A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde... See full summary »
Atlantic City is a place where people go to realize their dreams, the promise of the future manifested by the demolition of the old crumbling buildings to be replaced by new hotels and casinos. Someone who recently came to Atlantic City for that promise is native Moose Javian (Saskatchewan) Sally Matthews, who currently works as a waitress at a hotel oyster bar, but who is training to be a black jack croupier and wants to be more cultured, such as learning French, in order to work at the casinos in Monte Carlo. Another dreamer who came to Atlantic City decades ago is Lou Pascal, who has long worked as a numbers runner and who claims to have been a cellmate and thus implied confidante of Bugsy Siegel. Although Lou still dresses to the standard to which he is accustomed, his dream long died as he only works penny ante stuff for Fred, most of his current income from being the kept man of widowed recluse, Grace Pinza. Grace too came to Atlantic City to fulfill her dreams - most ...Written by
In his conversation with Buddy, the reminiscent bathroom attendant, Lou mentions an incident that involved Nucky Johnson. Johnson was one of the most powerful New Jersey Republicans and a racketeer with the mob who ran Atlantic City from 1910-1941 before being jailed in 1941 for income tax evasion for which he served four years in prison. A fictionalized version of Nucky Johnson, rechristened Nucky Thompson, was depicted in the popular TV series Boardwalk Empire (2010). See more »
There is no channel 7 on TV in Philadelphia. However, channel 7 may have been used in order to distance the fictional portrayal from the actual Philadelphia stations. See more »
As the end credits roll, an old building on the boardwalk is demolished to some of the tunes that appear earlier in the film. Each time the wrecking ball hits, we hear a cymbal crash and the soundtrack jumps to a different song. See more »
Louis Malle created a poetic "Atlantic City," released in 1980 and starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, and Kate Reid. Lancaster plays Lou, a small-time mobster from the old days of Atlantic City. He is handsome, dresses very grandly, and pretends that he used to be in the big-time. Actually he worked in some menial job for a mobster and now takes care of his widow Grace (Kate Reid) who appears bedridden at first. He takes care of her dog, makes her food, rubs her limbs to increase circulation, and occasionally sleeps with her. She's verbally abusive to him. Grace came to Atlantic City in the '40s as a contestant in a Betty Grable lookalike contest, met her future husband, and never left.
Lou meets a young waitress and would-be croupier, Sally, and their lives soon collide. He's attracted to her. Sally's sister has run off with Sally's husband, and the two show up to stay with her. Her sister is pregnant. Sally's husband Dave is there to do a drug deal; he meets Lou and stores the cocaine in Lou's apartment. People are after him, so he sends Lou to someone's apartment on a delivery, and Lou is to pick up the money. When Lou arrives home after the errand, Dave is dead. The thugs didn't get their dope, so eventually they turn to Sally. In fact, Lou has the dope and also the money from the first delivery. And he plans on taking up where Dave left off.
This is such a well-done film, hearkening back to the old days of Atlantic City just as the city is being rebuilt as a eastern Las Vegas. Lou is part of the old days; Sally is ambitious and wants to better herself. Lou, never anybody, now longs to be somebody for her.
The acting is wonderful. Burt Lancaster is magnificent as Lou, an old man who still has young dreams. It's a very subtle performance, very touching and sometimes funny. Susan Sarandon does a great job as Sally, creating a totally believable character.
John Guare has written a great script, the first important component of a film, and it was in the hands of a master, Louis Malle. The film was made in Canada, and I recognized many Canadian actors, but the location shots are excellent.
Highly recommended, a sublime experience.
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