(US - 1977)
Written and directed by Richard Brooks. Cast: Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, William Atherton, Richard Kiley, Richard Gere, LeVar Burton, Alan Feinstein, Tom Berenger, Priscilla Pointer, Julius Harris, Richard Bright, Laurie Prange, Tony Fabiani, Robert Fields, Brian Dennehy, Richard Venture, Caren Kaye. (R, 136 mins)
A controversial, zeitgeist-capturing water-cooler discussion movie of its day, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR has been rather difficult to see over the last couple of decades. It was last issued on VHS in 1997, has never been released on DVD or Blu-ray, and occasional appearances on YouTube are usually incomplete and/or quickly pulled. There's been some rumors that star Diane Keaton has kept it out of circulation, but that seems suspect--the most likely explanation for the film's absence on DVD and Blu-ray is the clearance of the music rights. The soundtrack features a slew of ubiquitous radio hits from the era, including Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way," Donna Summer's cover of Barry Manilow's "Could It Be Magic?" Diana Ross' "Love Hangover," and Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown," among others. The film recently resurfaced on Turner Classic Movies and may be a sign that a Blu-ray debut is forthcoming.
Tony is a sitcom version of a dangerous thug, spazzing around the room, doing push-ups wearing nothing but a jockstrap, prone to spontaneous shadow-boxing, and generally coming off about as threatening as Fonzie. Weld has almost nothing to do in one of the most inexplicable Oscar-nominated performances you'll ever see (she was up for Best Supporting Actress, losing to Vanessa Redgrave in JULIA), and Brooks really doesn't know what to do with Atherton (who would later cement his place in film history as one of the great movie assholes of the 1980s, from his work as Walter Peck in GHOSTBUSTERS, Jerry Hathaway in REAL GENIUS, and shitbag reporter Dick Thornburg in DIE HARD), whose James turns into a borderline psychotic stalker after Theresa dumps him.