, was far too absent of customers far too frequently and a pimp doesn't make a living off, essentially, one hustler (which appears to be the case until the pimp forces Abe into hustling).

    The two biggest problems were, as someone else so sensible pointed out, the unrealistic aspects of many of the key plot points -- for example, the payment to the hustlers, that the amount of drugs flushed down was $6K, that a drug dealer/pimp would lend out $6K worth of drugs to someone as stupid as the Abe character -- particularly if he was a former addict who potentially could be easily using again, and so forth. The twists were telegraphed a mile away. They were also badly set up and easily so -- that Jack/Jerry would show up on the night Bobby and Mr. Smith were going away; that Bobby would feel it necessary to do one last trick; that Bobby would run away and feel some sense of loyalty to the pimp to need to say goodbye; that Bobby would come home at the exact moment Mr. Smith would be bitching out the alcoholic mother; etc.

    This could have been a far more interesting movie if the writer had done some simple research and picked some less obvious plot twists.
  • This is truly inferior merchandise. One wonders how something this awful remains in the distribution channel even now. Surely it was just as evident during production that this little puppy was a sure-fire bomb. Maybe it was backed by some really dumb money, because who ever was financing it should have stopped mid production to drown this this little mutation for the disaster it was (and saved a couple acting careers and many hours of movie goer's time.) A complete waste of production time, talent and money under any circumstance.

    One wonders if this writer is still working? How? I also wonder if anyone would dare to put this train-wreck of a film on their Hollywood resume?; I doubt it. Saying you had anything to do with this film would be a sure ticket to never working in film town again.

    You can't help but agree with other reviewer's comments about the dialog: absolutely atrocious. Even more offensive was the acting and line delivery of Benjamin Hendrickson (the bar owner / pimp Mr. Lett): horrible. And yes, the writer could clearly have done more homework on his subject matter; could the bar scenes have been more unbelievable?

    If there were a way to give a film a negative star rating on the IMDb rating system, this one would get the lowest rating. As it is, zero stars is too good. Save your time and money and pass this one by. As the movie police says after you stumble onto the scene of a particularly gruesome murder - "Nothing here to see folks, move along."
  • The title of this DVD made me laugh, and when I laughed I decided to take a chance. Fortunately, playing Russian Roulette with DVDs isn't as dangerous as playing it with guns, because if it were MR. SMITH GETS A HUSTLER would have killed me dead.

    MR. SMITH is apparently based on a way-off-Broadway play by writer Matt Swan, who appears to have survived the opening night audience at least long enough to adapt his play into an incredible barrel of tripe for the screen. A handsome young male prostitute named Bobby (Alex Feldman) supports his single mother's alcoholism by working for a semi-evil pimp out of the most boring looking bar you can imagine--and he meets an older and distinguished looking man named "Mr. Smith" (Larry Pine.) Pretty soon the two are up in Mr. Smith's hotel room, but much to Bobby's surprise the client doesn't want do anything but talk about how Bobby's such a nice kid. Gee! What's going on?

    Well, I'll tell you what's going on: a total waste of your time. The two leads aren't bad, really. Larry Pine seems to be a somewhat talented actor, and Alex Feldman is at least passable. But... the rest of the cast ranges from dismissible to flatly inept. Swan's script is atrocious, Joe Labisi's idea of cinematography is wannabe-arty angles that were passe fifty years ago, and Ian McCrudden's direction consists of putting the actors in front of the camera and hoping for the best.

    One of the selling points of the film is its apparent status as erotic. Do not be mislead, however, on this point. Alex Feldman does indeed trot around with his shirt off and--at times--his pants slipping down. In other hands it might have been titilating, but here it isn't any more erotic than soggy breakfast cereal.

    Frankly, if I had been involved in this movie, I wouldn't admit it, much less put it on my resume. Don't give up your day jobs, people. Dire to the nth degree!

    Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
  • Certainly there is a Mr. Smith, for sure there's a Hustler, but it is as far as it goes while talking about sex. This is not a rom-comedy as some could expect. It's a drama with dark tones because of the photography and mood of most personages. Once set this path, it can be most times agreeable for the viewer. The forces go swiftly on a drama where gay elements are not the sole reason for movement, but are greatly present. The principal actors play pretty well. Larry Pine is a classy Mr. Smith, and Alex Feldman a handsome face in a not that built up body Bobbie. The supporting cast plays fine. It's of particular interest the evolution in Bobbie's character, as he lingers through the film from a mindless hustler to a more sensitive person, who can respond to the dilemmas proposed by the film. So, if you're looking for an introspective film, that's your choice. If not, next please!
  • I checked out this film because I have come to really enjoy the work of Mr. Swan the writer, whose film, Relative Evil (Ball in the House), I couldn't recommend more highly. While perhaps not quite the caliber of Relative Evil, I submit that the film is another damn good example of some brilliant writing. I was not distracted by the things that appear to have distracted one reviewer at this site, Havan IronOak -- I doubt many people would be. Like Relative Evil, also darkly comic, but more comic. Also a character study, I will eat my sock if you don't get a lot of good laughs and enjoyment from this one. And when you do, post your comments, as I am curious to see what others think.