Tough Guys [1986]

Tough guys don't dance--and tough authors can't direct. Or at least that was the case with Norman Mailer and this mid-1980s potboiler. An overheated murder mystery obviously written for the money, the book became Mailer's return to moviemaking (after his quixotic efforts in the mid 1960s). This one, which stars Ryan O'Neal, is about a writer whose excessive drinking means he can't remember if he committed a murder and so must talk to everyone he knows to find out. Unfortunately, even with a cast that includes Isabella Rossellini, Lawrence Tierney, and Clarence Williams III, all of that talk doesn't make for an interesting movie. --Marshall Fine

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