HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Big Fix, The Burnt Out Not Faded AwayBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Jeremy Paul Kagan
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Anspach, Bonnie Bedelia, John Lithgow, Ofelia Medina, Nicolas Coster, F. Murray Abraham, Fritz Weaver, Jorge Cervera Jr, Michael Hershewe, Rita Karin, Ron Rifkin, Larry Bishop, Andrew Bloch, Sidney Clute, Mandy Patinkin
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Moses Wine (Richard Dreyfuss) used to be a radical, he used to believe in something, but now this far into the nineteen-seventies he has other things to worry about, like paying the bills, holding down his job as a private investigator, or trying to see his two kids for whom his ex-wife Suzanne (Bonnie Bedelia) has custody, and she’s more interested in her self-help guru boyfriend than Moses’ problems. But one Halloween evening, he is sitting alone in his apartment playing a board game when there’s a knock at the door; thinking it’s another trick or treater, he answers it only to find there’s someone he recognises standing there. His old girlfriend from his activist days Lila Shay (Susan Anspach) and she has a proposal for him…

Director Jeremy Paul Kagan had great interest in the idea that the politically-charged sixties had given way to a malaise, even in those who were active in the field, by the seventies, and spent three movies back then concentrating on the matter, of which The Big Fix was the last in a loose trilogy and probably the best known. Although that was relative to the others since this still wasn’t particularly well known, in spite of a fairly major star like Dreyfuss (also producer) in the lead, but some have fond memories of catching it down the decades, and it did have a shaggy dog story likeability about it that in some ways anticipated cult movies like The Big Lebowski or Inherent Vice far more than the commonly referenced precedent The Long Goodbye did.

This was a conspiracy film masquerading as a private eye story, so while Moses would seem to have a connection to Philip Marlowe, he was more of a piece with Warren Beatty in The Parallax View or other paranoid thrillers of the era, it was just that he went about his business with more self-deprecating humour in a manner obviously tailored to the star’s talents. So this was an actor’s vehicle in that sense, yet you could feel he genuinely felt strongly about the predicament his character landed in, not just the mystery plot he became embroiled with, but also that mood of loss, of missing a chance to really improve, that had dissipated now that he had more grown-up things to worry about and were disappearing further into the past with each day.

But was this radicalism consigned to yesteryear for a valid reason, or had the powers that be engineered an apathy in voters to ensure they could preserve the status quo after a wobble in society where it seemed something was truly going to shake them up? This didn’t address that directly, but it was always in the background as Moses' plans are now anchored to needing to make a wage and look after his kids, who frequently are pulled along behind him when he’s on a case, a constant reminder that he has responsibilities to take care of, smaller concerns than the whole of the country. That is why when Lila reappears in his life it’s as if he can reclaim his lost youth once more, she’s a bright, winning presence who draws him into a web of subterfuge that even she had no idea existed.

This is because she never gave up her political engagement and is now working for a liberal candidate in the Californian state elections who has recently suffered what looks like a smear campaign as an apparent radical from the sixties is trying to derail his work by association – or is someone posing as this man to do the same, someone with principles harder to the right? That being connected to someone who took part in anti-Vietnam War protests, for instance, could in the climate of the late seventies be a liability, never mind actually being an ex-activist yourself, was very telling, but Kagan was careful not to let the issues distract from the essential thriller elements. Working from Roger L. Simon’s script, who adapted his own harder-edged novel, there were some very decent laughs here mostly stemming from Dreyfuss’ jovially irascible persona, though he was capable enough to sell scenes where things got nasty or melancholy. If it was a shade plain in its presentation, the lack of overt style resembling television drama of the day, the actors and themes generated the distinctive disposition. Music by Bill Conti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 919 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: