I was not ready for this movie.
After angering the mob, a stand-up comic (Warren Beatty) runs away to Chicago, taking the name Mickey One, works in a diner and hides in a flop house. But the lure of the stage is too strong. As he becomes more successful, he worries that each move upward is one closer to his death, as he has no idea who owns him, what he did wrong or how to make it right, so he stays in the spotlight.
Mickey says at one point, “I’m the king of silent movies hiding out till the talkies blow over,” but he’s also standing firmly within the genre of French New Wave in the middle of America. It’s like jazz on film, a movie about a comedian who never seems to be funny, a man standing against the blazing and blinding spotlight unsure if he’s in the crosshairs.
Penn and Beatty fought throughout the making of this movie, with the actor saying, “We had a lot of trouble on that film, because I didn’t know what the hell Arthur was trying to do and I tried to find out. I’m not sure that he knew himself.” Somehow they got along enough to make the movie that would be a breakthrough for both, Bonnie and Clyde.
A must-see and the most interesting film — next to Lilith — on Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1960s Collection.
Mill Creek’s new Through the Decades: 1960s Collection has twelve movies: How to Ruin a Marriage and Save Your Life, The Notorious Landlady, Under the Yum Yum Tree, The Chase, Good Neighbor Sam, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Lilith, Genghis Khan, Luv, Who Was That Lady? and Hook, Line and Sinker. You can get it from Deep Discount.