Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Freshman (1990)

Director: Andrew Bergman

Starring: Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby, Penelope Ann Miller, Frank Whaley, Paul Benedict, Jon Polito, BD Wong, Maximillian Schell, Bert Parks

More info: IMDb

Tagline: An innocent kid. An experienced mobster. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Plot: Clark Kellogg is a young man starting his first year at film school in New York City. After a small time crook steals all his belongings, Clark meets Carmine "Jimmy the Toucan" Sabatini, an "importer" bearing a startling resemblance to a certain cinematic godfather. When Sabatini makes Clark an offer he can't refuse, he finds himself caught up in a caper involving endangered species and fine dining.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

Here's another of my top favorite comedies.  I love everything about this flick.  It's friggin' hilarious!  I caught this when it first came out and it was an instant favorite.  Brando is a laugh riot.  He's a stitch in nearly every scene he's in.  It's comedy gold.  Broderick is great, too, along with everyone else.  Miller is scrummy and she needs to have my babies.  Maximillion Schell just cracks me up with every line.  Andrew Bergman's script is clever and fun but it's his direction and comic timing that brings everything together to form a brilliantly funny screwball comedy from start to finish.

20 years ago I hosted and produced a weekly radio show on film music and I had the privilege of interviewing the composer of this film, David Newman (of the famous Newman family of film composers).  He was then and remains one of my favorite composers.  His score for this film has one of the most lyrically touching themes I've ever heard.  We chatted a bit about his music for this and he was kind enough to send me a cassette of the entire unreleased score. It's been my most cherished soundtrack possession ever since.  Another great score of his is for Danny DeVito's HOFFA (1992) which reminds me that I need to push that to the top of the list.  It's a great film as well.

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