Success Is The Best Revenge (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Success Is The Best Revenge (1985)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Alex Rodak (Michael York) is a Polish director in exile in London with his family, which includes an older teenage son Adam (Michael Lyndon) who is struggling with an identity crisis, his wife (Joanna Szerzerbic), and another son. Rodak is in the throes of putting together a major show about Poland and the politics of exile at a West End theater. His single-minded determination to succeed causes him to take advantage of others, and because of his need for backing, he turns to a low-life businessman (John Hurt) to bail him out. His wife is anything but happy about his behavior and dislikes this last decision even more. On the opposite end of the spectrum stands Adam, who is disillusioned with his father's drive to succeed at all costs (the father does receive a few awards) and who longs to go back to his roots -- in Warsaw. The story jumps from one scene to the next with some fantasy segments and not always enough connecting narrative. Otherwise, this is an interesting study of how a father and son become alienated in a conflict between cultural identity and its exploitation. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jerzy Skolimowski, Michael Lyndon
In Theaters:
Magnum Entertainment

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Critic Reviews for Success Is The Best Revenge

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The pic merges political strife with domestic strife, which produces some far-reaching sparks.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Success Is The Best Revenge

"Success Is the Best Revenge" was Skolimowski's follow-up and companion-piece to "Moonlighting." Both films are London-set; both are explicit reactions to the political crisis in Poland and General Jaruzelski's declaration of martial law; and both feature quintessentially English actors playing Poles.
In other respects, however, no two Skolimowski films could be further apart. You could say that on Moonlighting Skolimowski was on his best behaviour: it's a perfectly controlled, evenly toned gem that achieves its aims with the minimum of effects and the maximum of effectiveness. "Success" is another beast entirely. Chronology gets shuffled, any coherent driving narrative is deliberately fragmented, individual scenes can appear abstracted and disconnected from the film as a whole, and distorted and ambient sounds will be brought in and out to obscure snatches of explanatory dialogue. It's tempting to call it a stylistic mess and be done with it. But one wonders if there is some deeper purpose for the film's narrative obliqueness. Unfortunately,I was unable to divine such a purpose.

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