Clean and Sober

( 2 )

Overview

The directorial debut of Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the television series Moonlighting 1985-89, this intense, gritty drama was received as one of the best-ever cinematic treatments of substance abuse. Michael Keaton stars as Daryl Poynter, a hustling, successful Philadelphia real estate agent who has become addicted to cocaine. He's already got problems, including nearly a $100,000 embezzled from his employer and lost on the stock market, when he wakes up one morning with a young woman dead in his bed ...
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Overview

The directorial debut of Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the television series Moonlighting 1985-89, this intense, gritty drama was received as one of the best-ever cinematic treatments of substance abuse. Michael Keaton stars as Daryl Poynter, a hustling, successful Philadelphia real estate agent who has become addicted to cocaine. He's already got problems, including nearly a $100,000 embezzled from his employer and lost on the stock market, when he wakes up one morning with a young woman dead in his bed from a coke overdose. His company is asking questions about the missing funds, and the dead girl's father is plastering his neighborhood with posters accusing Daryl of being a murderer, so he decides to hide out in an anonymous drug treatment program. There, however, Daryl runs into tough-minded counselor and former addict Craig Morgan Freeman, who has heard all of Daryl's lies and tricks before. Daryl also finds romance with an abused fellow addict, Charlie Standers Kathy Baker, and understanding with his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor M. Emmet Walsh.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
This searing portrait of a substance abuser never flinches in examining the brutal realities of his condition, boasting fine performances from a trio of lead actors doing some of their career best work. Michael Keaton is superb as an unrepentant coke addict, embracing and brandishing with abandon the sardonic edges of his personality that he normally works so hard to blunt or channel into comic energy. In one of his early, pre-stardom roles, Morgan Freeman is simply awe-inspiring as the worldly counselor who's heard it all before; so deftly and skillfully does he bring his supporting role to life that one longs for a sequel focusing only on his character and back story. Freeman is reunited with his Street Smart (1987) co-star Kathy Baker, who delivers a haunting, wounded, and ultimately heartbreaking performance as a battered woman, a far cry from the accomplished professional roles she would later customarily inhabit. If there's a major flaw to Glenn Gordon Caron's directorial debut, it's a very wobbly first act that is somewhat overreaching and labored in its effort to depict the film's protagonist as having hit bottom. One can certainly do so without embezzling money or sleeping next to a corpse; but the grim workaday realities that powerfully inform the rest of the film escape it in its early sequences. Fortunately, Clean and Sober finds its narrative footing and ends up ranking among the better cinematic portrayals of addiction. If not for those regrettable first act problems, it would likely be considered a strong candidate for the same league occupied by The Lost Weekend (1945) and Days of Wine and Roses (1962).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/14/1998
  • UPC: 085391182436
  • Original Release: 1988
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Keaton Daryl Poynter
Kathy Baker Charlie Standers
Morgan Freeman Craig
M. Emmet Walsh Richard Dirks
Brian Benben Martin Laux
Tate Donovan Donald Towle
Luca Bercovici Lenny
Henry Judd Baker Xavier
Claudia Christian Iris
J. David Krassner Tiller
Dakin Matthews Bob
Mary Catherine Martin Cheryl Ann
Glenn Daniels
Marion Dougherty
Pamela Dunlap Jane
Serina Robinson Karen Peluso
Pat Quinn June
Terri Hanauer Admissions Counsellor
David A. Kimball Doctor
Veronica Redd Head Nurse in Detox
Sharon Medearis Nurse
Nick Savage Gary "Ike Turner"
Sandra Foster Xavier's Girlfriend
Leslie Neale Sheila
Anne Kerry Ford Debbie Laux
Ben Piazza Kramer
Michael Francis Clarke Board Executive
Doug MacHugh Board Executive
Claudia Robinson Cleaning Lady
Harley Jane Kozak Ralston Receptionist
Rachel Ryan Karen Peluso
Al Pugliese Detective
Stephanie Menuez Ticket Agent
Michael Leopard Steel-Mill Foreman
Douglas Roberts Mark
Jean Nash Rita
Technical Credits
Glenn Gordon Caron Director, Screenwriter
Archie Bell Songwriter
Deborah Blum Co-producer
Robert Latham Brown Production Designer
Billy Buttier Songwriter
Tod Carroll Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Richard Chew Editor
Gretchen Christopher Songwriter
Jay Daniel Co-producer
Glenn Daniels Casting
Marion Dougherty Casting
Barbara Ellis Songwriter
Robert Feldman Songwriter
Tony Ganz Co-producer
Gerald Goldstein Songwriter
Richard Gottehrer Songwriter
Brian Grazer Producer
Carmela Guida Songwriter
Frank Guida Songwriter
Ron Howard Executive Producer, Producer
Chris Howell Stunts
Ronald Judkins Sound/Sound Designer
Jan Kiesser Cinematographer
Barbara Lewis Songwriter
Van Morrison Songwriter
Eric Orbom Art Director
Greg Papalia Set Decoration/Design
Donald J. Remacle Set Decoration/Design
Joseph Royster Songwriter
Joel Schiller Production Designer
James Simons Asst. Director
Gary Troxel Songwriter
Robert Turturice Costumes/Costume Designer
Gabriel Yared Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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1 Star

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