Sunday, January 14, 2018

92 in the Shade (1975)

Director: Thomas McGuane

Writer: Thomas McGuane

Composer: Michael J. Lewis

Starring: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Margot Kidder, Burgess Meredith, Harry Dean Stanton, Elizabeth Ashley, Sylvia Miles, William Hickey, Louise Latham, Joe Spinell, William Roerick, Evelyn Russell, John Quade, John Heffernan, Warren J. Kemmerling, Scott Palmer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: As The Temperature Rises, The Tension Mounts And Someone Just Might Get Killed.

Plot:  A young drifter returns to his home in Key West, Florida and attempts to open a fishing charter business, provoking a dangerous feud with a rival fishing guide.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.


IMDb boggles my mind sometimes.  It says this is a comedy and it's far from it.  Burgess Meredith is the liveliest actor on screen and he's clearly having fun but that's the extent of anything approaching funny. It's got a great cast.  That's what I liked most about it.  I'm a fan of all of them.  Oates plays a mean, grouchy bastard with a violent streak.  He and some others play a joke on Fonda that backfires on them in a way they couldn't have expected.  When Tom (Fonda) leaves his boat to retrieve a fish his two clients snagged, he gets back to the boat to find them completely gone without a trace.  He searches for hours and gives up.  Back at the bar by the dock he sees everyone having a great time at his expense.  Tom flips his shit and later blows up Nichol's (Oates) boat in retaliation.  Yeah, that's a rational response.  Nichol literally wants to kill Tom.  Here's another rational response.  I heard what Nichol said but he didn't show he was going to kill Tom for the rest of the film.  Then a slimy tourist (beautifully played by Joe Spinell) shows up to charter a boat and at the end of the picture he's paired with Tom.  Now it's at this point I'm thinking Slatt (Spinell) is going to off Tom when they're out in the marsh but then Nichol shows up and shoots Tom.  Roll credits.  The fuck?  There's a lot more to it than that but it mainly involves other characters.  I'd say that maybe the novel this is based on would fill in the holes but then the screenplay was written and directed by the author.  Plus I'm not too keen on reading the book unless someone tells me it's a compelling read.  The problem with the movie is there's a whole lot of potential in it but very little to make sense of.  Some scenes are dropped in without any explanation why they even exist.  I'm disappointed to say the least.  Much of the cast really is wonderful and it's worth watching just for them, especially Meredith.  He's a real peach!

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