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Keitel plays Cat, a fellow border patrol officer and Charlie's (Nicholson's) neighbor and so-called friend. Cat, the C.O. (Oates), a crude lowlife Texan, and a sleazy Mexican are all in on a corrupt scheme to sell wetbacks (Mexican laborers in the U.S.) for profit. When murder becomes part of the mix, Charlie--who had finally agreed to cash in--backs out and the others turn on him. He helps a young Mexican woman whose baby has been snatched and meanwhile tries to put up with his greedy wife (Perrine) who loves material objects more than life itself.
For some very strange reason, this film has sunk so far into the depths of obscurity that no one seems interested in releasing this on DVD. This is a great dramatic work and showcases not only Nicholson himself, but a story that means something, a director who knows how to do what has to be done, and a film whose emphasis is where it should be--on story and characters, not on shallow emotions that can be resolved with the snap of a special effects finger.
Very highly recommended.
The direction by Tony Richardson, who had his heyday in the sixties with films as varied as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Tom Jones (1963), and The Loved One (1965), all adapted from novels, is at times inspired and artistic, and at other times as ordinary as dishwater. I don't think he was able to make up his mind while directing this film about whether he wanted win an award at Cannes or Venice or to just sell some tickets. As it turns out he did neither as well as he might have. Nonetheless as a snapshot of poor Mexican immigrants (and would-be immigrants) as they clash with the border patrol culture twenty-some years ago The Border is definitely worth a look. Particularly vivid is the depiction of the absurdities and hypocrisies among the coyotes, the "wets," the border patrol rank-and-file, the law and the realities of life along both sides of the thin strip separating the promised land from the third world.
Nicholson plays Charlie Smith, a border patrol cop with a trailer trash wife (Valerie Perrine) who yearns to move up to the luxury of duplex living. In particular she wants to move in next door to her high school girlfriend Savannah (Shannon Wilcox) who is married to the "Cat" (Harvey Keitel). Charlie Smith is a bit of an innocent who was satisfied with his trailer home and his sexy, loving, but not overly sharp, wife Mary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Jack Nicholson and know that I can expect some foul language from him at times, but the sexual scene in the bar was absolutely raunchy. The film should have been rated X. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Letha Bice
This picture was hard to believe. I think some of the story was true, money exchanges, murders, and kidnapping, but a Border Patrol officer going back and forth across a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John A.
Excellent DVD! This was one of Jack Nicholson earlier movies, and I must admit, one of his very best. If you're a Nicholson fan, this movie is a must have. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Selwyn J. McGhrr Sr.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of greed and corruption. Jack's character 'Charlie' is saddled with a wife who's only happy when she's spending his entire income and then another... Read morePublished 4 months ago by DJF007
This movie is very good! I've seen it about 3 times I believe! Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel all in one! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dee Smalls!
One of my favorites, many have forgotten it or never saw it. The immigration issue still with us after all these years, but its hard to imagine a movie dealing with that issue in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matt Benzing
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