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Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan star in this made-for-television drama, in which a judge in a small town discovers that the skeletons in his family closet are aired for all to see after he's named as a prime suspect in a murder.
Old Nat Moyer is a talker, a philosopher, and a troublemaker with a fanciful imagination. His companion is Midge Carter, who is half-blind, but still the super of an apartment house. When he is threatened with retirement, Nat battles on his behalf. Nat also takes on his daughter, a drug dealer, and a mugger in this appealing version of a really 'odd couple'. Written by
Derek Picken <email@example.com>
The original Broadway production of "I'm Not Rappaport" opened on Novemeber 19, 1985 at the Boothe Theater and ran for 891 performances. Herb Gardner wrote both the stage play and the screen play for the movie version and won the 1986 Tony award for Best Play. Judd Hirsch won the 1986 Tony Award for best Actor for his role as Nat Moyer, that was played in the movie by Walter Matthau. See more »
While Moyer arrives with a briefcase to the meeting with Carter and Danforth, he leaves without it. See more »
It's the system. Two years old, you stand up. Seventy years later, you fall down again.
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Worth a try but be wary of the length, slow pace and the feeling that it is consistently missing the target
Despite being old and worn, Nat Moyer has not lost any of his energy and is still the rabble rouser that he grew up around. He misses the Union days and the fact that none of his peers seem interesting in fighting "the man" anymore. He spends his days in the park where he finds that the employment of acquaintance Midge Carter provides him plenty to get worked up about. Although Nat himself may be a mess underneath the surface he soon finds the problems of those he meets to be distracting enough even as his own issues remain unresolved.
Starting out with a scene that gives us a certain amount of insight into the character of Nat, the film takes a fairly slow pace and isn't helped by the fact that the drama is rather forced and unconvincing for long sections of it. Although there is an element of character study within the film, the "adventures" of Nat and Midge are slightly stretched and prevented me seeing the characters are people. In an out and out comedy, this wouldn't be a problem but this is not so much a comedy as it is a drama and it does rather take away from the impact it has. It still does enough to be interesting to watch but I could see what it was trying to do and it was a bit of a problem for me that it didn't seem to be able to do it. The slow pace isn't helped by the length of the film and I can understand why many viewers will be frustrated by this when combined with the way that it is hard to be involved with.
The strongest sections of the film are those that ignore the adventures but concentrate on the two men and the dynamics between them it is here we get to the core of the characters (or at least as close as we get). This is also helped by fine acting from the lead two. Matthau is his usual funny self but also has an air of the tragic he convinces well as a man who may be delusional, crazy or just plain lonely and in denial. Davis has less of the lime light since he plays more of a straight man to Matthau, but he does it well. These two make the film better than the material suggests and although the support is OK, I didn't really think that the film made good use of Irving, Nelson, Plimpton, Diaz and others mainly they just set up the adventures and providing a bit more of a way into Nat.
Overall this is an OK film but just don't expect anything special. It isn't particularly funny, nor is it meant to be; more worryingly the character aspect of it doesn't come off that well and, if it weren't for the presence of Mattau and Davis, I doubt it would have worked at all. Worth a try but be wary of the length, slow pace and the feeling that it is consistently missing the target.
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