- Movie Rating -

The Baltimore Bullet (1980)

| April 1, 1980

The buddy comedy The Baltimore Bullet goes a long way on sheer likeability.  It’s not very good as a whole but you’re kind of in it all the way and much of that has to do with the chemistry of its two stars.

James Coburn plays Nick Casey, a long-running pool hustler nicknamed The Baltimore Bullet, a name that doesn’t immediately imply pool.  It could easily be the nickname of a baseball player, a sprinter, a human cannonball or a train.  How he got that sorta cool name is never really discussed.

His buddy is Billy Ray, played by Bruce Boxleitner who is no less adept at the billiard arena but tends to have an achilleas heel when it comes to poker – that being that he not very good at it.

The loosely constructed story has these two pool hustlers travelling from town to town making big-money bets that line their pockets.  When they aren’t wooing pretty girls, they’re taking some poor sucker for all they can get.  And when they’re not doing either, they’re taking bets with each other on trivial nonsense – such as betting on whether or not a waitresses boobs are real or silicone.  Classy, huh?

The through-line involves Nick’s long-time obsession with taking on The Deacon (Omar Sharif) a legendary Dapper-Dan hustler who is known as the best in the world.  Deacon just got out the slammer and Nick and Billy Ray spend much of their time trying to raise the $20,000 to get in on a high-stakes tournament at which The Deacon is the headliner.

I can’t say that this is a great movie.  It’s kind of crummy looking in a TV movie sort of way and the music is by Johnny Mandel, most famous for M*A*S*H (you can hear is all the way through).  Many of supporting players are kind of just in the way.  But this is a very likable film if you can get past the rampant misogamy.  I enjoyed it.  You’re experience may vary.


About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized