Pocket Money Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2010
Great acting from Paul Newman and Lee Marvin as well as directing from Stuart Rosenberg, but this is a complete mess of a story and almost incomprehensible. It's a movie that makes you question if there was ever really a story being told at all. There's a man trying to transport horses and that's really all you can say abut the entire movie, it's difficult just to be so. I think with a better script it would've been something like Hud.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2011
½ February 2, 2013
Pocket Money (1972) -- [5.0] -- Paul Newman teams up with Lee Marvin to deliver cattle from Mexico to a shady dealer played by Strother Martin. Newman and Martin are re-teamed here with "Cool Hand Luke" director Stuart Rosenberg, with a script adapted by Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Thin Red Line). Despite the ingredients, "Pocket Money" doesn't amount to much. For a buddy picture, Newman and Marvin don't leave much of an impression. Marvin almost works as the boozing happy-go-lucky sort, but Newman is less convincing as a kind-hearted dim wit. Even Martin is oddly restrained here, at a time when you really just want to see him embrace a role of villainy. Maybe the problem is in the source novel or Malick's adaptation, but "Pocket Money" is slow to rev up and ends up going nowhere.
½ December 17, 2009
Great cinematography, a good performance from Lee Marvin are the highlights of this modern western. It?s unusual, but it?s very bland and has way too many slow stretches. Rather talky for a western.
January 1, 2009
I'm not quite sure what the intent of this being made could've been. Pocket Money is a good title because it basically tells you why Paul Newman and Lee Marvin took this project. The story is really boring and outside of sporadic chuckle inducing scenes (that focus on the Newman characters awkwardness), the picture sorta just lies there playing on one note from beginning to end. It seems like both Newman and Marvin hated making this movie and that comes across on the final product. Could've been alot more if they hadn't settled on a first draft quality script.
February 22, 2008
Man, I wasted a lot of people's time to get this review up. Most of all mine.

So, if you've been reading and re-reading my reviews, you should remember when I was plowing through the Warner Brother's Paul Newman Signature Collection. I couldn't stop ranting and raving about that set. After all, it had all these pretty great movies that I had barely heard of. Well, I always wanted to balance those glowing reviews with Pocket Money. Pocket Money is kind of a lame movie that has almost no coherence whatsoever.

And to think that I made some poor Flixster employees make a page for this film. But I get to be the first review, so that's something.

The good part about this film is the cast. Paul Newman and Lee Marvin on a screen together? I nearly lost it when I saw the cover for this DVD. I mean, Paul Newman, we decided, was great, but Lee "F*cking" Marvin? (People call him "F*cking" as a nickname. I can't help that.) Lee Marvin makes a movie badass. Well, I quickly discovered, that only counts when he's playing a badass. Yeah, the performances are fine. But I cannot stress enough how this movie has little to no throughline. We see an honest man down on his luck who knows he's gonna get screwed...

...and he gets screwed. Really? I had to watch the entire film just to get that moment confirmed. Also, this movie really tries to be somewhat of a comedy but the laughs are just forced. I know both actors can deliver some absolutely great jokes, but not when the jokes are poorly written. I honestly don't know where to file this movie in terms of genre. There's just very little redeeeming it.

It's got some pretty pictures and if you are a big fan of Mexico, there might be something here for you. But otherwise, this movie just comes in pretty flat. It's also really hard to review this movie after-the-fact because I remember being so disappointed right at the time.

But thank you, kind souls at Flixster. I'm sorry I made you put in a movie that is really kind of blah.
½ May 22, 2014
Forget the uncomprehending raters and take the time to gather in and appreciate one of the best of those special films that made the 70s such a classic era for American cinema: cynical, real world with real men, outstandingly written and acted with a slice-of-life narrative unlike any other you have seen. It takes you on a ground level journey through the lives of the tread-upon, dispossessed, deluded and proudly unbowed. It is hopeful and life affirming, and features a superb script from Terence Malick. This is the sort of movie you have to provide the interstitial scaffolding for out of your own empathy, patience and imagination. For those who haven't got those inner resources, it's bewildering. For the rest of us, its as fun as a great book or a unexpectedly charming bar companion spinning endless yarns into the night. This is a film that separates the men from the boys. If you don't get it, then you aren't one of us.
August 4, 2013
The problem with this film starts with the fact that Newman is about six inches shorter than Marvin, and that any shot that has them standing next to each other puts the shorter Newman upstage from Marvin. Whazzup with that?
February 12, 2012
Whether you're a huge fan of both Paul Newman and Lee Marvin (as I am) or not, BOY, are you EVER in for a MAJOR disappointment.

And the fact that the legendary Terrence Malick penned the script only adds even more to the pain.

I suppose this movie was trying to be a comedy, but it's a bigger downer than a tub of sedatives.

The story, such as it is, concerns a loser, low-brow cowpoke played by Newman. He's behind on his mortgage and his alimony with his latest round-up of horses stuck in a 60 day quarantine before he can sell them.

He teams up with Lee Marvin, who gives his most comatose performance ever, (And, yes, I DID suffer through Marvin's work in "Delta Force". This is worse.) to buy some cattle for a couple of con men played by Strother Martin and Wayne Rogers (MASH's fave libertarian.)

This "story" winds up being the most boring cattle drive in movie history. You suspect that the steers themselves are asleep in half the scenes.

Bottom Line: They suspect they're going to get swindled. And they get swindled. The End. Thanks for coming, folks, and drive home safely.

Thankfully, Newman followed up this turkey with "The Sting" and Marvin followed it up with "Emperor of the North".

Proving once again, that, despite the occasional bomb, you just can't keep a great actor down. So, please see those movies instead.

In the meantime, feel free to waste your time on this picture if the names involved draw you to it. But, don't say I didn't warn you.
February 27, 2011
First movie I ever saw that I walked out and said WTF was that? In '72. Still bad.
December 17, 2009
5.5/5.0. Great cinematography, a good performance from Lee Marvin are the highlights of this modern western. It?s unusual, but it?s very bland and has way too many slow stretches. Rather talky for a western.
½ December 11, 2009
Very slow moving modern western that's quirky with a few laughs, but it's nothing more than a lightweight buddy film. It's not really surprising to see that Terrence Malick was the screenwriter as he is sort of known for is slow paced films. Truthfully, the best part of the movie was the theme song Pocket Money by Carole King.
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