Image by le0pard13 via FlickrEvery summer I make it a point to watch one of my favorite movies, Robert Towne's Tequila Sunrise. And, this year was no exception. Released in 1988, it is the second directed feature from the writer of another great (L.A.) film, Chinatown. It is a wonderfully layered neo noir film set in the distinct South Bay area of Los Angeles. Although, I often ponder if I hadn't attended L.A. Harbor College right after high school (and spent a formative portion of my student life in and around that curvature of beach area), would I care as much as I do for this film? Here, I'll let one of the well fleshed out characters from the movie answer that:
Probably not, but who knows what he's really up to? I mean you're snitch isn't going to tell us... ~ Lt. Nick Frescia
Image by le0pard13 via Flickr
And I may be paranoid, but then again nobody wants me to quit.
Jo Ann: That's an awful lot of money.Mac: Uh, fifteen million dollars.Jo Ann: That is an awful lot of money.Mac: Yeah, well. Money makes people predictable, at least. They'll never be reliable.
Nick: You got one chance, buddy, turn yourself in.Mac: What for?Nick: What for?!?Mac: Yeah, what for? I told you I had an accounting problem in the restaurant. I've been holding on to money for someone, and he's here to pick it up. I mean it's his money.Nick: I wanna get this straight. You'd kill me over drug money?Mac: Well... it's a lot of money.
Jo Ann: What is it, Nick? You need some chapstick or lip gloss or something cause your lips keep getting stuck on your teeth. Or, is that your idea of a smile?Nick: (smiling and embarrassed) That's my idea of a smile. Ah, man. You are... you're tough.
The 1997 DVD is now very long in the tooth and is certainly in need of re-issue, remastering, and new extras (hopefully this time, with input from its writer/director) on how it evolved to its final cut. Also, be on the watch for a small but wonderful cameo by the legendary western director (and Robert Towne favorite), Budd Boetticher, in the role of Judge Nizetitch. It's a superb tribute for a director that deserves greater recognition. Now, let's end this post with a particularly killer piece of noirish dialogue that serves as a great thumbnail for this underrated film (it's one that hits home with me):
Carlos: You son of bitch! How could you do this? Friendship is the only choice in life you can make that's yours! You can't choose your family! Goddamn it, I've had to face that! And no man should be judged for whatever direction his dick goes! That's like blaming a compass for pointing north, for Chrissake! Friendship is all we have. We chose each other. How could you fuck it up? How could you make us look so bad?