Life in Nick’s Saloon

Tonight’s entertainment included Time of Your Life, a dreamy, plotless story starring James Cagney as a barstool philosopher and small-time philanthropist. The ensemble cast is made up mostly of actors you’d only recognize if you watched at lot of 1940s B-movies. In another time, this would be a noirish take on a seedy dive bar and the down-and-out losers who drift in and out. Instead, it’s more of a kitchy morality play about the value of individuality. A fine sentiment, but with characters so flat you could slip them through a cooling vent, the drama of their lives is sucked out of the story like so much dust in the air. Too bad Bukowski never rewrote this script. He could have made something of it.

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