Film critic Pauline Kael worked on developing Toback's screenplay in her brief period as consultant to Warren Beatty, who was slated to star before the project was eventually completed in 1980 with Ray Sharkey instead. Grounded by studio upheavals and an insistence that Toback lengthen his 84-minute director's cut, this fable of discovered ardour and lost ideals eventually emerged (but only just) in 1982. Regrettably, it's a far from fully achieved work, with Sharkey's restless performance unable to get much purchase on material which takes him from a stifling finance job to a potentially lucrative assignment for scheming magnate Kinski, who wants him to persuade old college chum Assante (now the radical leader of a Central American republic) into allowing continued access to the country's silver reserves. Sharkey's lust at first sight for Kinski's alluring wife Muti complicates matters, King Vidor's appearance as Sharkey's senile grandfather adds curio value, but the ultimate point remains elusive. Further, its dramatic tension is lax and the raunch factor is lower than expected. It's all rather underwhelming, apart from one gorgeous twilight moment, the lovers' flight to the freeway in a sports car, scored to the gliding slow movement of Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto.
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