Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell, Candy Clark, Nicholas Colasanto
Director: John Huston
Genres: Art House & International, Drama
FAT CITY is a powerful and gripping story about personal wins and losses in the raw rugged world of amateur boxing. Directed by legendary Oscar®-winning filmmaker John Huston (1949 Best Director Best Screenplay The Treasur... more »
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Brutal Reality Brilliantly Portrayed
William Hare | Seattle, Washington | 02/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stacey Keach and Susan Tyrrell deliver Oscar caliber performance while Jeff Bridges launches a brilliant career in this 1972 epic, one of the best directorial efforts of the storied career of John Huston. Keach and Bridges play fighters trying to make a go of life in the tough world of professional boxing in Stockton, a delta city in Northern California.Keach, living in a fleabag hotel, meets young Bridges at the local YMCA, where the former professional boxer has gone to work out. After enticing Bridges to spar a little, Keach is astonished when the younger man with the fast moves reveals he has never boxed, either amateur or professional. Keach suggests that Bridges look up his former manager, played by Nick Colasanto, at the Lido Gym.Colasanto and his trainer, played by former ranked lightweight and welterweight, Art Aragon, waste no time in turning Bridges amateur. After Bridges' first workout Colasanto tells his wife that a good looking, clean cut "white kid" like Bridges should make a good crowd draw.Keach falls on hard times, getting fired from his fry cook's job, going out early in the morning to work as a picker at nearby farms. He also forms a romantic relationship with hard luck Tyrrell, a heavy drinker, whose live in love, played by former world welterweight champion Curtis Cokes, has gone to jail on an assault charge. The fight was brought on by resentment of his interracial romance with Tyrrell. Meanwhile Keach moves in with Tyrrell.When Keach, spurred on by Bridges' ring progress, decides to make a comeback, in his sober state he can no longer abide Tyrrell and moves out. When Cokes finishes serving his time he moves back in with her again. Bridges has his own romantic involvement with Candy Clark. They make love in his car. She tells him she is pregnant and they get married.Keach gets in shape and wins the first bought of his comeback against a Mexican fighter, played by noted light heavyweight boxer Sixto Rodriguez. What Keach does not know was that his opponent had passed blood in his hotel room and could not hold up to body blows, having been injured in a previous bout. All the same, he needs the money, and so he fights Keach anyway.When all is said and done Keach, after Colasanto has taken out deductions for expenses such as room and board for his fighter, receives one hundred dollars. Keach becomes incensed, telling Colasanto once more about the time he let him down and, to save two hundred dollars, let him travel to Panama by himself for his most important fight against a local favorite, then ranked fifth in the world. With Keach ahead his cornermen, in an effort to win the bout for the Panamanian, administered cuts over both eyes with razor blades. This resulted in the referee stopping the bout. After that Keach's wife left him and his life spiraled rapidly downhill.With resentment for Colasanto revived, a sulking Keach hits the skids once more, returning to heavy drinking. At the film's end he sees Bridges after the latter has sought to avoid him. Bridges tells him about his second child, and that he is still fighting professionally. As they sit in the coffee shop Keach gropes for meaning in life, wondering just where he is gone, fearful of how he will turn out.Leonard Gardner adapted the screenplay from his own novel. Each had the same hard edge as the world he describes. He should know since it was his world. Gardner grew up in Stockton, boxed as an amateur, and wrote the novel while on the bum in Mexico."
Boxing without Don King.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great grim movie. Huston did a heckuva job adapting Gardner's novel, but he started with grim material and went deeper into it. One memorable scene is when Keech manages to shake off his wine hangover and walks outside his transient hotel to try and make a new start on his life. He boldy heads out on the sidewalk, does a bit of bobbing and weaving on the curb. He's ready to turn over that new leaf but looks around at the city, and you can watch the wheels turn in his head as the he decides to go back inside. Punchdrunk. Rummy. It didn't take long to whip him this round, and all his rounds are pretty much like this. But he doesn't quit, the fight is still in him. The rage is there, but the skill and conditioning is long gone, so are his chances. They can beat him, they could kill him but they don't bother. The thing is, you can knock him down but he won't stay down, and sometimes that's all it takes. Between the white port in the alley, working the onion fields and listening to the old boxers talking about their lives, you wonder just what he's really teaching his new protege', and why either one even bothers. It's called life. It's not much but it's all we get, so take a tip from an old pro and don't stay on the canvas. Susan Tyrell does a great job, deserved her Oscar nomination, but reminded me of too many former flames perched on that barstool. Hmmm. Perhaps I'm trapped in the same...whack! Ooof,I didn't see that one coming. Life keeps hitting me with so many lefts, I'm begging for a right. If you're able to extract inspiration from a movie filled with scenes from a very tough life, watch Fat City. If you're looking for something fluffy, ain't nothin' here but a scram. Take it on the arches, pal."
Almost the best movie about boxing!
skipmccoy | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not the most upbeat film, but absolutely remarkable. A gem from John Huston's later years. The whole cast does a spectacular job here-Stacy Keach, Susan Tyrell, Jeff Bridges and Candy Clark. The feeling this film leaves you with is a rare one and I just love it. An underapprecited masterpiece from a old master."
3 Stellar performances
Dennis Wagner | Kannapolis, NC | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The only reason this product isn't getting five stars from me is the lack of extras. This is a much-overlooked film from one of our greatest directors, John Huston, who managed to get stellar performances from all three leads. Stacy Keach has never been better playing a "down on his luck" ex-fighter who has fallen into the clutches of alcoholism and seems to be satified with his fate. When he finds a young fighter in the form of Jeff Bridges in one of his early "star in the making" roles, he sees the hope of redemption. However he must first overcome the life he has willingly let himself wallow in, and one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is his enabler, played to perfection by the always magnificent Susan Tyrrell. Ms. Tyrell was at her peak in this Oscar-nominted performance and is one of the cinema's truly individual and singular actresses. Her portrayal of Keach's alcoholic "girlfriend" epitomizes the despair and hopelessness of someone who has lost their way in life and tries desperately to find it in a bottle. Even Meryl Streep's Oscar-nominated performance in Ironweed can't compare to Tyrrell's depiction of one of life's outcasts "on the skids" and apparently resigned to her fate. She is by far the main reason to see Fat City and to seek out her other performances, which include another Oscar-nominated one in Another Man, Another Chance. John Huston definitely elicited 3 stellar perfomances in Fat City and for that alone this film resonates long after the end-credits. A true standout!