Tough Guys Don’t Dance

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Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to black-outs, awakens from a two-week bender to discover a pool of blood in his car, a blond woman’s severed head in …

ACTORS : Ryan O’Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Debra Stipe

YEAR OF RELEASE : 1980

 

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Tough Guys Don’t Dance Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to black-outs, awakens from a two-week bender to discover a pool of blood in his car, a blond woman’s severed head in his marijuana stash, and the new Provincetown police chief, Captain Luther Regency, shacked up with his former girlfriend Madeleine. As his father Dougy helps him try to unravel the mystery, he is dogged by the psychotic Capt. Regency, who has it in for Tim as a car-crash that he was involved in with Madeline has left her unable to have children. Flashing-back to the past, Tim remembers the time when he encouraged Madeline to swing with a Li’l Abnerish couple from down South, the fundamentalist preacher Big Stoop and his Daisy Mae-ish wife, Patty Lareine, whose ad Tim had come across in ‘Screw’ magazine. It’s on the trip back that the car crash occurs, since Madeline is incensed that Tim has so enjoyed Patty Lareine’s charms. Except for his father Dougy, who is dying of cancer, Tim suspects everyone, A story of how dangerous love can be.

A very funny and perverse diversion

Tough Guys Don’t Dance This is one of my favorite movies. A strange mixture of seemingly unintentional humor , macabre plot twists, and the charm of off-season Provincetown. I wouldn’t call it a drama. HILARIOUS. Patty L. is a real overdone nostril flaring trailer park siren. Ryan O’Neil seems to play the straight man to everyone else. I don’t know how he maintained such a bland facade – I guess that’s his style. He mostly stood around looking haggard, and so managed to provide something like a foil for all the circus freaks. At one point in the beginning of the film during a scene with his hard drinking crustacean of a father (L. T. is great), I thought I saw something like a suppressed smile cross the faces of both actors – a great moment that I’m sure was totally unintentional. Who wouldn’t crack under the weight of all the corny dialoge? Contains the funniest dad and son out “fishing” in the rowboat at night scene ever filmed. I can still hear the foghorns. Despite all the corniness, its all somehow…so…mesmerizing….

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