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Fool for Love (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fool for Love
Fool for love.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Altman
Produced byMenahem Golan
Yoram Globus
Screenplay bySam Shepard
Based onFool for Love by Sam Shepard
Music byGeorge Burt
CinematographyPierre Mignot
Edited byLuce Grunenwaldt
Steve Dunn
Distributed byCannon Group
Release date
  • December 6, 1985 (1985-12-06)[1]
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million[2]
Box office$900,000[2][3]

Fool for Love is a 1985 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. The film stars Sam Shepard, who also wrote both the original 1983 play and the adaptation's screenplay, alongside Kim Basinger, Harry Dean Stanton, Randy Quaid and Martha Crawford. It was entered into the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.[4] It was filmed in Eldorado and Las Vegas, New Mexico.


May is hiding out at an old motel in the Southwest. She is staying at the motel when an old flame and childhood friend, Eddie, shows up. Eddie confronts May and seems to try to convince her in argumentative terms that their fates are somehow linked and that they should stay together. May vehemently refuses him. She says that she has absolutely no interest in living with Eddie under any circumstances, that she has a job and started a new life and knows that if she goes back to Eddie their relationship will repeat the same destructive cycle it has followed before. As May's current love interest, Martin, shows up for a date, Eddie begins to thicken the narrative somewhat about his relationship with May as having a dark secret hidden within.

Throughout the film the character of the Old Man—apparently the father of both lovers—sits to the side and talks to May and Eddie and offers commentary on each character and about himself. It is revealed that the Old Man had led a double life, abandoning each family in the same town for different periods during each child's life. Without knowledge of their father's philandering, May and Eddie became lovers in their high school years and when their parents finally figured out what had occurred, Eddie's mother shot herself.

May is afraid that Eddie has begun to emulate his father's feckless womanizing; taking to drinking and secretly seeing a woman May refers to as the Countess. The Countess returns twice to the old motel where May is staying in a black Mercedes and opens fire with a revolver apparently trying to shoot Eddie for his misconduct and mistreatment of her in their affair. In the meanwhile, the Old Man has begun to drift off in denial that Eddie's mother had been driven to suicide, and May's erstwhile date, Martin, is left standing bewildered to observe it all. When the Countess next returns for her revenge against Eddie, a stray shot from her revolver sets off an explosion which ignites the entire old motel into a blaze of fire. The "fools" in the play are the battling lovers, May and Eddie, at the run-down Mojave Desert motel which is left ablaze burning to ashes in a panorama before their eyes as the film ends.



Sandy Rogers wrote the soundtrack songs including the title country pop ballad ("Fool for Love"), which later would also appear in the film Reservoir Dogs and on its soundtrack album release.[5]


Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four and wrote, "With 'Fool for Love,' [Altman] has succeeded on two levels that seem opposed to each other. He has made a melodrama, almost a soap opera, in which the characters achieve a kind of nobility."[6] Gene Siskel also gave the film three out of four stars, writing that Altman "has served the play well."[7] A negative review in Variety wrote that the film made the material "look like specious stuff filled with dramatic ideas left over from the 1950s. Some highbrow critics here and abroad likely will proclaim this a masterpiece, but general audiences will react as they did to the last Shepard-scripted pic, 'Paris, Texas' — with a yawn."[8] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that the film "has several exceptional things going for it, namely the performances by Mr. Shepard as Eddie, Kim Basinger as May and Harry Dean Stanton as The Old Man." His main criticism was finding Altman's close-ups and cross-cutting too frequent: "You don't have to know and admire Mr. Shepard's text to want to shout out to the director to pull the camera back and sit still."[9] Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times stated, "As played by Shepard himself and a ferociously wonderful Kim Basinger, it's a raw, explosively funny, elemental tragicomedy about the pure willfulness of love."[10] Lawrence O'Toole of Maclean's wrote that "the performances of Shepard and Basinger are often mannered and too emotionally confined for all the noisy fighting that takes place. Despite those flaws, Fool for Love is sizzlingly effective. What emerges is a portrait of two lives that are painfully, inexorably, even tragically united."[11]

The film presently holds a score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 reviews, with an average score of 5.71/10.[12]


  1. ^ "Fool for Love - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p189
  3. ^ Fool for Love at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Fool for Love". Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  5. ^ Archived 2012-06-11 at the Wayback Machine Sandy Rogers website
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 18, 1985). "Fool For Love". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Siskel, Gene (December 18, 1985). "Altman doesn't fool around with tempestuous 'Love' story". Chicago Tribune. Section 5, p. 2.
  8. ^ "Film Reviews: Fool For Love". Variety. November 27, 1985. 16.
  9. ^ Canby, Vincent (December 6, 1985). "Shepard's 'Fool for Love'". The New York Times. C12.
  10. ^ Benson, Sheila (December 6, 1985). "Eddie & May: Fools For 'Love'". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 1.
  11. ^ O'Toole, Lawrence (January 13, 1986). "The knots of passion". Maclean's. p. 46.
  12. ^ "Fool For Love (1985)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 27, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 September 2020, at 16:41
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