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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look85.71%
Average: 14.29%
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1 review, 1 rating

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by Rob Gonsalves

"Wild and crazy."
4 stars

It plays like a guiltier and more tormented Scorsese film, if thatís even possible.

Harvey Keitel does some of his strongest work as Jimmy, a 32-year-old torn between his loyalty to loan-shark dad Michael V. Gazzo and his love for music (classical, mostly, but also pop tunes). A hopeful pianist who chokes whenever someone is listening to him playing, Jimmy becomes obsessed with his own sexuality, engaging in rough, joyless clinches with girlfriend Tisa Farrow and Mafia moll Tanya Roberts.

Probably one of the most naked psychodramas of its decade; writer-director James Toback refuses to censor his more febrile fantasies, like the stereotype of sexually omniscient black men who mistreat women (Jim Brown plays a stud who has the movieís most notorious moment involving two women he wants to kiss each other). Films like Black & White and Two Girls and a Guy twenty years later showed that Toback hadn't outgrown the obsessions seen here.

Flawed, and slow at times, but fascinating. Remade in 2005 as the French film 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped.'

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originally posted: 04/05/07 09:39:16
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/07/08 mr.mike Strangely and I suspect intentionally unsatisfying , can't really recommend it 3 stars
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  02-Mar-1978 (R)
  DVD: 05-Nov-2002

  02-May-1978 (18)

  02-May-1978 (R)

Directed by
  James Toback

Written by
  James Toback

  Harvey Keitel
  Tisa Farrow
  Jim Brown
  Michael V. Gazzo
  Marian Seldes
  Danny Aiello

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