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Picks and Pans Review: Tracks

updated 04/09/1979 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/09/1979 01:00AM

In another attempt to win moviegoers' hearts and minds with a Vietnam story, Dennis Hopper, shaved and short-haired, plays an Army sergeant accompanying the body of a buddy home for a hero's burial. The journey is across country by train, where most of the action takes place, and Hopper meets an assortment of characters: a land salesman doubling as a government agent, an antiwar activist disguised as a lounge-car lizard and, finally, a sweet young college girl (Tyrone Power's daughter Taryn), whom he seduces. About halfway through, the camera suddenly begins recording Hopper's fantasies—including a brutal rape scene—and the film seems to reel out of control. But director Henry Jaglom, who has had trouble getting distribution in the U.S. (though his almost incoherent A Safe Place had a cult following) knows exactly what he's up to. He has made a film about nightmares, personal and societal, and it succeeds at being painfully disquieting. (R)

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