The Flamingo Kid
|The Flamingo Kid|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Garry Marshall|
|Produced by||Michael Phillips
Nick Abdo (associate producer)
|Written by||Garry Marshall
|Music by||Curt Sobel|
|Cinematography||James A. Contner|
|Edited by||Priscilla Nedd-Friendly|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
The Flamingo Kid is a 1984 American comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and written by Marshall, Neal Marshall and Bo Goldman. It stars Matt Dillon, Richard Crenna, Hector Elizondo, Janet Jones and Marisa Tomei in her film debut. It tells the story of a working class boy who takes a summer job at a beach resort and learns valuable life lessons. It was the first movie to receive a PG-13 rating, although it was the fifth to be released with that rating, after Red Dawn, The Woman in Red, Dreamscape, and Dune.
Tagline: A legend in his own neighborhood
In the summer of 1963, Jeffrey Willis (Matt Dillon) joins some friends for a day of Gin rummy at the El Flamingo Club, a private beach resort. There, he meets the girl of his dreams Carla Sampson (Janet Jones). After the Gin game and being told of the club's strict policy regarding guests, Jeffrey is upset, but not for long, since he immediately landed a job as a car valet and eventually, cabana steward. Jeffrey is a kid from a middle class Brooklyn family and his father (Elizondo) does not approve of him working at the private club.
Jeffrey, a winning Gin Rummy player himself, and his friends, admire Brody and how his wins at the Gin rummy table make him seem "psychic," knowing which cards to give up. Brody also takes a liking to Jeffrey, eventually showing him his car business, and gives him hopes that car sales are where he belongs as a career.
Jeffrey gets further immersed in the "easy buck," defying his father's guidance. During dinner, Jeffrey notably says he "will not be needing college" and plans to pursue being a car salesman instead. Jeffrey and his co-workers at The Flamingo also venture to Yonkers Raceway together, risking cash on a horse tip but come up short when the trotter breaks stride.
Eventually, Jeffrey leaves home to pursue the sales job. However, Brody, angry that Jeffrey disturbed him during a dance class, reveals to Jeffrey that the job opening at the car dealership is for a stock boy, not as a salesman as Jeffrey had been led to believe was his when he asked for it. Brody encourages Jeffrey to take the stock boy position so he can work his way up. Jeffrey becomes shocked at his mentor's actions and reconsiders college. Near Summer's end, Jeffrey observes that a regular onlooker, "Big Sid", is feeding signals to Brody, the true cause of Brody's winning ways. When Big Sid and a member of the gin team playing against Brody's team are overcome by the heat, Jeffrey fills in, opposing Brody, and seeking to help win back the unfair profits Brody won from his friends over the course of the Summer. Jeffrey and his team eventually win back what was unfairly lost, including a good profit besides. Realizing the mistakes he made in rejecting his father's good advice, Jeffrey makes up with his dad in a touching scene at Larry's Fish House ("Any Fish You Wish"), where his family is dining.
- Matt Dillon – Jeffrey Willis
- Hector Elizondo – Arthur Willis
- Richard Crenna – Phil Brody
- Janet Jones – Carla Samson
- Jessica Walter – Phyllis Brody
- Fisher Stevens – Hawk Ganz
- Bronson Pinchot – Alfred Shultz
- Marisa Tomei – Mandy
- Steven Weber – Paul Hirsch
- Martha Gehman – Nikki Willis
The principal location for the movie was the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point in New York City's Rockaways, inside the Gateway National Recreation Area. The club was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the wing of the club that extends over the water is facing probable demolition.
- Jesse Frederick – Breakaway
- Martha and the Vandellas – (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave
- The Chiffons – He's So Fine
- Acker Bilk – Stranger on the Shore
- Dion – Runaround Sue
- Little Richard – Good Golly, Miss Molly
- Barrett Strong – Money (That's What I Want)
- The Impressions – It's All Right
- Hank Ballard & The Midnighters – Finger Poppin' Time
- The Chiffons – One Fine Day
- The Silhouettes – Get a Job
- Maureen Steele – Boys Will Be Boys
Deadline.com announced in September 2012 that Walt Disney Pictures has planned a remake of The Flamingo Kid. Brett Ratner and Michael Phillips are producing and music video director Nzingha Stewart is scripting.
- Blank, Ed. Traditional values put to the test in an effective 'Flamingo Kid', Pittsburgh Press, December 28, 1984
- Kilgannon, Corey (13 March 2013). "At a Beach Club, a Battle to Rebuild After the Storm". New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- Official website at MGM.com
- The Flamingo Kid at the Internet Movie Database
- The Flamingo Kid at AllMovie
- The Flamingo Kid at Box Office Mojo
- The Flamingo Kid at Rotten Tomatoes