EXIT TO BROOKLYN (director: Uli
Edel; screenwriter: Desmond Nakano/from the novel by Hubert Selby Jr.;
Czapsky; editor: Peter Przygodda;
Knopfler; cast: Stephen Lang (Harry Black), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Tralala), Burt Young (Big Joe), Peter Dobson (Vinnie), Jerry Orbach (Boyce), Ricki Lake (Donna), Alexis Arquette (Georgette), Zette (Regina), Rutanya Alda (Georgette's Mother),
Costelloe (Tommy), Camille Saviola (Ella),
(Tony), Stephan Baldwin (Sal), Maia Danziger (Mary Black), Frank Military (Steve),
(Paulie); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Bernd Eichinger;
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; 1989)
"For the most part, Edel captures the harrowing grim tone of the book and the compassion the author had for his unsympathetic flawed characters."
by Dennis Schwartz
Unscrupulous married union
shop steward Harry Black (Stephen Lang) thinks he has
the world by the balls as he's made leader of the
strike and uses the strike funds for his own
he operates from a union storefront near the striking
makes nice to the local thugs, gang leader Vinnie
(Peter Dobson), Sal (Stephan Baldwin) and Tony (Jason Andrews), by buying them
booze and alibiing for them to the cops after they
rough-up a soldier. Through the young thugs the venal
Harry meets Regina (Zette)
at a party, smokes grass for the first time and has
his first homosexual fling--realizing his latent
homosexuality. Trouble is scabs drive trucks into the
striking factory yard when he was still partying and
therefore is unable to report the incident to his
union boss Boyce (Jerry Orbach), who fires him for neglect of duty.
bar-hopping prostitute Tralala (Jennifer Jason Leigh) works
with the local trio of thugs in luring soldiers into a
vacant lot and then having the gang members roll the
looks like a lost cause until she meets a naive Idaho
newbie 2nd lieutenant (Frank Military), who treats her
nice and promises to return for her after the war.
After he ships out, the
lost soul whore allows
the entire neighborhood to gang-bang her on a mattress
placed on the street.
Striking factory worker Joe
(Burt Young), provides the comic relief for this bleak
tale. When loud-mouth Joe finds out his live-at-home
single overweight daughter Donna (Ricki Lake, the star of John Waters's
is pregnant, he arranges for a shot-gun marriage
between her and his nice-guy fellow factory worker,
Tommy (John Costelloe), the father of the child.
For the most part, Edel
captures the harrowing grim tone of the book and the
compassion the author had for his unsympathetic flawed
characters. Brooklyn is a metaphor for hell, where
surviving the Korean conflict offers better odds than
surviving the degradations of the neighborhood.
REVIEWED ON 9/6/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ