Born to Win (December 12, 1971)

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Born to Win
 

Released on December 12, 1971: An easy-going out of luck hairdresser turned drug addict tries to balance the cops, the dealers and his new girlfriend in the mean streets of New York.

Produced by Philip Langner

Directed by Ivan Passer

The Actors: George Segal (JJ - Jerome), Robert De Niro (Danny, police detective), Karen Black (Parm, JJ's girlfriend), Paula Prentiss (JJ's wife Veronica), Jay Fletcher (Billy Dynamite), Hector Elizondo (Vivian, the Geek), Ed Madsen (detective), Marcia Jean Kurtz (Marlene), Irving Selbst (Stanley), Tim Pelt (Little Davey Jose Perez (Junior Conception), Sylvia Syms (cashier), Jack Hollander (Harry), Alex Colon (bus boy), Max Brandt (store clerk), Burt Young (first hoodlum), Roland Kindhard (second hoodlum), Jean David (laundry woman), Paul Benjamin (fixer), Charles McGregor (lethal messenger), David Milton (smuggler), Cynda Westcott (Billy's date), Aaron Braunstein (man in store), Lockie Edwards (man in bar), Diane Molneri (girl on terrace), Jane Elder (girl's mother), Vic Ramos (man with package), Walter Stevens (respectable businessman)

 

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The Unique 1970's

America in the 1960's was love, peace, psychedelic drugs, contemplation of one's navel, rock and roll with tie-dyed shirts, and looking back, an almost innocent time of searching for reality and identity. The 1970's brought the flower children back to reality and were a transition period leading to the 'all-business, greed is good' 1980's. George Segal, fresh off his 1966 Oscar nominated role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, started his own motion picture production company and this is the first movie from that company. In it, he hit the gritty reality of the 1970's big city America smack on the nose, and you will see a new genre of story with this one . . . I'm not sure it is the first of its kind, but it is surely symbolic of the period. Since motion pictures began around 1900 the best stories have always had a defining start, with a developing center, and wrapped up in a properly 'good guys always win, bad guys always lose' ending. All of that is out the window with this gritty story of the mean streets of New York City in 1971. George Segal is a guy just trying to get from day to day . . . His estranged wife (Paula Prentiss!) is a hooker for drug dealer Geek (Hector Elizondo), and his goal each day is to steal or find enough money for his next bag of dope. Oh, and did I mention a very young Robert De Niro as drug cop Danny? Yes, you'll see many famous actors from the 1970's in this gripping tale of a lost soul in the 1970's . . . It is very different from the movies of the 1960's and before . . . It is very different from the movies after the 1970's . . . . It is a 'must see' for anyone that wants to taste a new style of story-telling that appeared in the 1970's. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Burt Young
Burt Young
Ed Madsen
Ed Madsen
Ed Madsen
Ed Madsen
George Segal
George Segal
George Segal and Ed Madsen
George Segal and Ed Madsen
George Segal and Hector Elizondo
George Segal and Hector Elizondo
George Segal and Jay Fletcher
George Segal and Jay Fletcher
George Segal
George Segal
George Segal kisses Karen Black's hand
George Segal kisses Karen Black's hand
George Segal and Ed Madsen
George Segal and Ed Madsen
Hector Elizondo
Hector Elizondo
Hector Elizondo
Hector Elizondo
Irving Selbst
Irving Selbst
Irving Selbst
Irving Selbst
Jay Fletcher
Jay Fletcher
Jay Fletcher
Jay Fletcher
Karen Black
Karen Black
Karen Black
Karen Black
Karen Black
Karen Black
Marcia Jean Kurtz
Marcia Jean Kurtz
Paula Prentiss
Paula Prentiss
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Sylvia Syms
Sylvia Syms
Walter Stevens
Walter Stevens