Movies => Good Movies => Topic started by: trekgeezer on March 11, 2007, 05:49:15 PM

Title: Fat City (1972)
Post by: trekgeezer on March 11, 2007, 05:49:15 PM
A not so well known movie directed by John Huston, Fat City is about the lives of five people who inhabit the underbelly of society. Tully (Stacy Keach) is alcoholic down and out boxer who wants to make a come back. In the mean time he takes dayworker jobs picking onions. He goes to the YMCA one day and runs across Ernie (Jeff Bridges), an 18 year who is just fooling around, but appears to Tully to have what it takes as a boxer. Tully sends him to see his old manager Ruben (Nick Colasanto, Coach from Cheers).

Ruben thinks Ernie has it too and sets about trying to develop the boy.  Meanwhile Tully gets mixed up with a woman named Oma (Susan Tyrell) , another alcoholic, whose boyfriend is in the slammer for assault. The two are a bad match and end up arguing all the time.

Ernie  gets involved with at woman named Faye (Candy Clark) and she gets  pregnant  leading  them to end up married.

Without going into too much more, I have to say that this is one of those movies with no defined beginning and end. If you saw the DVD cover you might mistake it for a Rocky type movie, but you would be mistaken. The people in this movie start out as losers and stay that way. The only one with any apparent future seems to be Ernie. The film is just a slice of these peoples lives on display. 

Keach inhabits Tully. You can see the desperation in his eyes. He goes back in the ring because frankly, it's the only thing he really knows how to do.  A freeze frame shot of Tully as he looks around the dive where he and Ernie are having coffee sums up Tully's life, he's a loser and will probably always be.

This is a hidden gem with some fine acting in it and well worth checking out.  I know it sounds depressing, but there are some quite funny bits thrown in too.

There is an interesting bit of trivia at IMDB about how Keach lost the New York Film Critic's Circle best actor award for this movie over a vote counting rule change.  This was a let down because in those days this was a predictor for the Oscars.


Title: Re: Fat City (1972)
Post by: Yaddo 42 on March 12, 2007, 12:15:44 AM
One of those critics' favorites that turned out to be worth it when I watched it several years ago. Very much a downer film about losers and people struggling at the bottom, but a great example of why the 70s were such a great decade for movies.

Deserves to be seen more, that's for sure. You hope these people were going to come out okay or turn a corner, but just like real life, it just doesn't take the easy path of the underdogs triumphing.

Title: Re: Fat City (1972)
Post by: Scott on March 17, 2007, 11:02:41 PM
Will be keeping a look out for this one Trekgeezer. Thanks.