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  • 8 Million Ways to Die

    8 Million Ways to Die

    “Drifters, Dopes, and Dopers”

    Hal Ashby’s 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE is about cops and robbers, coke and hookers. (These are the pillars of new American action movies—the ones that aren’t about showing the Commies how mighty is our moral wrath.) The Ashby film is based on Lawrence Block’s mystery novels featuring the detective Matthew Scudder; the best known of these books is “Eight Million Ways to Die” —which, of course, refers to New York City, where the stories are…

  • Wise Guys

    Wise Guys

    “Drifters, Dopes, and Dopers”

    WISE GUYS is a mafia burlesque—a broad, slapstick Mafia farce, spattered with gross-out humor. The two heroes—Danny DeVito as the bumptious Italian Harry, and Joe Piscopo as the Jewish simpleton Moe—have been best friends since childhood and still live in adjoining working-class houses in Newark. They’re on the lowest rung of the local organization; they’re hangers-on who are treated contemptuously and ordered to fetch the godfather’s groceries and dry cleaning, or start his car for him…

Popular reviews

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    A Woman Under the Influence

    The Theories of R.D. Laing, the poet of schizophrenic despair, have such theatrical flash that they must have hit John Cassavetes smack in the eye. His new film, A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, is the work of a disciple: it's a didactic illustration of Laing's vision of insanity, with Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti, the scapegoat of a repressive society that defines itself as normal. The core of the film is a romanticized conception of insanity, allied with the ancient…

  • Something Wild

    Something Wild

    "Doubling Up"

    For seven decades of romantic screwball comedies, sexy, smart, funny women have been waking up heroes who, through fear or shyness or a stuffy educational background, were denying their deepest impulses. The women perform a rescue mission. Sometimes, in earlier eras, they did it in the guise of dumb blondes (like Marie Wilson) or dizzy dames (like Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY), but mostly they were wisecracking broads, like Mae West and Joan Blondell, and Jean Harlow…