Friday, September 10, 2010

Fat City

Fat City is like the best Bukowski film ever made, except it's not based on Bukowski but rather a book by Leonard Gardner. However, the story takes place in the world of Bukowski, full of bums and barflies. Stacy Keach is an old boxer and Jeff Bridges is an upcoming talent. That's pretty much it, not a lot happens, but it's a great film, showing the downside of the American dream.

It's directed by John Huston, and what a long career this guy had, from The Maltese Falcon to The Dead. He probably did some lesser films as well, but in Fat City there's not a wrong step or a false note. It's never condescending, everything rings true. The film is slow, but not selfindulgently so like some films from this period.

Bridges is as usual excellent in his part, but the film really belongs to Keach, it's simply a brilliant performance. Susan Tyrrel plays his girlfriend. She's one of those eccentric/unglamourous actresses from the 70s, like Karen Black, that you don't see much in movies today. In the role of the boxing coach you find Nicolas Colasanto, who later became famous as Coach, on Cheers! Music is by Kris Kristofferson.


  1. I love this film. I find it an early ancestor of American indies, which coming from a patrician director like Huston is kinda surprising.

    Great dialogue when Keach and Bridges first meet. " I think I saw you fight once.." "Yeah? Did I win?" "No."

  2. Jason! a secret for you. The best movie about Bukowski, without Bukowski, is The Lost Weekend (1945) by Bily Wilder. Is a wonderfull movie. Is contemporary to Charles, I'm sure that he saw the movie, because is contemporary to him. The movie is based in a novel Charles R. Jackson, and I think is a novel with elements about the life of William Faulkner (oher great writer drunk!)

  3. I haven't seen Lost Weekend yet. I'll check it out.

  4. Wise Blood is another great lesser-known Huston film.