Luciano Moniz’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #8 of Smiler Grogan's Scavenger Hunt
Task 12/30: A film starring James Cagney
I think this was a good choice for this task, because 1) Milos Forman is responsible for two of my favorite movies of all time (the unforgettable Best-Picture-Oscar-winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Andy Kaufman's biopic Man on the Moon - an underrated masterpiece that delivers Jim Carrey's best performance) and 2) this is James Cagney's last role of his extraordinary career. Therefore, I was obviously immensely interested to check out this movie.
And, man, what the hell. I mean, this is another underrated cinematic treasure. I'm so glad that I watched this. Really. What a rich experience.
Milos Forman has the same ability of a Robert Altman. There's many characters in this film (not so many as the book, of course), but the director never makes it confusing. We know who everyone is and what they do.
The cast, by the way, did an amazing job. Yeah, yeah, we all know, Mr. Cagney is brilliant, sure! Dourif, McGovern, Allen and Olson were great too, but the one who stands out from all these performances is, undeniably, Howard E. Rollins Jr.. Absolutely astonishing. And you know what? I'm going to say it, I don't care: this is, for me, one of the greatest performances of all time, period. He should've won that freaking Oscar!
And the runtime of this film! Two hours and a half, I don't believe it! It seemed to be just 90 minutes.