The Grind of Getting By

John Huston’s Fat City

What is your blood and sweat worth? This is the question Bill Tully, a boxer, asks his manager in Fat City. John Huston’s 1972 movie tackles a few serious topics, one of which is what it means and what it takes to get by.

Fat City

Fat City is approaching fifty years old and it definatley has the look and feel of the early 70s, but the story (I am reluctant to use words such as theme and message) is as relevant today as it was when it premiered. The characters struggle with the everydayness of work, relationships, and a desire to do more with their lives than simply get by. The movie is a slow paced character study that peels back the layers of a man’s life and examines his efforts to do more and be more.

The movie has a collection of characters who struggle to get by, from the main character Bill Tully, Bill’s buddy Ernie, and Bill’s opponent Lucero. Without giving too much away there is a scene in the movie where Lucero walks out of the arena after the fight that is itself a study in getting by. Fat City is worth a watch if you are interested in a character study in getting by.

-K-

Fat City (1972) with Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges. Directed by John Huston.

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