7.2/10
17,758
91 user 68 critic

Barfly (1987)

Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Factotum (2005)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.

Director: Bent Hamer
Stars: Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man', 'Love Is a Dog from Hell', and the autobiographical novels, 'Women', 'Hollywood', and 'Post Office'.

Director: John Dullaghan
Stars: Charles Bukowski, Bono, John Bryan
Homeboy (1988)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A simple self-destructive drifter and tough small-time boxer with a brain injury that could kill him meets and falls for a cute beach carnival owner, Ruby, but also befriends a sleazy friendly criminal, Wesley, who's planing a big score.

Director: Michael Seresin
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Debra Feuer
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two cousins unknowingly rob the mob and face the dangerous consequences.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Daryl Hannah
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After being double crossed and thrown in jail, a deformed gangster gets a new face and rehabilitation, but his desire for revenge looms.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Martin, an I.R.A. hitman, is seen by a Catholic priest while carrying out a hit. He grows a bond with the priest and his niece. But his past and his former employers put all their lives in danger.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane
Rumble Fish (1983)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Francesco (1989)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Docudrama about the life of St-Francis of Assisi.

Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Helena Bonham Carter, Andréa Ferréol
The Charles Bukowski Tapes (TV Series 1985)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Barbet Schroeder interviews Bukowski.

Stars: Charles Bukowski, Linda Lee Bukowski, Barbet Schroeder
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Poet/lecturer Charles Serking awakens from his alcoholic haze long enough to take a bus back to L.A. and plunge into an orgy of drink and sexual depravity.

Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Ornella Muti, Susan Tyrrell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Henry
Faye Dunaway ... Wanda Wilcox
Alice Krige ... Tully
Jack Nance ... Detective
J.C. Quinn ... Jim
Frank Stallone ... Eddie
Sandy Martin ... Janice
Roberta Bassin ... Lilly
Gloria LeRoy Gloria LeRoy ... Grandma Moses
Joe Unger ... Ben
Harry Cohn Harry Cohn ... Rick
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Joe
Joe Rice Joe Rice ... Old Man in Bar
Julie 'Sunny' Pearson Julie 'Sunny' Pearson ... Hooker in Bar
Donald L. Norden Donald L. Norden ... Man in Alley
Edit

Storyline

Henry Chinaski never cared for the American dream, the thought of needing to become 'something' and fit into the system disgusts him. He believes that life is free and yours to live like you see fit, and if that in some cases involves copious amounts of whiskey then so be it. Henry spends his days drinking and listening to the radio, and he spends his nights drinking and fighting against Eddy who he thinks personifies shallowness and shameless self promoting. Sometimes in the middle of this he finds the time to jot down a few lines of poetry or a short story. After fighting Eddy and winning for a change Henry is thrown out of his regular bar where Eddy is a bartender. This leads him to seek another watering hole where he happens to find Wanda who is a barfly, in her own words "if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I'd go with him". Henry is not fazed by this thou and moves in with her. Of course Wanda immediately goes off and sleeps with Eddy, but after some clothes ... Written by Erik Wallen <erik.wallen@bluetie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barfly See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,900, 18 October 1987

Gross USA:

$3,221,568

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,221,568
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Bukowski wanted Sean Penn to star as protagonist Henry Chinaski, but Penn insisted that Dennis Hopper direct the film. Later, Hopper directed Penn in Colors (1988) without Hopper acting in it; then Penn would around three years later direct Hopper in The Indian Runner (1991) which Penn doesn't act in. Bukowski had written the Barfly (1987) screenplay for Barbet Schroeder, who had filmed him for French TV years before, and would not surrender it to Hopper, whom he despised as a gold-chain wearing Hollywood phony. Bukowski and Penn became friends for the rest of his life. See more »

Goofs

When Henry gets out of bed, Tully has terrible bedhead as their conversation starts. When it cuts back to her a second later, her hair has been neatly brushed. See more »

Quotes

Henry: Some guys really know how to get the women.
Jim: Now, you don't know how?
Henry: Hey, I can get one for ten minutes. That's my limit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Co-Dependent's Day (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Hip Hug-Her
By Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson Jr. and Donald Dunn
Published by Irving Music, Inc. (DMI)
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A NICE ONE!
20 August 2002 | by jamalionerfSee all my reviews

Perhaps Mickey Rourkes' final great performance, BARFLY sees him as prolific writer/poet Henry Chinaski who rejects conformity in every day society and believes it to be frustratingly fake. As a result, he is a drunk, and prefers to hang out with 'all his friends' in a regular bar by getting into fights whilst the crowd pays the winner (no guesses as to what he spends his money on) until he meets a 'strange girl' at a bar- Wanda (Faye Dunway). The two instantly click- both are intelligent indivuals who reject over regularity in every day passive conversation (Dunaway- 'I hate people, don't you? Rourke- 'I don't mind them, but I seem to feel better when they're not around'). The two form an instant freindship/relationship because of one major primary function that can keep them together- drink. A researcher who picks up talented writers like Henry enters the frame and falls for him due to his prolific writing and offers him a place in 'the good life' with her- but Henry rejects this when she tells him he will 'grow into it' (Rourke- growing is for plants- I hate roots).

BARFLY manages to do something profound that so many films fail to do- in showing us that conformity isn't suited to intelligent, open minded creative individuals like Henry. Rourke excels himself in this role, it's as good a performance but a completely different one from his role in ANGEL HEART (starring in 3 great films, including RUMBLE FISH, really doesn't do him justice- he was the best of his generation in the 80's). He plays Henry not unlike how Jeff Bridges plays Jeffrey 'The Dude' Lebowski in THE BIG LEBOWSKI (I'd be very surprised if the Coens didn't take inspiration from this film, and fans of that particular film should also check this out) as some one who you would consider to be an every day loser but is probably a darn sight more smarter than you believe them to be (as well as having a self serving purpose for the life they have chosen to live). Faye Dunaway, as usual, is uniformly excellent as Henrys lover/drinking partner, managing to convey an aura of sassiness and casual sophistication, and who has also chosen to take this particular path in life for a reason- the same as Henry's. The chemistry between these two leads is astounding, and the script is pitch perfect with dozens of memorable lines (Dunway- 'Whatever happens, don't expect me to fall in love with you', Rourke- 'That's ok, nobody has ever fallen in love with me anyway'). To me at least, Rourke's performance as Henry is the single most likeable character created in any film, and it stays with you long after the film is over. Touching, funny and profound- a minor masterpiece, a 'nice' film, I RECOMMEND IT!


25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 91 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed