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The Outsider - a Film about James Toback


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Editorial Reviews

The Outsider gives a very inside look at what it means to be a filmmaker. Jarecki follows legendary writer/director James Toback (The Gambler, Two Girls and a Guy, Bugsy) through the insane making of his recent thriller When Will I Be Loved starring Neve Campbell. The documentary chronicles all phases of Toback's wild filmmaking journey as he shoots his movie in 12 days without a script and battles to get it distributed. Candid interviews with Woody Allen, Robert Downey, Jr., Mike Tyson, Harvey Keitel, Norman Mailer, Brooke Shields, Barry Levinson and more reveal the complex life and work of this compulsive gambler and exceptional film talent

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Robert Downey Jr., Harvey Keitel, Neve Campbell, Brook Shields
  • Directors: Nicholas Jarecki
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Westlake Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010EG8JC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Calnek on February 19, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a fascinating documentary about what really goes into the making of an indie flick. The filmmaker captures Toback in all his mania- and some of it has to be seen to be believed. When it works the results are captivating and the interview footage with Woody Allen, Downey Jr., Brooke Shields, Tyson, and other luminaries goes beyond standard 'making-of' stuff and tells tales about both the film's strangely endearing subject and the interviewees themselves- all with the backdrop of making movies as a way of life. But it's Toback himself who stands out as a hustler's hustler, always with a trick up his sleeve as he actually pulls off making a real movie in 12 days... The doc's well put-together- funny, fast-moving, and packed with good tunes. Anybody interested in what goes into creating indie cinema who can embrace Toback's charming madness will enjoy this very good movie.
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Format: DVD
At first glance, THE OUTSIDER documents the creation of a $2 milion film in less than two weeks, a movie that in fact had only a partial script and was greatly improvised by its cast. We also witness the struggles its creator has in getting his movie distributed. Conversely, this 84 minute study can be interpreted as a "making of" infomercial for writer/director James Toback's WHEN WILL I BE LOVED (2004).

Toback's spotty track record as an independent producer/director doesn't indicate brilliance, yet he's greatly respected by his contemporaries. Best known for writing Warren Beatty's BUGSY (1991), as a director the gambling-addicted Toback can be unorthodox and overbearing, according to some who comment here. Toback's writing class background betrays him, for at times during interviews he seems to be delivering a Filmmaking 101 lecture.

One thing is certain. Nick Jarecki, who took eight months creating "The Outsider," is an unabashed James Toback admirer. He somehow manages to downplay Toback's numerous shortcomings, presenting him instead as a precocious genius. There's enough pro-Toback commentary here from very familiar faces to support Jarecki's premise.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.9) The Outsider (2005) - James Toback/Robert Downey Jr./Woody Allen/Neve Campbell/Mike Tyson/Harvey Keitel/Jim Brown/Roger Ebert/Brooke Shields/Barry Levinson/Woody Harrelson/Norman Mailer/Robert Towne
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Fechter on June 6, 2013
Format: DVD
Nicholas Jarecki directs this intensely intimate look at James Toback while he puts together his film, "When Will I Be Loved". Toback has just 12 manic days for piecing it together then distributing the work.

Toback is personal, expressive and loyal to his own ideas. Harvard educated, he does lend-in the technicalities of filmmaking. Being an Indie director and showing several scenes from his movies; Toback is fully able to show what is on his mind for the points he makes, and for the movie he is introducing.

"He knows the Jedi mind-trick", Robert Downey Jr. says of 'Jim' while featured throughout; several actors in his movies are. "The Pickup Artist", "The Gambler", "Black and White", "Fingers", along with "Bugsy" (among others) are highlighted and all spun to an array of amazing music.

Toback is quite able to show the psychopathic evil in his films while, in turn, is "the revenge expert". R. Downey Jr. explains in detail about his break-down scene in front of the mirror in "Two Girls and a Guy". Robert Towne ("Chinatown" screenplay among others) talks with Toback about filming now, then adds that a 'reshoot' may be necessary. The search for financial offers on the movie becomes harried and he is staunch in defending it.

"Today .. I think if I were your age, I would be a movie director"; Author Norman Mailer says in comparison to his own livelihood. Jarecki uses the vehicle of this documentary to show that James Toback is more complicated in his own personality than with his ease of directing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: DVD
At first glance, THE OUTSIDER documents the creation of a $2 milion film in less than two weeks, a movie that in fact had only a partial script and was greatly improvised by its cast. We also witness the struggles its creator has in getting his movie distributed. Conversely, this 84 minute study can be interpreted as a "making of" infomercial for writer/director James Toback's WHEN WILL I BE LOVED (2004).

Toback's spotty track record as an independent producer/director doesn't indicate brilliance, yet he's greatly respected by his contemporaries. Best known for writing Warren Beatty's BUGSY (1991), as a director the gambling-addicted Toback can be unorthodox and overbearing, according to some who comment here. Toback's writing class background betrays him, for at times during interviews he seems to be delivering a Filmmaking 101 lecture.

One thing is certain. Nick Jarecki, who took eight months creating "The Outsider," is an unabashed James Toback admirer. He somehow manages to downplay Toback's numerous shortcomings, presenting him instead as a precocious genius. There's enough pro-Toback commentary here from very familiar faces to support Jarecki's premise.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.9) The Outsider (2005) - James Toback/Robert Downey Jr./Woody Allen/Neve Campbell/Mike Tyson/Harvey Keitel/Jim Brown/Roger Ebert/Brooke Shields/Barry Levinson/Woody Harrelson/Norman Mailer/Robert Towne
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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