Picks and Pans Review: Saint Jack
When a director falls flat on his face again and again, it becomes embarrassing, and Peter Bogdanovich ought to be blushing after this latest washout. Based on a novel by Paul Theroux, the movie tells, haltingly, of an American in Singapore who runs a whorehouse against brutal Chinese competition. The movie is largely incoherent and amateurishly shot and acted. Ben Gazzara as the American is so wooden he's absolutely unsympathetic, as are most of the other characters. Worse, whole scenes seem to have been shot out of focus—as if they came from a film school student rather than a seasoned movie director. Bogdanovich was the wunderkind of American films after he directed The Last Picture Show in 1971 at 31. His next property, What's Up Doc?, with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, was so-so. The four since then have been awful. (R)
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