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Memoirs of a Ghostwriter

UK 1972
produced by
Michael Klinger for Three Michaels Film Productions
directed by Mike Hodges
starring Michael Caine, Mickey Rooney, Lionel Stander, Lizabeth Scott, Nadia Cassini, Dennis Price, Al Lettieri, Leopoldo Trieste, Amerigo Tot, Robert Sacchi, Giulio Donnini, Joe Zammit Cordina, Luciano Pigozzi, Maria Cumani Quasimodo, Liù Bosisio, Cristina Gaioni, Janet Agren, Irene Sophie Opperman, Iver Gilborn, Elaine Olcott, Ave Ninchi, Ermelinda De Felice, Werner Hasselmann, Louise Lambert, Victor Mercieca, Cettina Borg Olivier, Anna Smith
written by Mike Hodges, music by George Martin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Mickey King (Michael Caine) is a pulp writer, selling cheap thrills on paper under a host of pseudonyms with quite some success - and to not have to share his income with his ex-wife, he has long relocated to Malta. But while he's used to writing mindless and sleazy gangster fare, his PR man Dinuccio (Lionel Stander) now sets him up with a special assignment, to become a ghostwriter of popular gangster actor Preston Gilbert (Mickey Rooney) - who is said to have ties to the mob himself, which is why getting Mickey to Preston's place is shrouded in secrecy that forces him to take a dead-boring tourist bus tour across the island - on which one of the passengers, Miller (Al Lettieri) is shot, apparently in Mickey's place.

Writing Preston's bio goes without a hitch, even if Preston's an ass who's way too full of himself, but before the book manages to even make the way to its publisher, Preston's shot dead at a party, and Mickey can only just escape being shot as well, and the only thing he's sure of is there's a gunman after him now. Investigating why anybody would even find him interesting enough to want to kill, Mickey finds out about a scandal from ten years ago, a scandal that might also involve one of the island's most successful politicians (Victor Mercieca), who has incidently stolen Preston's wife (Lizabeth Scott) a few years back ...

By the way, one of the first movies featuring Humphrey Bogart impersonator Robert Sacchi.


Even if above synopsis might make Pulp sound like a rather tense thriller, and it's bloody and suspenseful enough to be just that, it's mostly played for laughs, with Michael Caine giving an intentionally too-cool-for-his-own-good performance, the rest of the cast (especially Mickey Rooney and Lionel Stander) hamming it up with relish, scenes breaking out into slapstick ever so often, and Michael Caine's off-screen narration that seems to be lifted straight from any number of pulp novels being the icing on the comedy cake. And it works, too, thanks to a rather tight script, direction and camerawork that avoid the ridiculous-for-its-own-sake like plague, and an atmosphere typical to the 1970s that seems to breathe coolness and that's only rarely even tried to achieve nowadays.

Pretty much a must-see!



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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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