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Also on hand, as Dembo re-embarks on a life of crime after release from the slammer, are his buds, also former crooks, who are persuaded by Max to once again plunge into the dark side of crime. Gary Busey and Harry Dean Stanton are these guys, and the casting here is right on target. Stanton is always good, but here he's even better as a world-weary guy who's so jaded by his marriage that he's eager to get going with Dembo, rather than having to go through the endlessly boring days of domestic life with his wife (Kathy Bates in an early role, and great as usual).
This is a terrific companion piece to another Dustin Hoffman-starring film, Midnight Cowboy. In both films, we see how the actor gets under the skin of a character who's at rock bottom and teases out of this mess so much humanity that the viewer is glued to the screen. Hoffman in his prime? You bet. Just about no other actor around is this good in this kind of role. He's a malevolent force of nature in Straight Time who has a devastating impact on everyone around him.
One of the most unknown films of the 1970s--because it's so downbeat, the box office gross was really low at the time of its release. But it's a great film, a quintessentially American film whose focus on the underbelly of the great American dream is as strong as a bullwhip.
Get this, see it, and dig it. It's great.
Hoffman plays Max, a man just released from six years of prison and determined to get a job and play it straight. But, his friends draw him back into the life of crime. It's a very straight-forward story; what makes this movie work so well is the acting. 'Straight Time' was a small blip in theaters and it's easy to see why - it's not a crowd-pleasing movie. For those who did see it they knew just how good Hoffman and rest of the cast was. Hoffman should have received his fourth Oscar nomination for this film and both Harry Dean Stanton and M. Emmet Walsh were deserving of supporting Oscar nomations.
I highly recommend this film to anybody who is a Dustin Hoffman fan as I myself am. This is one of my favorite films and I cannot wait for it to be released on DVD.
Check it out.
Isn't it about time they put this gem out on DVD?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent look at convict and ex-convict life as viewed from the criminal's eyes. As usual, Dustin Hoffman played the role brilliantly. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Robert D. Woods
This movie is an excellent portrait of what I know about the way felons think and act. Parolee Max (Dustin Hoffman) wants to live as an affluent low class rounder, and he dislikes... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arthur C. W. Bethel
Watched it originally from prison in 1984 and never got tired of it. When he pulled down the parole officer's pants in the middle of the highway, the tiers went nuts!Published 4 months ago by Dwaine Casmey
Great movie. Really gritty. Great performance by Dustin Hoffman and supporting cast is great particularly Harry Dean Stanton. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Douglas A. Feldman
Great little film from that moist independent and creative of American decades - the 1970s - America's Age of the Auteur. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer