Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Norman Mailer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 16, 2003
Media Home Entertainment



as Tim Madden

as Madeleine Regency

as Patty Lareine

as Regency

as Wardley Meeks III

as Dougy Madden

as Big Stoop

as Jessica Pond

as Lonny Pangborn

as Spider
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Critic Reviews for Tough Guys Don't Dance

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

Neither thrilling nor horrific, the camera, plotting, dialogue and atmosphere are uniformly unconvincing: a conservatoire of false notes.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Not the high point of the Mailer career, but it's a small, entertaining part of it.

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

Hard to classify; at times you laugh raucously at what's up on the screen; at others you stare dumbly, in stunned amazement.

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

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.

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

Norman Mailer's best film, adapted from his worst novel, shows a surprising amount of cinematic savvy and style.

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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