Atlantic City[1980]

“Don’t touch the suit”

Director : Louis Malle

Writer : John Guare

Cast : Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon

Story : Lou (Burt Lancaster) remembers the old glorious days of Atlantic city where he was a great mobster, who shared a cell with Bugsy Siegel, only to see his present in an even depressive light: he runs a 25 cent bets on numbers and tends to an old friend, Grace, who is financing him enough to just stay afloat. His happiest moments are at night when he watches Sally (Susan Sarandon) as she cuts fresh lemons and tries to wash away the smell of fish from her oyster bar job. Then one day Sally’s pregnat sister and husband pops out of nowhere with stolen drugs and a lot of problems follow setting all the characters on motion.

What I Liked :

– Burt Lancaster’s Lou made your heart ache with hope, pity and sadness

– the portrait of the decaying Atlantic city, almost every exterior shot features a demolition, a run-down building, a bulldozer destroying vacant lot, etc

– the focus of the focus of the story, the drug business, the chasing mobster could have easily shadow the characters, but Malle keeps his film a character study till the end, what, in my opinion, saved the film because otherwise it would have been just an other drug selling gone bad type of movie.

– the last scene, it made me smile

What I Didn’t Like :

– I didn’t care for any characters, I understood their motivations and actions but it all felt just wrong, you will see miserable, pitiful lives and desperate attempts for a better life;  I know this is how it was supposed to be but it made me a bit uncomfortable

Final Note :

3 out of 4

Interesting Facts :

– the producers wanted to get Robert Mitchum for the role of Lou, but when they discovered that he just had a face-lift they lost interest

Trailer :

full of spoilers, but the only one I could find.

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