"Schmucko... us was you." - Fats
I rented this after remembering my friend Alan mentioning it years ago. I was visiting him in South Carolina and we were just bullshitting on his porch. He said it really creeped him out as a kid, so I took a chance. Good job Alan.
It stars Anthony Hopkins as Corky, who performs magic tricks at night clubs. His first time out, he bombs. Big time. He lashes out on the entire crowd. His next time out, he is now trying ventriloquism with his foul-mouthed dummy named Fats, and is a huge hit. Burgess Meredith is an agent who signs Corky to a huge contract, getting him T.V. deals. After a while, Corky seeks out an old flame, Peggy, played by Ann-Margaret, while staying at a cabin near her home. At the time, he's taking a rest from the business, since it's hinted that he is starting to have a nervous break-down, due to the fact he is now having conversations with Fats, who answers him.
Peggy falls for Corky and decides to leave her husband for him, which causes Fats to get jealous. His manager knows Corky is losing it. Fats thinks they need to take care of him, along with Peggy's husband. And eventually Peggy.
Anthony Hopkins shows early on, that he has incredible acting talent. The scene when Corky's manager tells him to go 5 mins without talking to Fats is so intense. The tension in that scene is so thick. Fats (Corky) is hilarious in the night clubs and creepy/borderline scary off-stage. At times, you feel like Fats is an actual character and not just some dummy. The mood that is set in the film, you can actually feel the jealousy that he has for Peggy coming into the picture. Ann-Margaret also does a great job as the love interest. Very likable and sympathetic at times. Burgess Meredith is also at his best.
Fantastic performances, tension that is so thick you can feel it, and there is just an all out creepiness to the film. I'm glad that I visited Alan all those years ago, or I'd never know of this film.
Highly recommended. Alan you have made up for telling me to watch U-TURN and BLOW. And on a side note, read the novel as well. It was written by William Goldman, the same man that wrote "The Princess Bride." There's a little bit of trivia for you there. Cheers!