Barfly (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic, spends his life in Los Angeles bars. One day he meets and falls in love with Wanda, also an alcoholic. Together they meet Tully Sorenson, who publishes some of Henry's poems, bringing Henry a brief shot at fame and fortune. But, Henry and Wanda have only one real goal in life: drinking to numb the pain they feel outside the bars of Los Angeles.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Bukowski
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 3, 2002
Cannon Releasing


as Henry Chinaski

as Wanda Wilcox

as Detective

as Janice

as Old Man in Bar

as Man in alley

as Black Kid

as Grandma Moses

as `Elbow Inn' Bartende...

as Liquor Store Clerk

as Alcoholic Man

as Lady Manager

as Lady Manager

as Lenny

as Louie's Woman

as Young Girl Hooker

as Lovebird Woman

as Black Kid

as Black Kid

as Black Kid
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Critic Reviews for Barfly

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7)

The first four letters say it all.

Full Review… | March 23, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 11, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Barfly


Usually when you see two people in as rough a shape as Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway look on the poster you don't expect a hell of a lot of entertainment out of that movie. Just honest misery. Fortunately, the late Charles Bukowski wrote Barfly and its entertaining as all hell. Rourke appropriately seems to play a mumbling caricature of Bukowski and a still attractive Dunaway fits the bill nicely. The soundtrack is outstanding and for as much as Bukowski's script shuffles along as Hank Chinaski himself does, its definitely hysterical and you don't really seem to mind. Cram that in with director Barbet Schroeder's talent for filling the movie with all kinds of grit and characters and the good times are rolling...

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

A brilliant film with what I believe to be Mickey Roarke's finest piece of work as an actor. The film was written by poet-author Charles Bukowski, and Roarke's character is based on Bukowski himself.
Henry(Roarke) spends most of his time at the bar, getting into the occasional fistfight with the bartender Eddie which is so well portrayed by Frank Stallone, and gets involved with a haggard alcoholic portrayed by Faye Dunaway. Henry puts all the money he wins from his streetfights into his drink of choice, scotch and water, and occasionally buys one for the house, "To all my friends!"
There's really not much going on with the story itself, but this film is simply entertaining, and manages to keep some humor in it's dim premise. Simplicity is usually better, and this film is a good example of what can be done when the right group of artists are put together.

Eric S

Super Reviewer


Good acting can only help a film so far, this one is an ugly, depressing experience.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Barfly Quotes

– Submitted by Vortex T (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Vortex T (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Sean T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Kara K (4 years ago)

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