Directed by Menahem Golan himself and with a cast of Cannon regulars like Shelley Winters (Déjà Vu, The Delta Force), Jerry Lazarus (Treasure of the Four Crowns, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Hot Chili, The Delta Force, Murphy’s Law, Surrender) and Victoria Barrett (Hot Resort, Hot Chili, America 3000, Three Kinds of Heat), this is the story of Alby (Elliott Gould, who is also in Cannon’s The Naked Face), a Jewish man child who dreams of a restaurant of his own if his Uncle Benjamin (Sid Caesar) loans him the money he needs. Uncle Ben agrees, but only if Alby dumps his Catholic live-in-girlfriend Elizabeth (Margaux Hemingway).
Gould was between success and had already had people talking about how hard he was to work with. Production on the film was shut down after he and Golan got into a shouting match over the scene where Alby confesses that he loves Elizabeth, ending with Gould calling Golan a cocksucker. Filming started up two days later after Gould apologized.
To Gould’s credit, Sam Weisberg’s Hidden Films says that he stood up for John Cassavetes, who was making Love Streams with Cannon at the time. The actor heard that Golan and Globus were giving Cassavetes a rough time, so he said, “Leave John alone. Let him make the movie. Give me a hard time, I can take it.”
Burt Young shows up as the foul-mouthed best friend and Carol Kane as astounding as the new age pill providing sexpot in disguise Cheryl and you know, I can’t think of two actors that make me happier — well, American actors — when they show up. And the mob boss Mr. T, who has a very memorable scene, is Lou David, who was Cropsy in The Burning.
This movie led to a new law in New York City where movies made under $3 million dollars would be able to hire union talent at cheaper rates. Cannon had already tempted the unions with Executioner 2 and Grace Quigley, so they ended up changing the rules.
It’s also a film where the Manhattan Bridge is shown instead of the Brooklyn Bridge during the opening title. There’s also no shortage of stereotypes and racial jokes, if this may upset you, but there’s also plenty of authentic looking and feeling 70s New York filth.
If you’re looking for this movie, Epix’s ScreenPix streaming channel has it, along with several other hard to find Cannon offerings.
Research for this article came from the bible of Cannon, Austin Trunick’s The Cannon Film Guide Volume 1: 1980-1984.