Of The Juggler
A little while ago a friend bought me a copy of the book Night
Of The Juggler as a joke because my last name is Juggler. It
looked really bad, so I never read it. But, when Monkey said that
it was made into a movie starring James Brolin, I was on it.
I was disappointed in this movIe for a number of reasons. The biggest
is that there are NO JUGGLERS in this film. The only mention of
juggling at all is when the kidnapper says to the kidnapee, "They
are all in it together. Juggling the books... Well now they are
going to pay... I'm gonna' juggle the books my way and it's gonna'
balance great." Not only that, but, the last scene of the movie
is the only one that takes place during the night.
The movie starts out at a coffee shop were we see a man has just
had eggs, hash browns and sausage placed before him. He arranges
the food into a smiley face, then destroys it with a ketchup bottle.
If you hadn't guessed it already, he's the crazy bad guy.
Now its time to meet the good guy. Sean Boyd gets out of his big-rig,
kills a mouse for a couple of ladies in one fell swoop and then
goes home to the daughter he is raising by himself. It is her birthday
and he has bought her hot dogs and ballet tickets. What a guy.
Gus Soltic (Cliff Gorman) mistakes Brolin's daughter for a rich
guys' daughter and kidnaps her instead. This starts a chase scene
that must last for half an hour. It starts out on foot, and then
we go on an insane car chase where Brolin is the passenger in a
taxi. At this point, you're thinking that the cab driver looks kind
of familiar. And he is. It's Mandy Patinkin as Allesandro the Puerto
Rican cabby. Mandy gets to say one of those great '80s movie lines.
"White people are crazy." When the taxi crashes, Brolin gets back
into the chase on foot. He does a T.J. Hooker and hangs on to the
bad guys' car for a while. When thrown, he steals a preacher's car
and the case continues. Eventually, he crashes and Gus just barely
The best parts of the movie are when you recognize a voice on a
very young face. My favorite is Dan Hedaya (Carla's husband on "Cheers").
He plays a cop still on the force even though Sean Boyd turned him
in for taking bribes. Boyd who got fired instead. Anyway, Hedaya
wants revenge and starts to chase Brolin with a shotgun. He shoots
with reckless abandon. Even though pedestrians are in the way, he
blows out store windows, cars, anything. Another familiar face is
Richard Castellano (The Godfather's Clemenza) as the Lieutenant
assigned to the kidnapping. He also gets a great 80s movie line,
"This is gonna be another New York goddamn day." The rest of the
move is more chasing. Boyd is chasing Soltic while being chased
by A Puerto Rican gang, a Black gang and a bad cop.
"This movie doesn't sound so bad," you say. Well, if it wasn't
so bad, why did no less than seven actors who were in this movie
never act in another again?
The next time you are looking for a James Brolin flick, may I suggest
re-renting The Amityville Horror? It will make you less ill..