Infamous psychedelic all-star comedy about ex-gangster Tony Banks, who's called out of retirement by mob kingpin God to carry out a hit on fellow mobster "Blue Chips" Packard. When Banks ...
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Infamous psychedelic all-star comedy about ex-gangster Tony Banks, who's called out of retirement by mob kingpin God to carry out a hit on fellow mobster "Blue Chips" Packard. When Banks demurs, God kidnaps his daughter Darlene on his luxury yacht.Written by
Alex Barylski <email@example.com>
Several writers were brought in to "fix" this while Otto Preminger was shooting Doran William Cannon's original script. These "rescue writers" included Elliott Baker and Stanley Ralph Ross. By the time Ross was called in, the picture was nearly half done and the scenes that Ross suggested be cut had already been shot and roughly edited. Preminger never cheated on wages and paid Ross, Baker and several other writers in a vain attempt to add jokes. However, Preminger steadfastly refused to alter the structure of the story. See more »
The film begins with a cartoon figure in striped prison clothing dancing across the film's title and Otto Preminger's credit on the main characters' TV set. The channel is switched by Jackie Gleason before any other names are revealed. See more »
In a way this could also be titled "The Day the Mob Dropped Out." Anyway, a good roster of late-60s Hollywood appears at least briefly in this LSD-laced caper gone wrong. Retired hitman Tony Banks (Gleason) is approached by old pal Hechy (Romero) to do one last job--on his one-time best friend "Blue Chips" Packard (Rooney), who's turning state's evidence. Tony refuses, but is "pressured" into going along, and gets sent to a remote prison, where Packard is being held.
In the meantime Tony's wife Flo (Channing) seeks help from Hechy's protegé Angie (Avalon) in contacting crime-kingpin "God" (Marx, in his final film appearance), to persuade him to let Tony out of it. Angie refuses to take Flo to see "God"--but doesn't mind taking their teenaged daughter Darlene (Hay) and her hippie boyfriend Stash (Law) out to "God's" yacht. Flo follows them with a gang of Stash's friends.
Tony, after an accidental acid experience via his cellmate the Professor (Pendleton)'s stationery, plots with him to escape by tripping out all the guards and inmates. This done, they fly out of the compound in a makeshift balloon, which the hallucinating tower guards (Clark and singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, who also composed the soundtrack) mistake for a flower. The balloon heads seaward, drifting toward "God's" hideaway. Channing sings the title song during the big finish.
Some good laughs and insights, and social commentary of the day, not to mention tons of cameos. Raises a few points about LSD's former psychiatric uses, and leaves you wondering if it wasn't all just a bad trip. --A late-70s issue of "High Times" claims Groucho 'dropped' as a way of preparing for his role, and had a pleasant experience. Nilsson said later in an interview he had never used LSD at the time of filming, and merely played drunk.
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