Fat City (1972)

JOHN HUSTON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1972.  , .  Screenplay by , based on his novel.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1972.  

Atmosphere overrules plot in this unjustifiably forgotten minor classic by John Huston. is terrific as a has-been boxer who meets young up and comer  and suggests he take on his own former trainer. Inspired by the successful relationship he creates, Keach re-enters the competitive world of boxing himself but is hampered by his age, his destructive relationship with a charismatic barfly () and his inability to successfully hold down a job. The goal here is not a big, inspiring grand prize, but just the opportunity to keep going in what is a highly watchable, low-key charmer. Keach is superb, while Tyrell is excellent in an Oscar-nominated performance as the damaged woman with whom Keach takes up, but all the performances are standouts here, and the mood that pervades over all of it is a great tribute to Huston’s ability to make something rich out of even the simplest story.

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