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After Dark, My Sweet (1990)

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An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both... See full summary »

Director:

James Foley

Writers:

Jim Thompson (novel), Robert Redlin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jason Patric ... Kevin 'kid' Collins
Rocky Giordani Rocky Giordani ... Bert
Rachel Ward ... Fay Anderson
Bruce Dern ... Garrett "Uncle Bud" Stoker
Tom Wagner Tom Wagner ... Counterman
Mike Hagerty ... Truck Driver (as Michael G. Hagerty)
James E. Bowen Jr. James E. Bowen Jr. ... Second Driver
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Doc Goldman
Napoleon Walls Napoleon Walls ... Boxing Referee
Corey Carrier ... Jack
Jeanie Moore ... Nanny
James Cotton James Cotton ... Charlie
Burke Byrnes ... Cop
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Mazella Jr. Vincent Mazella Jr. ... Flashback Fighter (as Vince Mazzella Jr.)
Thomas Wagner
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Storyline

An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both into helping kidnap a rich boy for ransom money, and the ex-fighter must make decisions about his loyalties and what is right. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seduced beyond the limits of deception. Betrayed beyond the limits of desire.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Depois do anoitecer, querida See more »

Filming Locations:

Mecca, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$244,919, 26 August 1990

Gross USA:

$2,678,414

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,678,414
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avenue Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with Robert K. Elder for his book The Best Film You've Never Seen, director Austin Chick praises the movie for its cinematography, stating: "It's beautifully shot ... every frame and every camera move is clearly thought out and brilliantly, beautifully executed." See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, the person in the emergency room's heart flatlines; asystole or absence of any electrical activity. Shocking or defibrillating will do no good in the absence of cardiac activity. The proper treatment would be to give intracardiac epinephrine, followed appropriately as necessary. See more »

Quotes

Kevin 'kid' Collins: [voiceover] There's something inside of every man that keeps him going long after he has any reason to. For years I kept going when going didn't seem to make any sense. And now I just had to keep going. I had to have the end come.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In this retelling, Jim Thompson's dark poetry doesn't survive time-travel forward
25 January 2003 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

In James Foley's After Dark, My Sweet, drawn from Jim Thompson's moody suspense novel, Jason Patric gives a late riff on early Brando. He plays `Kid' Collins, a `retired' boxer who spent some spells in mental institutions after killing an opponent in the ring; now he's frozen into a perpetual fighter's crouch.

Now on the road, he drifts into a bar frequented by Rachel Ward and her unexplained Cornish accent (still a juicer, she's not quite the slatternly shrew of the book). She takes him home and stashes him in a trailer out back among the date palms. Next, up pops `Uncle' Bud (Bruce Dern), who suborns Patric into a half-baked scheme for kidnapping a rich kid. As happens with such schemes, things go awry (the kid turns out to be a diabetic, for one thing), and it falls to Patric to put matters right by a supreme act of self-sacrifice.

But the somnolent pace and elliptical plotting that worked in Thompson's telling sit uncomfortably on the screen. Even in the 1950s, the novel felt that it belonged to the conventions of a decade (or two) earlier – it's a Depression-era, or immediate post-war kind of story. Fast-forwarding it to the 1990s proved more a shock than it could sustain, a disparity exaggerated by misguided fealty to the book.

While there's some fussy updating (the anonymous sticks of Thompson's vision become a faintly upscale desert enclave; an airport replaces the bus terminal), elements that need freshening stick out as anachronisms. For instance, the solicitous attraction felt by the 50-year-old bachelor doctor (George Dickerson) toward Patric can only be homoerotic. While Thompson, chafing under the constraints of his time, left that to be distantly inferred, there's no reason to be coy about it more than 30 years later (there's little coy about the lovemaking between Ward and Patric). To his credit, Dickerson gives the game away with his doomed looks of longing; was it Charles Laughton who remarked `They can't censor the gleam in my eye?' And the long fuse between Ward and Patric sputters on and on; the movie could only be improved by losing half an hour of downing drinks and exchanging alternating glances of hatred and lust.

The best thing about After Dark, My Sweet is Patric's performance, even if, in keeping with the fads of the 1950s, it gives off too many whiffs of `method.' At least he gives the role his best shot. The movie's flaws, however, can't be ascribed to Thompson. Latter-day filmings of his work, like The Grifters of the same year and (especially) The Kill-Off a year before, show there's plenty of punch left in the old pulpmeister.


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