Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 11
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 652
Norman Mailer wrote and directed this demented film noir, which takes place in a Provincetown of perpetual twilight. Most of the tale, based on his best-selling novel, is told in flashback as Dougy Madden (Lawrence Tierney) pays a visit to his son Tim (Ryan O'Neal). Dougy, a tough ex-bartender, is ravaged by cancer and decides to see Tim one last time in order. But Tim is suffering both from writer's block and from the effects of too many years of drink, drugs, and sex. His sexy wife Patty
Jan 1, 1987 Wide
Sep 16, 2003
Media Home Entertainment
John Bedford Lloyd
Wardley Meeks III
The Big Stoop
R. Patrick Sullivan
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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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