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Pocket Money

Paul Newman , Lee Marvin , Stuart Rosenberg    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Lee Marvin Role Nov. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of my favorite 'forgotten' movies. Paul Newman does a fine job of acting, but didn't really quite get it...this isn't HUD. But Lee Marvin got it, and got it right. If you liked him in Cat Ballou, watch this one. He deadpans a couple of classic lines in here, that will only make sense in context. Don't be surprised if you find yourself quoting Lee, "In the meantime, you got no dignity." Fine adaptation of a story by J.P.S. Brown, a great soundtrack by Carole King.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great comedy Oct. 16 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Some of the funniest lines ever on film. A MUST see movie.Newman and marvin have never been better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Lee Marvin Role Nov. 23 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of my favorite 'forgotten' movies. Paul Newman does a fine job of acting, but didn't really quite get it...this isn't HUD. But Lee Marvin got it, and got it right. If you liked him in Cat Ballou, watch this one. He deadpans a couple of classic lines in here, that will only make sense in context. Don't be surprised if you find yourself quoting Lee, "In the meantime, you got no dignity." Fine adaptation of a story by J.P.S. Brown, a great soundtrack by Carole King.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Low Expectations Pay Off Dec 16 2004
By Rob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
If you were sitting in the theater about thirty minutes into this film, you gotta start wondering: where the heck is this going? If you continue to watch for the pay-off (figuratively and literally) you'll wind up just like Newman and Marvin's characters--amused but unsatisfied. Pocket Money made pocket money on its release, but that's not because it isn't good. In its way, it is a real gem, especially for Newman and Marvin fans. It just requires the viewer to appreciate the journey and not the destination. If you like "slice of life" character studies, you'll rate this 5 stars; if you want action, resolution, and easy to follow plots, you'll rate this 1 star, so I figure it averages a 3.

The early 1970's produced several off-beat star power films and most of them were misfires if judged by their box-office take. Today they make a pleasant diversion for the critical filmfan amidst the unavoidable hype that surrounds even low budget "indie" films.

Pocket Money requires a bit of patience to enjoy. I would call it an upbeat Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia without the blood, guts, or ... the head. So uncork the tequila and give it a try.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "You've got me, Jim." -------- A Passable, 70's Western Comedy July 20 2008
By M. B. DaVega - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Director Stuart Rosenberg's Pocket Money (1972) has a lot going for it: a stellar cast, acclaimed director and vibrant photography, but the one key ingredient it's missing is a good script. The premise and performances are solid but they unfortunately can't overcome the weak screenplay and the story just never really seems to go anywhere.

The opening credits and intro to Pocket Money along with its beautifully sung title track by Carole King is promising but it loses steam quickly and one can't help but be dissappointed when it doesn't pan out and all but falls apart toward the end.

The iconic Paul Newman stars Jim Kane, a Texas cowboy/horse-broker who earns his living buy selling horses to prestigious buyers and auctioneers. Coming off the heels of his latest horse transport trip from Arizona, his latest shipment of Appaloosa horses have been deemed as temporarily too sick for sale upon bloodwork inspection and are slapped into quarantine. This puts Jim in a bind seeing as how he's behind in payments of both his bank loan and alimony to his ex-wife. It will be six weeks before his horses are eligible to be removed from quarantine, during which he must quickly come up with some ----- you guessed it ----- 'pocket money'. We can all relate to this concept since it's something we can never have too much of.

While staying at a motel out of town coming off his business trip, Jim is accosted and propositioned by a shady businessman (Strother Martin) who offers Jim $250 a head to deliver a large herd of cattle up from Mexico. Jim see's this as the chance he's been looking for and accepts the unscrupulous cattle baron's offer. From there, he's quickly off to Mexico where he elists the help of his good buddy Leonard (the equally iconic Lee Marvin in fine form) who's already there. Together they scheme and come up with all sorts of money-making ventures while attempting to get and deliver the herd, all the while encountering stumbling blocks of all kinds every step of the way.

Paul Newman and Lee Marvin are both in top form and make for a great on-screen duo together, so it's only just too bad that they weren't given more of a story to showcase their good chemistry. The story just wanders a little too much, lacks direction and occasionally loses focus, although to be fair, the plot is less about the two main characters' exploits and endeavours than it is their friendship.

The film's best scene arguably comes toward the end where Jim and Leonard discontentedly accost Strother Martin's character at his posh hotel feeling that they've been scheisted out of their cut. There's a funny exchange of dialogue and Jim ends up non-chalantly dropping a tv off of the balcony just to make a point. 'No Dignity' as the scene is titled on the disc's chapter selection. The rest of the film isn't terrible, just mediocre. The film finally meanders to a clumsy, inconclusive ending that just sort of peters out.

The end result isn't an awful movie, but it has serious problems with focus and direction and in establishing a personality beyond Jim and Leonard. If nothing else, Pocket Money will be remembered for its one-time cinematic pairing of two dynamic actors (Newman and Marvin) in their prime and should provide a few chuckles here and there on a languid, Sunday afternoon. The real treat of the film for me is the self-titled number by Carole King ------ that song is so pretty and catchy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood 70's Classic April 19 2006
By Barry Fanaka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Sure, the dialogue doesn't always make sense to the plot, but that's because the plot is so slight that the characters have time to talk. A lot of the dialogue is in non sequitar form, and for some reason a lot of people just can't get over that fact, mainly because they need their stories spoonfed to them. There are a lot of hilarious bits. For instance, Paul Newman's character has an anger problem, but he doesn't really want to hurt anybody and he always feels guilty for everything he does. At one point, as he's losing an argument with Strother Martin over some money he just walks over to a TV set and drops it out of a hotel window. He's not doing it to scare anybody, he's just frustrated. I bet more people feel like Newman's character than most of the ones you have ever seen in film. At another point, he kicks over a tiny trash can in a park, again frustrated in an argument over money. But, as he tries to walk away he gets an exasperated look on his face and walks back and puts the trashcan back in place. He simply felt too guilty. Now, maybe I just have a more finely tuned sense of humor than most people, but that cracked me up. I have felt, and done, that many, many times.

If Jim Jarmusch had made a Lee Marvin film, it might be a lot like this one. Jarmusch has built a career on just such storytelling. His filmmaking style might be more "continental," but that's mainly because he's a copycat and worships foreign filmmakers and is a bit of a snob. In fact, if some Frenchman had made this film and Alain Delon had Paul Newman's role and everyone was speaking French this might be lauded as a classic. Instead, it gets the short end of the stick from a lot of slow witted, unimaginative dopes. The dialogue is pretty funny, too. One of the best lines is quoted in a different review, so go read it there. I always liked the bit with the rock. But I won't spoil it here with my inaccurate memory.

So, if you can put up with the washed out cinematography, the only part I don't like, and enjoy a slow paced, subtle comedy with great actors who happen to have a talent for it, then you can't go wrong here.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't know why I like it, but I do..... April 30 2005
By Deckard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Maybe I like this because it seems so dated in the 70's. Maybe I like it because of the awkward dialog that sometimes is painful to watch. Despite being filled with stars and featuring a really good song by Carole King, it comes off as low-budget. The characters are great - Newman plays an honest simpleton and Marvin's character seems suspiously like Kramer from Seinfeld (seriously, watch this and tell me Kramer didn't steal his act from him!) If nothing else, I like it because it reminds me of a simpler time.
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