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Fries with gravy, a cherry cola. Friendship, bragging rights...and does Sinatra or Mathis croon the best makeout music? Before there was the counterculture of the ’60s, there was the counter culture. From his Oscar®-nominated script, Barry Levinson makes his directing debut with this endearing study of pals in transition. Film-debuting Ellen Barkin plays a neglected wife. Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly and Paul Reiser – chosen from over 600 hopefuls – play the up-all-night buddies who work out the remnants of adolescence during ritual grazings at a busy steel-and-vinyl hangout in 1959 Baltimore. Stars, laughs, interlocking stories: entertainment is the daily special in Diner.]]>
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.92 Ounces
- Item model number : 1000524929
- Director : Barry Levinson
- Media Format : Blu-ray, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Release date : February 3, 2015
- Actors : Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly
- Producers : Jerry Weintraub, Mark Johnson
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B00O9KFZIE
- Writers : Barry Levinson
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #39,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Baltimore looks amazing, and they pulled of the era nearly perfectly. I love the excess chatter, the subtle humor and different personalities, and most of all I love how it all comes together with the diner. A masterpiece. It's strange how some of these types of films are rarely made today. Though we have a lot of talkie films, we don't quite get this kind of experience anymore. It's a more truthful look at something that gets older and older as the days go by. You simply can't quite recreate a lot of this stuff anymore, and that is what makes a film like this so special.
The bluray transfer looks great. Not perfect, but realized well and done with care. I doubt anybody has seen this film looking this good, not even in the theaters when it debuted. Everyone should have it in their collection. Levinson remains one of the more underappreciated directors I think. He had an extremely solid run of films, but sadly he stopped directing in 2001. This is clearly at the top of the heap. Highly recommended.
Obviously many of the movies within this project have some connection to my past. By the end most probably won't. Despite a cast of beloved actors that I have seen countless times I have never even heard of "Diner."
After having seen it I know why I never heard of it: nothing happens. My wife has a friend that lives far away. The way they stay in touch is record videos while doing their daily activities like cleaning, washing dishes, giving the kids a bath, and so on. Imagine if they tried to make it funny by scripting in some comedic moments. It wouldn't make it any better to a stranger. That's "Diner." It's some dude's life he finds interesting but it isn't to anyone else.
Obviously I didn't like it but I have to concede that the dialogue was superb. The characters came to life with very realistic conversations. It's quite an accomplishment to keep the conversations real while clever but "Diner" pulls it off in spades.
Aside from being a total bore "Diner" performs the unforgettable sin of, not only a musical interlude, but one midway through the final act. Evidence that there is zero story to tell. I understand as a period piece these kinds of moments can make sense but if I don't get story then it's unpardonable.
-top notch, realistic dialogue
-felt like the 50's to me (judging from past cinema experiences)
-Kevin Bacon's character is an annoying schmuck and should have been cut from the film completely
In "Diner", Barry Levinson created a comedic masterpiece. The story takes i place in 1959 Baltimore and one must allow for accepted gender roles of the time. It's an older coming-of-age plot about a group of young chums who are about 20 years old, making their way to adulthood, spending their late nights and early morning hours with each other in their safe place --- the diner. The story revolves around one of them who has tentative plans to marry on New Years Eve, and his antics to give his cold feet a pass to cop out gracefully. The viewer gets to know each personality through alternating bits of bravado and vulnerability. And the comedy ranges between "nuance" and hilarity.
The cast is amazing, mostly unknowns in 1982 when the film was made, and it served as a launching pad for most of the actors, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Steve Gutenberg, Paul Reiser, and Kevin Bacon among them.
I would recommend it for anyone who wants to see an exceptionally well done production of a very funny story.
Sure, there are strong performances by the likes of Mickey Roarke, Daniel Stern, Steve Guttenberg, and Kevin Bacon. But it’s all dated, the relationships barely worth even thinking about, and the issues of the man-boys tedious.
And the level of purely vicious misogyny is through the roof. It seems that the one thing that pulls all these boys together is their singular contempt for women-obviously shared by director Barry Levinson. If you remember this one fondly, it’s best to let it remain a find memory. By no means should you watch it again.
Top reviews from other countries
The film’s main narrative (such as it is) centres around the imminent marriage of Guttenberg’s football fanatic, Eddie, and the need for Rourke’s cool, ladies man, Boogie, to pay back a $2K debt that he’s run up, but it is the film’s free-flowing, often improvised, all-night ensemble discussions at the titular diner that are the heart of Levinson’s film. It is here that Eddie, Boogie, Bacon’s self-destructive, drunk, Fen, Stern’s newly-married, Shrevie, Paul Reiser’s (in a film-stealing performance) prevaricating oddball, Modell, and Tim Daley’s returning Billy, meet to reflect on the important things in life – marriage, sex, careers, sport and who’s the best singer: Sinatra or Mathis? Levinson, perhaps unsurprisingly, has written his film largely from a male viewpoint and he gets the obsessive geekiness, pretensions and (underlying) insecurity of the immature male psyche spot-on. The idea of a ‘football test’ that Eddie’s intended has to pass before he will confirm the marriage is both outrageous and hilarious. But, it is Shrevie’s wavering newlywed (to Barkin’s Beth) that gives us some truly heart-rending moments, first admitting to Eddie about his marriage, 'We’ve got nothing to talk about’, and then putting Beth through the wringer in response to her disinterest in his prized record collection, 'You never ask me what's on the flip side’ (this latter scene is one of my all-time favourite moments in cinema). Thus, we find that it is actually Barkin’s 'lone female’ that is one of Levinson’s most pivotal characters in his drama and the actress delivers an unforgettably powerful turn in what was her first significant big screen role (I’ve never seen her better, certainly).
The film really does constitute a seemingly endless stream of great set-pieces, often with quite profound implications for Levinson’s characters. We even get a moment of (seeming) fantasy as Boogie and Fen come across a horse-riding 'madonna’, a meeting whose other-worldly quality prompts Fen to ask 'Do you ever get the feeling there’s something going on we don’t know about?’. And, even though Levinson’s film lives or dies on the strength of its script and characterisations, there are plenty of other nice cinematic touches, such as the humorous references to the films, Sweet Smell Of Success and The Seventh Seal ('It’s symbolic’), plus a brilliant sequence of 'life imitating art’ as Billy lives out a parallel on-screen TV drama. Diner’s soundtrack is also outstandingly evocative and includes Chuck Berry, Frank Sinatra, Dion, Bobby Darin, Howlin’ Wolf, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley and many more.
Other films that conjure up a similar sense of nostalgia and poignancy as Levinson’s film would, for me, include the likes of The Last Picture Show, American Graffiti and Fellini’s I Vitelloni. Certainly, Diner can hold its head up in such exalted company.