Archive for October 12th, 2014


Note: The review of John Huston’s ‘Fat City’ was chosen by distinguished movie fan and commentator Frank Gallo.  It is the seventh in the Allan Fish Bonanza Encore series.

by Allan Fish

(USA 1972 100m) DVD1

Shake it loose and let it fall…

p  Ray Stark  d  John Huston  w  Leonard Gardner  novel  Leonard Gardner  ph  Conrad L.Hall  ed  Margaret Booth  md  Marvin Hamlisch  art  Richard Sylbert

Stacy Keach (Billy Tully), Jeff Bridges (Ernie Munger), Susan Tyrrell (Oma), Candy Clark (Faye), Nicholas Colosanto (Ruben), Art Aragon (Babe), Curtis Cokes (Earl),

It’s one of the forgotten greats of the seventies.  Perhaps because Huston was not a seventies director, a bit of a fossil from the old days who, as David Thomson observed in ‘Have You Seen?’, hadn’t made a decent film in years.   That’s perhaps part of what drew Huston to this tale.  It’s a film that looks back to past glories, to opportunities lost, to time standing still when actually it’s moving along so fast.  The pre-credit montage says all there is to say about the film; a film that’s like waiting for the funeral to begin.

It was set and filmed in Stockton, California, a town that resembles a patient on a Life Support Machine waiting to flatline.  In this dead town all people do is dream of escaping or think of what might have been.  It’s loser central, and one such loser is Billy Tully, a once promising boxer who went to the skids after a failed marriage led to losing his reputation in and out of the ring until he became a drunken bum.  On one of his occasional pie crust promises to himself to get off the wagon he goes to a local gym and spars with a young kid called Ernie Munger, and he sends Ernie off to his old trainer, the kindly Ruben, as he thinks he has something.  Billy tries to get back in shape for another fight and a comeback. (more…)

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