5.3/10
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10 user 9 critic

An American Dream (1966)

A TV talk-show host who may have killed his wife finds himself being pursued by both the police and a gang of hoods.

Director:

Robert Gist

Writers:

Mann Rubin, Norman Mailer (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Stephen Richard Rojack
Janet Leigh ... Cherry McMahon
Eleanor Parker ... Deborah Kelly Rojack
Barry Sullivan ... Police Lt. G. Roberts
Lloyd Nolan ... Barney Kelly
Murray Hamilton ... Arthur Kabot
J.D. Cannon ... Police Sgt. Walt Leznicki
Susan Denberg ... Ruta
Les Crane Les Crane ... Nicky
Warren Stevens ... Johnny Dell
Joe De Santis ... Eddie Ganucci
Stacy Harris ... Detective O'Brien
Paul Mantee ... Shago Martin
Harold Gould ... Ganucci's Attorney
George Takei ... Attorney Ord Long
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Storyline

A TV talk-show host who may have killed his wife finds himself being pursued by both the police and a gang of hoods.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is Mrs. Rojack. Be glad you're not Mr. Rojack. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

See You in Hell, Darling See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Janet Leigh's singing voice was dubbed by Jackie Ward. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Richard Rojack: Deborah, I want you to file for the divorce. If you won't I will.
Deborah Kelly Rojack: What do you mean - a divorce?
Stephen Richard Rojack: I can't live like this any longer, watching you destroy yourself. You don't care but I do. Ten years ago when I married you, I thought I knew where I was going. Well, I know where you're going. You're going down the tubes, and you're trying to take me with you. Well, I've had it. I've had all I can take of your sick parties and your perverted friends, and everything else that goes with it. I'm ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lusting Hours (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

A Time for Love
Music by Johnny Mandel
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Janet Leigh (dubbed by Jackie Ward)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Producers of 'American Dream' Can't Tell Mailer from Robbins
11 July 2010 | by aschelandSee all my reviews

A Norman Mailer novel gets filmed as if it's a Harold Robbins story. I knew I was in for a campy treat from the opening scenes, featuring Eleanor Parker as the rich, alcoholic harpy Deborah, rolling naked on silk sheets (the camera very careful not to show any naughty bits), demanding whiskey refills from her hunky bed partner with impudent hand gestures and burning his hand with a cigarette when he tries to initiate sex. "Later!" she barks, eyes glued to the TV, watching her husband Rojack (Stuart Whitman), the host of a controversial call-in show. Parker's high-rise wallow is so arresting that Rojack's accusations that the LAPD has a protection deal with a notorious Mafia kingpin hardly register. The action ramps up when Rojack visits his estranged wife. Parker, also in the notorious show biz howler "The Oscar" the same year this was released, goes for broke and over the top, hurling cutting insults and highballs at her square-jawed husband. As Rojack, Whitman stoically endures Deborah's rant until she pantomimes castrating him, and then all hell breaks loose. Rojack finally walks out, but barely makes it to the front door before he's confronted by Deborah's sexy maid (Susan Denberg), wrapped only in a towel but willing to drop it for her boss's husband. Rojack sidesteps the seduction, but in this movie that's actually the wrong decision. Returning to his wife's bedroom for his wallet, another mêlée ensues that ends with Deborah falling off the penthouse terrace, where she's immediately run over by a limo transporting the very same Mafia kingpin Rojack accused of being in bed—figuratively, of course—with the police.

Once Parker's out of the picture "An American Dream" becomes a little less interesting, though a few actors try to match her scenery chewing, J.D. Cannon as a hot-tempered cop chief among them. Janet Leigh as Cherry McMahon, Rojack's former flame prior to his marrying Deborah and now a singer/Mafia moll, does a lot of glaring and glowering. As many other reviewers have pointed out, this often looks like a TV movie, with much of the action happening in flatly lit, claustrophobic sets (though lushly photographed). As tacky as this movie is, the novel's story actually has been sanitized for the protection of 1966 audiences. Mailer's misogyny—the one quality he shared with hack Robbins—is left well intact, however. In "An American Dream," women are just bitches and/or hos.

Though not quite in the same league as other trash-tastic movies of the 1960s, fans of "The Carpetbaggers," "Valley of the Dolls," or the aforementioned "The Oscar," will want to be sure to catch "An American Dream." Fans of Norman Mailer are best advised to skip it.


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