Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
Based on his novel, Norman Mailer adapted and directed this film of mystery and murder. An alcoholic ex-con/writer finds himself implicated in murderous plots but cannot seem to remember much. He sets out to investigate the case on his own. Featured are performances by Ryan O'Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Debra Sundland and Lawrence Tierney.
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Critic Reviews for Tough Guys Don't Dance
Neither thrilling nor horrific, the camera, plotting, dialogue and atmosphere are uniformly unconvincing: a conservatoire of false notes.
Not the high point of the Mailer career, but it's a small, entertaining part of it.
Hard to classify; at times you laugh raucously at what's up on the screen; at others you stare dumbly, in stunned amazement.
What is strange is that Tough Guys Don't Dance leaves me with such vivid memories of its times and places, its feelings and weathers, and yet leaves me so completely indifferent to its plot. Watching the film, I laughed a good deal.
Norman Mailer's best film, adapted from his worst novel, shows a surprising amount of cinematic savvy and style.
A juicy cult classic.
Strange and self-indulgent, but oddly entertaining.
Ponderous and absurd, like the novel. As a stand-in for Mailer, O'Neal is limp.
The overkill is strangely compelling and Mailer's disregard for taste and convention ensure his film is a massive but spectacular and unmissable folly.
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