Telling Lies in America 1997 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(24) IMDb 6.3/10

Karchy Jonas was born in Hungary and immigrated to Cleveland in the early 1960s, where he felt adrift in a strange sea of American culture. Jonas tries to fit in at his Catholic high school but finds himself a laughing stock. At home, his stern father insists that he adhere to traditional Hungarian ways. Karchy's only respite is the rock & roll he adores. A year before he arrived, flashy, failed disc jockey Billy Magic rolled into town, found a job at WHK and became the host of the High School Hall of Fame contest, something that Karchy decides he must win so he too can be cool and therefore impress his classmate Diney. Eventually, he does win and before long has made friends with Billy. The DJ proves to be a real pal and pays Karchy to run errands and do odd jobs for him. Some of those tasks involve taking money from promoters. When not working, Billy introduces Karchy to life's wild side. But despite the fun, there is much the naive youth is destined to learn the hard way about his new buddy Billy.

Starring:
Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro
Runtime:
1 hour 42 minutes

Telling Lies in America

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music
Director Guy Ferland
Starring Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro
Supporting actors Maximilian Schell, Calista Flockhart, Paul Dooley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Luke Wilson, Damen Fletcher, Jerry Swindall, K.K. Dodds, James Kisicki, J.J. Horna, Ben Saypol, Tony Devon, Rohn Thomas, Joe Baka, Tuesday Knight, Dave Buckel, Matt Miller, Jack Skelly
Studio Peace Arch
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The performances were terrific.
Francine Roberts
Calista Flockheart is in this too..alot of Brad Renfro's movies are good and this movie is very good and entertaining!
Andrew Zoeller
Everyone who hears his stock line "Lots of times", knows he is lying.
L. Quido

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cairene on December 25, 2000
Format: DVD
When he wasn't writing trashy, empty thrillers (Basic Instinct, Jade, Sliver), Joe Eszterhaz must have been reminiscing about his childhood, modulating what would eventually become Telling Lies In America, a great, tender, beautifully rendered film. Set in the early 1960s Cleveland Ohio, it is the story of Karchy Jonas (Brad Renfro), a 17-year-old son of a Hungarian mill worker (Maximilian Schell) who had been a PHD in law in the old country. Something, Karchy never fails to mention to all the authority figures in his life. All the father wants in life is for he and his son to become naturalized citizens. Duly, Karchy goes to the expensive school the old man has obviously strained to pay for where, unpopular, he bluffs about all the things there are to bluff about. He works nights at a grocery store where Diney (Calista Flockhart) also works in a pained saddened silence. He comes on to her with his obvious bluffs, the little lies that are so obvious to the worldly Diney that she pities him, or is amused by him. At night he comes home to the little house he shares with his father, looks in the mirror and desperately tries to pronounce "the" which without exception always seems to come out "da".
Its fair to say that Telling Lies In America has its fair share of cliches. Those little cornets every coming of age film has to play. You have your hypocritical teacher/priest, your unattainable female Diney, her overbearing suitor Henry (Luke Wilson) and most importantly, Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon). Magic is one of those characters most filmgoers could draw from memory; the slicked back hair, the envy inducing array of lady-friends, babbling on his radio show in his all important "slanguage" while he offers his listeners some "ear conditioning" on a particularly hot day. Karchy is in awe of him.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on June 11, 2001
Format: DVD
from a surprising source! Joe Esterhaz, not a particular favorite of mine, shines in the telling of his autobiographical "coming of age" story as a teenage immigrant in the early 60's. Much has been made of the immigrant experience in the earlier part of the century, but this film gives us insight into what it was like for Europeans to be transported to America's "golden age".
Maximillian Schell is back on the screen, and welcome as the father of Esterhaz' alter-ego, Karchy Jonas. He is a bit puzzling until you learn that he was a highly educated man in his native Hungary, forced into menial labor in his new country of choice. He has instilled his belief in the power of being an American citizen in his son, Karchy, played by Brad Renfro. Renfro is believable and gives a delicious naivete to the role of Karchy, both in his words and deeds. His relationship to an older woman, Diney (Calista Flockhart looking real, not just cute) makes sense when you see how much she yearns for his honesty and his sense of wonder. Despite a high ethical standard set by his father, Karchy is a noted fabricator of fibs. Everyone who hears his stock line "Lots of times", knows he is lying.
Enter Kevin Bacon, the perfect Svengali for a boy looking to become a man in the "coolest" way possible. Bacon is a hot disc jockey, whose personal code of honor is questionable. There is no question that this is one of his strongest performances ever. From body language to his Texas twang, his regret at how his life turned out (from a brief glimpse he shares late in the movie) makes him a standout playing an early 60's "lounge lizard". Bacon has a fine portfolio of work, but this is his ultimate role.
Music and set are perfect for this nostalgic look back to the 60's. A great film, underappreciated by many.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a story of a teenage immigrant who is an outcast is his private school. He receives no encouragement from his headmster, his father or, at first, from the girl he has a crush on. He is told that he is worthless and is tormented by his schoolmates. He lies to get a job with the local disk jockey whom he comes to idolize. Unfortunately, the disk jockey needs the kid to take pay-offs from record agents. But, for the first time, the kid receives encouragement from his mentor and is told, "You can do anything you put your mind to". Kevin Bacon is superb as the disk jockey. The fact that he is a musician as well as a fine actor shows in every move of his body as he listens to music and introduces it to his followers. Note that the song, "Medium Rare" was written by Kevin Bacon. Brad Renfro is also excellent as the kid. Buy this movie and you will find yourself wanting to see it over and over again. This is a movie for all ages. I'm a grandmother of teen agers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on February 8, 2002
Format: DVD
Two words: GREAT MOVIE! Both Kevin Bacon and Brad Renfro (who just became my new favorite actor, I think!) were excelent, and the story is wonderful. Nice to see Calista Flockheart looking relatively normal, and not rail-thin. I really liked the part Brad goes to Calista when his whole world seems to be crashing down around him. Also, when the one woman said that he was "gentle." Very sweet moment. If you haven't already, SEE THIS MOVIE! The only reason I saw it was because Jonathan Rhys Meyers was in it, but he kinda had a small part. I would have liked to see more of him, and I would have liked to see about what he talked about in confession (if you've seen it, you know what I mean). Anyhoo, great flick, and I highly recommend it!
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