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After Hours

By Christopher J. Jarmick

This well-regarded cult film is a tense Kafka-esque tale concerning what happens to a likable computer guy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time in the city that never sleeps--New York. This is a New York infested with bizarre characters vividly brought to life by a once-in-a-lifetime cast. Griffin Dunne's wonderfully controlled comic performance as Paul Hackett is the glue that holds this increasingly surreal film together. Scorsese utilizes a full array of independent and underground film techniques, including special film speed manipulations, angles, and edits, deftly capturing the strange rhythms of an after-hours New York City. Many will find the jokes clever, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. Some, however, will find the film an excruciating series of staged circumstances setting up a sadistically cruel dark nightmare of horrors. And there are a few lines of dialogue so poorly written they remind you how unbelievable the thin story really is. But forgive the film these few lapses--overall it's a wild, surreal ride. The most offbeat character is the beehive-sporting, Monkee-obsessed neurotic played to perfection by Teri Garr. And the moment when Griffin Dunne uses his last quarter to play Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is" and dances with Verna Bloom while an angry mob searches SoHo for him is an inspired bit of lunacy.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Thomas Chong, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, John Heard, Cheech Marin, Catherine O'Hara, Dick Miller, Bronson Pinchot

Released: October 11, 1985

Availability: DVD VHS


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