Watch
Fat City

Fat City

1972
Drama
Sport
1h 36m
The hard times of poor white fighters in California provide the background for this brilliant, unflinching and sorely overlooked masterpiece by director John Huston. Stacy Keach is Tully, a down-on-his-luck alcoholic boxer earning money as a field worker while trying for a comeback. Tully tries to pass his wisdom on to Ernie (Jeff Bridges), his 18-year-old protégé, attempting to give the kid the chances he missed.
Your probable score
?

Fat City

1972
Drama
Sport
1h 36m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 63.34% from 446 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(446)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 01 Mar 2009
5
81st
Convincing in its portrayal of these downtrodden characters and more subtle than most any boxing movies have the skill to pull off. Stacy Keach puts in something of note but it never becomes a true character study, has a breadth to it I wouldn't have expected.
Rated 04 Aug 2010
3
38th
Decent enough as an example of 70s realism and as a boxing picture, but not much more. I think it would have benefited from some fleshing out, as the characters, despite strong collective performances, feel more like archetypes than anything, and it relies on well-worn cliches of boxing films. And Ernie's arc, while handled with some admirable subtlety, feels more tangential to Tully's than part of a cohesive whole. Good, but not what I had hoped for.
Rated 07 May 2009
85
95th
Wow, John Huston had this in him? A spectacular script, directed with sensitivity and finesse and wonderfully acted, Fat City is a boxing movie that hits very hard in the gut. It has New Hollywood's poetic but honest-to-God realism that I love so much, bleak and with very flawed characters but never a shred of cynicism or misanthropy.
Rated 24 Sep 2020
87
81st
Howard Hawks once said what constitutes a good movie is “three great scenes, no bad ones." Here we’ve got Huston exploring his usual brute masculinity in all its ugliness - with about a dozen great scenes and no bad ones. With a collection of fascinating faces, voices, and temperaments, nor is there a bad performance. Its imperfections are why I will revisit for years. Great film.
Rated 22 May 2016
75
84th
After a string of failures, veteran director Huston made a big comeback with Fat City, a gritty tale of sad sacks desperately seeking success that will forever elude them. It is a deceptively simple film that quietly captures the spirit of New Hollywood without resorting to shock tactics or geeky Euro art moves. Fat City is the flipside of Rocky: it captures a place where dreams go to die. It is full of indelible moments, great performances and a gut punching realism that never seems cold.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
0th
Along with Wise Blood, one of the two best and least well-known John Huston films. Gritty portrait of down on his luck boxer Stacy Keach. Great supporting cast including Susan Tyrell as philosophizing barfly.
Rated 21 Mar 2010
93
91st
A first-rate movie about second-rate boxers down and out in California. Keach and Bridges are both very good, and the film also features an unforgettable performance by a little-known actress, Susan Tyrrell.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
70
40th
606
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
96th
Such an easy movie to love. Great dialogue, subtle characterisation and superb performances by Keach, Colasanto and especially Susan Tyrrell (who is the true star of the film). I doubt that any other classical Hollywood director would have been able to make a film anything like this one.
Rated 15 Jun 2015
6
86th
while other films were selling an alluring, romanticised counter-culture and ensuring their posters would be littering every teenager's wall, huston made a film that truly dwelt in the margins among the lost and forgotten: the kind of failures, bums and deviants who nobody gives a shit about, least of all moviegoers. FAT CITY has no interest in being cool or even being successful; all it cares about is being human. the entirety of tully's opponent's wordless cameo is a miniature masterpiece.
Rated 04 Aug 2010
3
45th
A contrast in up-and-coming and down-and-out. Understated, unsentimental, but a little unremarkable.
Rated 04 Sep 2010
72
41st
Like other movies of its ilk, it tries to pass off character flaws as depth, and wears its no-frills approach to filmmaking on its sleeve. I can watch this stuff and be reasonably engaged, but it just doesn't inspire me that much. Decent-to-good performances by Bridges and Keach... more noteworthy are the characters on the periphery. On the other hand, you've got Oma, a particularly awful performance by Tyrrell. I was pretty ho-hum about the whole experience until the fine, thoughtful ending.
Rated 24 Feb 2007
50
35th
Not bad.
Rated 28 Jan 2012
80
80th
One of the best boxing movies. Great performances.
Rated 25 May 2009
84
74th
There's an appealing seediness to Huston's film about the lugs toiling on the lowest part of the undercard. Stacy Keach gives a sensational performance as a washed up old boxer who romances a crumbling barfly while edging towards a comeback. It's a role that could have been tackled effectively with little more than brutish pathos, but Keach aims for something trickier. There's a tender intricacy to his work, a sense of showing the wheels turning even if those wheels are turning a little slowly.
Rated 20 Mar 2010
90
94th
Rocky without the glory
Rated 20 Jul 2019
40
30th
Interesting gritty look at a couple of boxers. Keach does a great job with his character. Good boxing action. Fav scene: Keach arguing w/girlfriend.
Rated 19 Apr 2010
59
43rd
Can't help but think I might've liked Fat City more if I'd seen it before The Wrestler. Nevertheless, it's a good, competent film, with a memorable performance by Susan Tyrell.
Rated 05 May 2019
60
39th
yapmak istediği yaptığından daha ilgi çekici sanki.
Rated 29 May 2020
78
58th
Given the sloppy pacing of this, it's the individual scenes here that impress. The romance in particular is done well, it evolving in a realistic way that films rarely depict. Good ol' quiet American town depressed and broken dreams/loves kind of film.
Rated 13 Sep 2009
85
81st
A great film that manages to be powerful despite an understated style. The contrasts between Keach and Bridges' characters are very well executed, subtle but clear, and their performances superb.
Rated 19 Jun 2012
90
80th
Oh man. So so gritty, so much a product of the seventies! Huston adapts to the New Hollywood well and churns out a great film. Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell (RIP, she just died today), Candy Clark and Coach all give top-notch performances. The seediness literally bleeds out of the screen and into your home. In case I don't say it enough: the 70's were the best!!
Rated 02 Mar 2008
72
55th
# 568
Rated 26 Nov 2023
55
61st
Based on a late 1950s novel, transferring the setting to the early 1970s without mentioning Vietnam spoils a tale of paths crossing on the way sideways or down.
Rated 18 Jan 2015
80
67th
Very gritty and realistic, with great performances by Bridges and Keach. The ending was great and subtle; a perfect reflection on what transpired over the course of the film. It's probably what made me put it over to an 80. The character arcs could have used a little more fleshing out, but besides that, the script is well done. Though Trully and Ernie only interact once in a while, the movie is stronger because it showcases the different paths. When the ending comes it's more poignant that way.
Rated 20 Jun 2019
4
52nd
Thicc City
Rated 19 Aug 2016
75
37th
Just another run-of-the-mill boxing film as far as I'm concerned. A film about a would-be Rocky without the skill or drive or the brains to realise it. Keach and Bridges looked the part, but any meaningful point that the film was trying to make was lost on me. Too subtle or just too plain, everyday, boring. Surely even these washed up people of minimal ambition have more going on in their lives than bars, boxing and casual labour. Where was it?
Rated 19 Feb 2024
75
76th
I keep thinking this may have been so subtle that a repeat watch could extend my appreciation. One of those films where the end transforms what has come before it, apparent banalities that achieve quiet poignance.
Rated 09 Jun 2008
48
32nd
I can't say I get the love. At all. The main characters' arcs have been done to death and this film has little to add. The female characters were either annoying or moronic. The scene lengths were comparable to Cassavetes, but with half the depth and poignancy. The final scene IS masterfully done, and the lead performances are very believable, but overall I found this film bleak, unfulfilling, and not very insightful.
Rated 12 Mar 2019
87
49th
87.00
Rated 28 Sep 2018
50
42nd
Huston's vision of the US is certainly modern for his generation (which shows better in his previous films), but by 1972 this vision of America is already typical. Fat City is not up to the punch and mastery of the early Huston, but it's still an alright film
Rated 03 Sep 2022
60
35th
Strong 70s character study even though the inverse stories of two fighters sometimes feels slight. The real surprise comes from the ancillary stories, notably the wino girlfriend and the silent fighter.
Rated 03 Nov 2014
70
72nd
This movie really has an interesting plot and at some times it feels painfully real. It covers some underground subjects without being preachy and self righteous which is a fresh view. The only thing that put me off is the outdated aesthetic of the seventy's movies which I've never been a fan of.
Rated 09 Jun 2016
70
65th
A good character piece. I think it's probably one of those film that will grow even better on a rewatch.
Rated 13 Dec 2009
86
80th
This neglected treasure is perhaps the best film ever made about boxing. A classic piece of Americana and one of Huston's greatest achievements.
Rated 08 Feb 2019
77
64th
The performances work in this film and they are what really carry this production. The script has a number of good moments and the story works. Overall I would recommend this film.
Rated 13 Apr 2023
86
89th
Ruben & Babe
Rated 15 Oct 2010
86
83rd
One of Huston's later triumphs, a seedy, street-level drama. Highly acclaimed.
Rated 27 Jan 2022
90
87th
This film is a revelation. Obviously deeply connecting to this material, he makes a film that feels like the work of a young maverick. This is fiercely gritty and realistic film that tells the story of several ferociously down and out people in a slow, almost non-narrative style. It's a superb cast and Huston trusts them enough to let their talking gradually tell us who they are. It's largely a film about optimism, but the optimism of people unable to really realize any of their dreams.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
71
42nd
571
Rated 27 Aug 2008
95
97th
What an awareness, sensibility and solemnity Huston displays here! This is hard-hitting in an "understated" manner, the work of a master...
Rated 28 Oct 2022
20
12th
Didn't hold my attention for a second.
Rated 13 Jun 2022
70
41st
Solid boxing film. The rise and fall of a boxer has been done many times, but this film handles it through two different boxers, played by Jeff Bridges (the riser) and Stacy Keach (the faller). Keach is excellent but Susan Tyrrell gives a truly memorable (Oscar nominated) performance. Nicholas Colasanto also gives a nice supporting performance as the trainer.
Rated 31 Jan 2015
61
55th
Luxuriates in its love of the losing.
Rated 18 May 2018
82
69th
Strong film focused on characterization and dramatizing the ruts we can so easily fall into. Huston develops a pretty interesting tension between Bridges' young up and comer and Keach's older, on the outs fighter. That he is able to do this without throwing the two of them into direct conflict is especially good. The end result is to create a palpable sense of despair, as the younger man has no greater prospects for getting out than Keach's older character ever had.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
79
58th
#426
Rated 23 Sep 2015
73
70th
One of those movies you just know Springsteen drew inspiration from when writing his great down-on-their-luck working-class ballads. Beautiful acting. Kinda goes nowhere, but also that's sort of the point.
Rated 12 Aug 2014
90
81st
The one performance in the movie I'm certain I will never put behind me comes from Sixto Rodriguez, an actor who doesn't speak one line. He plays a Mexican boxer, who once, momentarily, had repute, and comes in by bus to fight Tully. He comes to the stadium contained by a cosmic stillness and solitude. He pees blood, and we recognize his skeleton in the cupboard. He's in such agony he can hardly stand. But he goes out and fights.
Rated 05 Jan 2010
8
85th
Huston showcasing those moments where men notice a major turning point of their own lives as they grow older.
Rated 11 Sep 2020
82
80th
John Huston gives a no-frills look at amateur boxing and living life hard. Keach and Bridges are fantastic in portraying a frayed masculinity on the brink of complete collapse. Everything is dirty and sweaty in a very palpable way. A great film from the era of character-first filmmaking.

Collections

Loading ...

Similar Titles

Loading ...

Statistics

Loading ...

Trailer

Loading ...