Synopsis

A once-great silent film director, unable to make the transition to the new talkies, lives as a near-hermit in his Hollywood home, making cheap, silent sex films, and suffering in the knowledge of his sexual impotence, and apathetic about the plans to demolish his home to make way for a highway. His producer and his producer's girlfriend come by to see how he is doing (and to supply heroin to the actress as her payment). The girlfriend stays to watch them filming, and is deeply impressed by his methods. When the actress goes to the bathroom, and dies there of an overdose, the girlfriend takes her place in the film. Then the producer returns. —Steven Pemberton

Director

John Byrum

Cast

Richard Dreyfuss
as Boy Wonder
Jessica Harper
as Cathy Cake
Bob Hoskins
as Big Mac
Stephen Davies
as Rex, the Wonder Dog

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by KGB-Greece-Patras N/A

That was quite unique ! I like it!

I think many reviewers have lost the point here. This is no excuse for porn, you guys. If you want porn, go get porn. And if you are put off by a film that entirely takes place in an apartment, stay away. But I think that this film is not one you get to see every day. Its special 'plot' and context could only create a unique film. So, its rare... where do we find it? I saw it on MGM, late at night...

This is a pretty sophisticated film on making porn. Dreyfuss is excellent as the alcoholic director. All in all, you are likely to love it if you like smart, dialog based films, and of course if you're not offended by some nudity and decadence. But what did you expect? This guys is making porn films in his apartment!

Provocative , a bit offensive , surprisingly shockin, yes, but unique and original as well. Note: this is no expoitation flick, even though some might view enjoy it as such...

Reviewed by maeander 9 /10

The tag line is right.

"A degenerate film with dignity" is the tag line for this comedy...and it is...a comedy. One thing many people might miss from this movie is the humor. At times it is bitter sweet and at times it is caustic. With characters like the mogul named "Big Mac", who wants to conquer the hamburger stand market, to the the porn actor called "Rex the Wonder Horse", who moonlights as an undertaker; what can you do but laugh.

It is very much a filmed stage play taking place in one large room with only a handful of actors. Yet you will hardly notice it. True to it's time frame (Hollywood at the dawn of sound), it's stands up to it's own time (1970's) and today's (2000's). Currently the porn industry does almost as much business as main stream films ("What Price Hollywood?"). In fact, Porn generates more money than Country Music. How many country music channels are there? How many porn?

You may never listen to the tune "Moonglow" in the same way again.

Watching it as a bitter sweet comedy, you cannot but enjoy this film. I have only seen the 117 min. version and not the shortened one. Be warned if only the 99 min. version is available.

It's difficult to find this movie. But if you get the chance, see it.

Reviewed by CorumJI 10 /10

It's Sure Good To Know That Your Rope Can Still Rise

This odd little film is typical of Dreyfus's early work, like "Duddy Kravitz", with an intriguing performance in an odd role. Dreyfus plays The Boy Wonder, a once highly talented silent film director who, by the early 30s, has become a ghost story, directing stag films for a living. While no actual connection is made, I believe that The Boy Wonder was also a name for Fatty Arbuckle, who this could easily "be" -- years after the scandalous incident that ruined his career. This film also gets interesting performances from Jessica Harper ("My Favorite Year"), Veronica Cartwright, and, long before his toon experience, Bob Hoskins. It takes place entirely within a house, during a single morning, and could easily be done as a stage play. It would classify as a fairly common "Slice of Life" film, excepting for the rather strong nudity and sexual content. In fact it was a bit scandalous when it was released, as an "X" movie with a major star like Dreyfus in it.

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