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Tough Guys Don't Dance
Tough Guys Don't Dance
Actors: Ryan O'Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Debra Sandlund, Wings Hauser, John Bedford Lloyd
Director: Norman Mailer
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 50min

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer wrote and directed this charmingly cracked nightmare comedy (Los Angeles Times) based on his best-selling 1984 novel. Set during the lonely emptiness of off-season Cape Cod, To...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ryan O'Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Debra Sandlund, Wings Hauser, John Bedford Lloyd
Director: Norman Mailer
Creators: John Bailey, Norman Mailer, Francis Ford Coppola, Menahem Golan, Tom Luddy, Yoram Globus, Robert Towne
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Family Life, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/16/2003
Original Release Date: 09/18/1987
Theatrical Release Date: 09/18/1987
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Movie Reviews

Nobody Will Read This But I'm Writing This Anyhow
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 04/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The mere fact that MGM deemed this film worthy of a DVD release has to be a cosmic joke. I remember seeing this film on it's initial run back in 1987 in it's opening(and closing) week and there were, including myself, three people in the audience. I loved every minute of it. This film has it all. Ham-handed direction by writer Norman Mailer, convoluted plotting, overwought writing. In other words, brilliant. Mailer is ably assisted by a game cast that includes Ryan O'Neal(Mr. Box-office Poison), Isabella Rossellini(fresh from "Blue Velvet"), Wings Hauser(brilliant in the film,"Vice Squad"), Lawrence Tierney(Joe Cabot from "Reservoir Dogs"), and Penn Jillette(Penn and Teller). In a perfect world the catch phrase "Deep-six the heads" should have entered into the common vernacular. Anyone who fancies themselves a film buff should see this film once. Just to believe it."
Deep six the one-star reviews!
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If "offbeat noir" is your clarion call, this is your movie. (Our one-star reviewers completely missed the bus to Irony on this one). Written and directed by iconoclastic writer Norman Mailer, "Tough Guys Don't Dance" is assured cult status,now that it is available on DVD. Ryan O'Neal gives a deadpan performance reminiscent of his work in "The Driver". O'Neal plays an inscrutable ex-con with a conniving "black widow" for a wife, who experiences five "really bad days" in a row, involving drugs,kinky sex,blackmail and murder. Due to some temporary amnesia,however,he's not sure of his own complicity (O'Neal begins each day by writing the date on his bathroom mirror with shaving cream-keep in mind, this film precedes "Memento" by 13 years!) Veteran film noir icon Lawrence Tierny (cast here 5 years BEFORE Tarantino thought of resurrecting him for "Reservoir Dogs") is priceless as O'Neal's estranged father, who is helping him sort out events (it's worth the price of admission alone to hear Tierny bark "I just deep-sixed two heads!"). Equally notable is a deliciously demented performance by B-movie trouper Wings Hauser as the hilariously named Captain Alvin Luther Regency. Norman Mailer's "lack" of direction has been roundly criticized, but his minimalist style actually works perfectly for the story, giving his movie a David Lynch feel (although that might be due to the fact that Isabella Rossilini is in the cast and the soundtrack is by Lynch stalwart Angelo Badalamenti!) Film fans who also happen to be LITERATE (i.e., those who actually READ) will eat this one up."
One of the Finest Films Ever
D. Hartley | 01/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Disregard all the negative reviews! Whatever Mr. Mailer's intentions, this film contains some of the funniest dialogue in cinematic history! Nearly every line is a classic. Examples:"Lonnie's dead! Jessica is dismembered! Patty Loraine's off on some kind of a toot! And I'm about to go into business with you two unbelievable sleazos!" - Wardley MeeksPolice chief: "I believe that you love your wife."
Ryan O'Neal: "No more than twice a week."O'Neal: "What makes surgeons happy? To cut people up and get paid for it. That's happiness."In addition to the dialogue, Tough Guys Don't Dance boasts fine photography that evokes the light and atmosphere of Provincetown, some of the wackiest characters this side of a John Waters comedy, and a labyrinthe plot that rivals Chandler's The Big Sleep in terms of complexity and utter confusion. See it now! Before the ghosts of Helltown invade your seance!"
Eccentric Classic
D. Hartley | 05/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Obviously not for everyone, this movie has more astonishing moments than 20 normal films. Beautifully cast, the film has the ability to reveal some new facet each time I see it. So many movies aspire to feel spontaneous and over the top, this one succeeds."