Tequila Sunrise (1988)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1988.  The Mount Company, .  Screenplay by Robert Towne.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The age-old tale of two best friends who go separate ways is not in any way a new one (Manhattan Melodrama, Angels With Dirty Faces), but Robert Towne injects enough character into this drama to make it seem pretty fresh. is the one who went bad and is the one who went good after having been friends in their younger years, Gibson a cocaine dealer now looking to go straight and Russell the cop who is out to make sure he retires for good. In the middle is , a beautiful restaurant owner who finds them both attractive but is annoyed by their habit of using her to get to each other. The dialogue is full of spicy good times and Conrad L. Hall’s Oscar-nominated cinematography makes it all shine like a classic Warner Bros. melodrama, but as it was made in the eighties there’s a lot of bad saxophone music playing every time sexy action begins (oh, and the hot tub, the hot tub!)  Still, it’s good to have this film as a reminder of exactly when it was that Mel Gibson was irresistibly handsome for the last time, and it’s pretty funny to see Pfeiffer playing an Italian woman named Joanne.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Cinematography

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