HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Atlantic City Every Loser WinsBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid, Michel Piccoli, Hollis McLaren, Robert Joy, Moses Znaimer, Robert Goulet, Al Waxman, Angus MacInnes, Sean Sullivan, Wallace Shawn, Harvey Atkin, Norma Dell'Agnese, Louis Del Grande, John McCurry, Cec Linder
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sally Matthews (Susan Sarandon) thought she was rid of her husband for good. She works in a fish bar and is self-conscious about the way it makes her smell, but so far her biggest problem is trying to complete a course that will see her secure a job at one of the city's new casinos. That is until her estranged husband Dave (Robert Joy) turns up at her place of work with her now pregnant sister, who he had run off with about a year before, asking for money and somewhere to sleep. Exasperated, Sally feels she has no choice, but what she doesn't know is that Dave has stolen a packet of cocaine that he hopes to sell - and the Mob have sent someone after him...

One of the most low key gangster movies ever filmed, director Louis Malle's Atlantic City was scripted by playwright John Guare (who went on to write Six Degrees of Separation and its subsequent film) and despite the crime background, and foreground for that matter, is more content to explore its characters in clear eyed but sympathetic terms. In an excellent cast, it was Burt Lancaster playing ageing hood Lou Pascal who stood out as giving one of the best performances of his career as a man who constantly looks back to the past and regrets his present.

In truth, Lou was never much of a gangster, but he used to dream he could be, representing the times when Atlantic City was prosperous, but riddled with corruption. We see buildings that have had better days, almost everywhere is a place being pulled down, and the new casinos are a legitimate way to fleece tourists of their money. However, if Sally, Lou's neighbour in his apartment block, was meant to stand in for the new revitalised city, it's not a comparison that is really successful considering the rotten time she has trying to get by; perhaps she is supposed to be the city struggling to escape its problematic past.

Sally washes herself in lemon juice by her kitchen window each night, unaware that Lou longingly gazes at her from his window across the way. When Dave, on the lookout for a method to get cash for his stolen drugs, strikes up a conversation with Lou he spins a line about having heard of the old man in Las Vegas, flattery that blinds Lou to the fact that he's being drawn into an unglamorous crime. Dave takes the drugs back to Lou's place, mixes them with baby laxative to make them go further, then sets out to sell them to a contact. Unfortunately for Dave, while he sends his new friend up to drop off the merchandise he is found, chased and murdered by two Mafia men.

This gives Lou a chance to both keep the money and get to know Sally, and all the while the drama becomes more painful to watch as it's patent that Lou will be caught out and Sally is heading for a further fall by acquainting herself with this man. There's a brilliant closeup of the crushed and impotent Lou when the two hoods beat up Sally in the street to look for the drugs and the profits, and for a stretch it seems as if none of these characters will catch a break. And yet, Lou's dreams of being a proper gangster, pathetic as they may be, do come true after a fashion, and even the hapless Sally gets a try at happiness by the end. Atlantic City is reflective but unsentimental when it comes to depicting the depressing lives of its put upon cast, but Lancaster and Sarandon made for a fine and unusual screen couple whose luck you want to change almost as much as they do.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3583 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: