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A Movie A Day: Quint checks out POCKET MONEY (1972)
You can’t buy back a bad impression.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge and plowing through the hundreds of DVDs I own for movies I haven’t seen. Each day I’ll talk about a film I haven’t previously seen and each film will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Today we follow Lee Marvin over from POINT BLANK to 1972’s buddy comedy western POCKET MONEY co-starring Paul Newman and directed by Stuart Rosenberg from a script co-written by John Gay and Terrence “Terry” Malick. I was bored out of my mind with this movie. Sorry to say, but I think it’s a huge misfire. You cast two incredible personalities like Marvin and Newman with a script by Terrence Malick and you get a sloppy, awkward and just dull movie… that’s almost a crime. The plot focuses on a mismatched pair, Newman and Marvin, who are trying to gather together 200 head of Mexican cattle for a shady money man to use in rodeos all across the US. Newman plays the role country dumb… likable, but Bush-like. Marvin’s a little more successful playing a guy who is comfortable at the bottom and isn’t very good at raising his stature, but pretends like he is. The movie is looped like no tomorrow… the audio difference is jarring every time they cut to a canned studio ADR session and it’s all over the movie leading me to believe they either got a raw deal on cheap microphones or a lot of post-shooting reworking was done to the script. Malick wrote a far more successful buddy picture called THE GRAVY TRAIN (aka THE DION BROTHERS) starring Stacy Keach and Frederic Forrest that came out two years after this film and got everything POCKET MONEY tried and failed at completely right on. That’s not to say this one didn’t have a lot going for it. Strother Martin is back being the awesome personality he is (and seemingly tied to Newman, since he appeared in HARPER and will be in tomorrow’s COOL HAND LUKE). In this he plays the shady money dude that finances the Mexican cattle round up. Richard Farnsworth (the sheriff from MISERY and star of Lynch’s THE STRAIGHT STORY), a well used stunt guy at the time, pops up at the beginning of the movie and so does Hector Elizondo in a small role as an angry Mexican antagonist for our lead pair. POCKET MONEY should have been a great movie, but it’s a mess. If you didn’t get to it, I recommend avoiding and just skipping over to COOL HAND LUKE. Coming in the next seven days: Thursday, June 12th: COOL HAND LUKE (1967) Friday, June 13th: THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) Saturday, June 14th: CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) Sunday, June 15th: SCARLET STREET (1945) Monday, June 16th: KILLER BAIT (aka TOO LATE FOR TEARS) (1949) Tuesday, June 17th: ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (1964) Wednesday, June 18th: CITY FOR CONQUEST (1940) Tomorrow’s COOL HAND LUKE. I need to wash the boredom away and I think that movie’s just the cure… We follow Paul Newman, Strother Martin and director Stuart Rosenberg over… See you then! -Quint

Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank

Readers Talkback
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  • June 11, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST

    It's been a while since someone mentioned GONE...

    by JackIsLost

    GONE baby GONE.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST


    by hoggydog

    And enjoy Cool Hand Luke, its a good one.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Ten in a row!

    by aint_it_cruel?

    Congrats Quint. I never doubted you. I enjoy reading these even if I don't always (or ever) comment on the films.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:24 p.m. CST

    "Strother Martin is back being the awesome personality he is"

    by aint_it_cruel?

    lol! You aint seen nuthin' yet!!

  • June 11, 2008, 11:32 p.m. CST


    by richiro33

    Pocket money is such a dissapointment as a Paul Newman fan. This was the only time I didn't like a Newman character. Wait till you see Martin in Cool Hand Luke, one of the best supporting performances ever.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Malick "wrote" Dion Bros.

    by aint_it_cruel?

    I love that movie, but it seemed like Stacy Keach and Frederic Forrest just made shit up as they went along in that movie. That movie had a script?!?

  • June 12, 2008, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I know the intro is cut'n'pasre

    by Napoleon Park

    but might you consider rephrasing "Each day I’ll talk about a film I haven’t watched..."? Obviously you're watching films for the purpose of this series of columns and they are films they you nave not PREVIOUSLY seen. This is an incredibly minor not-pocky quibble, but the above quoted statement seems to imply that you are discussing films you have not watched" - imply, heck, that's what it says. And while it's rather obvious that that is the obvious of what you mean, well, it does seem a little... misleading of confusing. Not trying to be a wiseguy, just saying it could be clearer.

  • June 12, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    That does read better. Thanks!

  • June 12, 2008, 12:30 a.m. CST

    "Nit-Picky, not not-pocky."

    by Napoleon Park

    I swear I've never seen that sentence before in my life. And congratulations on keeping this concept going. I read each one and maybe some day you'll get to a movie I have on the shelf and I can add something relevant (or funny) but until then I'll just keep on with the education and, in the case of films like Harper that I saw in theaters with my dad, the nostalgia. And man, we LOVED Cool Hand Luke. Boil yourself up a dozen eggs and enjoy. (And if your quote for the movie doesn't start with he words "What we got here..." then you're doing it wrong.)

  • June 12, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Nobody Cares

    by Greg Zero

    Isn't this what blogs are for? Stop wasting space on this website. Nobody gives a shit about what movies you are watching. I watched three movies last night and find NO reason to BRAG about it. Your opinion means nothing to me. Report objectively or your input means nothing.

  • June 12, 2008, 2:08 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    typo-ing "minor not-pocky quibble" in a comment about a grammar quibble...that's just too priceless...<p>as a fellow writing-nazi, I'm with you brother...

  • June 12, 2008, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Greg Zero

    by BadMrWonka

    guys like you seem to be more able to follow simple bullet points than impassioned speeches, so here goes:<p> 1. most people on this site DO give a shit about what movies, old or new, Quint is watching. he's, you know, a movie reviewer? he watches movies and tells us what he thinks. just because these movies are older, that fact doesn't change. have you seen all of these movies? didn't think so.<p>2. these articles have HEADLINES. these are a novel invention which allows you to decide, before reading the article, if it is something that would interest you or not. if these don't interest you (which you've eloquently and politely implied that they do not) then I suggest when the next one pops up (hint: it'll be tomorrow) you don't fucking click on it.<p>3. reviewing a movie is not the same as reporting news. reviewing a movie CANNOT BE DONE OBJECTIVELY. that is moronically oxymoronic. you can't objectively give your subjective opinion on something. as for objective reporting in general (news, scoops, etc.), look to the associated press. this site is not objective, and it never has been. it is for movie geeks, and every person that writes here is a self-professed movie geek.<p>4. you are not a movie geek, but you are an asshole. <p>5. the 3 movies you watched last night were True Lies, Crash, and Jumper. it does not matter what you claim to have watched in your idiotic response. you watched those 3 movies. and you jacked off when Arnold was in the Jet. twice.

  • June 12, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST


    by MrZero

    I have never signed on to say "FIRST!" I read the first (and only) two chapters of Gone without a word. I am a daily, loyal reader of this site. But if this next column does not begin with the words "sometimes nothing is a pretty cool hand," my soul will hurt. Please Quint, do right by this incredible movie that we should shun you for have never seeing. Don't make me shun you. Please?

  • June 12, 2008, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Newmans cock elbow has more talent than Greg Zero

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    get some respect biiatch.

  • June 12, 2008, 4:12 a.m. CST

    i like this column.

    by Mr_X

    i haven't seen any of these movies, i'm not rushing out to get them ( yet!), but i actually enjoy reading quints reviews. zero you are an ass. quint dont even bother replying to this joker, as everyone here can do that job for you!

  • June 12, 2008, 5:33 a.m. CST

    The seed for Badlands!

    by spudwas

    "Pocket Money" may have been a misfire and dull. But, there was some good that came out of it. Terrence Malick apparently received $25,000 dollar payment for this script that provided the seed money to attract more producers to invest in his 1st film "Badlands." How fortuitous the title "Pocket Money."

  • June 12, 2008, 8:34 a.m. CST

    It's dull? Fuck. I still have to watch it.

    by Knuckleduster

    Being both a loyal Malick and Newman follower, I'm afraid I have no choice. Crap. Sometimes watching a movie is such a chore, but it's all worth it in the end. Like watching Gandhi.

  • June 12, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Greg Zero

    by g-ride9000

    No one care about anything you do. But here we all are reading what quint thinks. That makes you a looser.

  • June 12, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Don't forget Wayne Rogers

    by ScottsWillie

    . . . just sayin'

  • June 12, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Newman and Martin were also both in "Slapshot"

    by Tar Heel

    Just watched it again and had forgotten how enjoyable it was. Bawdy 70's humor and Newman dropping F bombs. Good times.

  • June 12, 2008, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Love Newman, but...

    by Spider-Greek

  • June 12, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I unabashedly love this picture!

    by heathencomics

    I love Newman and Lee Marvin playing totally against type. Eccentric but not cartoonish performances. Beautiful stuff. The scene where Newman throws the rock at the guy is one of my favorite moments in cinema history.

  • July 5, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST