Taken from Hubert Selby, Jr.'s controversial novel. A gallery of characters in Brooklyn in the 1950s are crushed by their surroundings and selves: a union strike leader discovers he is gay; a prostitute falls in love with one of her clients; a family cannot cope with the fact that their daughter is illegitimately pregnant. Written by
Serdar Yegulalp <email@example.com>
Working class life in 1950's Brooklyn is disrupted by a strike.
One of these films that seems about nothing in the explaining (the ups and downs of the roughhouse working-class), but is a very powerful piece in the watching and highly recommended.
The film reminded me of an X rated version of American Graffiti where people go about their ordinary lives, but somehow, we become fascinated. While actually shot in West German (when there was one) there are too many real NY character actors for us to notice.
There is fair amount of stupidity and leaching. The male hustler and the whore stick in your mind longer, but the working class morals of all the characters are well observed. Certain scenes actually play no real role in the plot, but add to the feel of time and place.
A lot of people will be shocked by this movie. It is brutally frank and at times violent, but it is never just put there for entertainment. This is an adult picture dealing with adult themes and adult lives. I found it quite hard to watch at times myself, but I think it is an important film and no insult to the classic Selby book which inspired it.
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