Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Flamingo Kid -- A Classic Summer Movie.


THE FLAMINGO KID: Movie Trailer - The best bloopers are here

I recently re-watched The Flamingo Kid, a 1984 coming-of-age comedy starring Matt Dillon and the severely underrated Richard Crenna.

It's well worth another look.

Set in the "Mad Men" era of the summer of 1963, the nominal story concerns Matt Dillon's character Jeffrey Willis, a Brooklyn plumber's son who lucks into a summer job at a posh beach club out on Long Island.

There he falls under the spell of flashy auto king Phil Brody, memorably played by Richard Crenna as a seductive, wealthy overconfident Master of the World who in the end turns out to be a corrupt, lying swindler.

At the club Jeffrey romances the beautiful and very cultured Janet Jones and is taken under Brody's wing, which irks Jeffrey's hard-working father, again played memorably by Hector Elizondo.

In the sure hands of veteran director Gary Marshall, there's a lot more at work under the surface -- questions of father/son conflict, the emerging civil rights movement, class issues, and the essential inquiry of what path does a young boy take to become a man -- the high-flying though immoral "short cut" path taken by the brash Brody, or the modest, careful and unflinchingly honest path taken by Jeffrey's father.

Of course this is all hilariously played out against the backdrop of a summer long gin rummy game which culminates in all-day duel between Brody and Jeffrey (with Big Sid and the Captain as unfortunate victims).

Filled out by a tremendous cast of future young stars (Marisa Tomei, Fischer Stevens, Bronson Pinchot) and Garry Marshall regulars, the film is a charming, funny slice of life that deserves a second chance.

STL, back to you my friend.

3 comments:

  1. Nice! You should do this every Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok SFL. You have piqued my interest. I just ordered it from Amazon for 92 cents.

    ReplyDelete
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