Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

( 7 )

Overview

Chuck Barris is best known to most Americans as the guy who used to host The Gong Show. He was also the creator and producer of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and a handful of other successful game shows in the 1960s and 1970s. But was he also a hired killer working with the CIA? That's the take-it-or-leave-it premise of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the memoir of the same name by Chuck Barris. Barris Sam Rockwell grows up dreaming of success in show biz and winning the hearts of beautiful women,...
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Overview

Chuck Barris is best known to most Americans as the guy who used to host The Gong Show. He was also the creator and producer of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and a handful of other successful game shows in the 1960s and 1970s. But was he also a hired killer working with the CIA? That's the take-it-or-leave-it premise of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the memoir of the same name by Chuck Barris. Barris Sam Rockwell grows up dreaming of success in show biz and winning the hearts of beautiful women, but early on, he meets with plenty of resistance from both women and the television industry, despite writing the hit tune "Palisades Park" and scoring a job with Dick Clark on American Bandstand. The 1960s proves more fortunate for Barris; he meets the love of his life, Penny Drew Barrymore, and sells ABC on the idea of The Dating Game. However, after the show has made him wealthy and successful, Barris is approached by the mysterious Jim Byrd George Clooney, a CIA agent who wants to recruit Barris as a covert operative. Barris finds the notion of playing spy games intriguing and agrees, but soon discovers what Byrd and his partners really want is for Barris to assassinate uncooperative figures around the world. Soon, Barris finds that his life has been all but taken over by Byrd and another CIA agent, the mysterious and sexy Patricia Julia Roberts. As he hops the globe, killing people in the name of American security using his status as a Dating Game chaperone as a cover, Barris learns that the KGB has discovered his not-so-little secret and that his own life is in great danger. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind marked the directorial debut of actor George Clooney, working from a screenplay adapted by Charlie Kaufman from Barris' book. Dick Clark, Dating Game host Jim Lange, frequent Gong Show panelist Jaye P. Morgan, and Gene Gene Patton appear as themselves.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
He had the perfect cover: TV producer by day, CIA operative by night. Stranger than fiction, or just plain fiction? It's anybody's guess in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, a sharp adaptation of the unusual memoir of Chuck Barris, creator of The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, and The Gong Show which he also hosted. The story covers the life of the TV iconoclast in his own words, from his 1940s childhood through his Hollywood success and subsequent downfall. The kicker here is Barris's claim that throughout his entire career he moonlighted as a CIA assassin. As a result, Confessions plays out as half biographical drama and half spy thriller, also tracking the purported killer from initial recruitment to lethal climax. Sam Rockwell stars as Barris and has the man down to a tee, from physical appearance to goofy persona. In his directing debut, George Clooney offers a stylized yet light touch, keeping the showy theatrics to a minimum and relying more on the natural quirkiness of the narrative, which is scripted with eccentric glee by Charlie Kaufman. In fact, the conceit of the film is so brilliant that it's easy to lose sight of what a deft adaptation Clooney and Kaufman have wrought, with sharp dialogue, inventive staging, and a charming cast that includes Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, and Clooney himself in a mesmerizing turn as Barris's mysterious, mustachioed CIA contact. Those with fond memories of Barris's TV shows will also find this trip down memory lane a delight -- right down to the interview clips with the likes of Gong Show regular Jaye P. Morgan and Dating Game host Jim Lange. But the question remains: Is this a true-life story or a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for the caprices of the human psyche? Actually, it's hard to say which is the more intriguing possibility. Either way, the result is an off-kilter comedy-drama that is by turns amusing and head spinning, a perfect tribute to of one of television's dark geniuses.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
George Clooney shows the necessary skills to maintain a career as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He has a quirky, unconventional eye that certainly suits the material and manages to be confident without being too showy -- he never loses sight of why he is going to the occasional visual extreme. Less surprisingly, Clooney has a sure hand with his actors. Sam Rockwell is outstanding as Barris, managing to make the audience relate to him both through his excellent evocation of the real man and through a natural charm that feels like a combination of character and actor. This is the kind of performance that gets an actor years of steady work. Drew Barrymore is her usual winning self as the long-suffering girlfriend of the main character, Clooney himself does subtle acting work, and Julia Roberts is genuinely interesting as the femme fatale. The only major fault lies in the story itself. While it is fun to guess if Barris' claim that he was a CIA agent is genuine, the film takes at face value that it did happen. That leads to a dramatically slow second half where the novelty has worn off and the story grows repetitive with Barris' cycle of assassination, game show work, relationship troubles, self-doubt, assassination (etc., etc., etc.), becoming a letdown after the hilarious rush of the film's first hour. That said, the film is never less than watchable, and any film that contains a womanizing main character being confronted about his existential doubt by a nude woman in a pool at the Playboy mansion grotto has its heart and sense of humor in the right place.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
The fascination of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the sharp, funny, unreasonably compelling adaptation of Barris' autobiography, is the way it soft-shoes past our skepticism.
Washington Post
A darkly enjoyable roller-coaster ride -- Clooney and Kaufman deftly interweave the macabre with lightheartedness. Desson Howe
New York Post
A head-clearing, mind-blowing blast from the past - one of the year's best. Lou Lumenick

The fascination of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the sharp, funny, unreasonably compelling adaptation of Barris' autobiography, is the way it soft-shoes past our skepticism.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2011
  • UPC: 031398137344
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Source: Miramax Lionsgate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,869

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sam Rockwell Chuck Barris
Drew Barrymore Penny
George Clooney Jim Byrd
Julia Roberts Patricia Watson
Rutger Hauer Keeler
Maggie Gyllenhaal Debbie
Kristen Wilson Loretta
Jennifer Hall Georgia
Jim Lange Himself
Gene Gene Patton Actual Gene Gene
Jaye P. Morgan Herself
Dick Clark Himself
Murray Langston Actual Unknown Comic
Steve Adams Dating Game Director
Krista Allen Pretty Woman in the Pool
Aimee Rose Ambroziak Chuck's Date #1
John Todd Anderson Stud Bachelor
Tanya Anthony Prostitute
Barbara Bacci Woman In Veil
Shaun Balbar Beanpole Bachelor
Samantha Banton Black Bachelorette
Richard Beaudet Gong Show Band
Carlo Berardinucci Waiter
Maria-Eve Bertrand Stud Bachelorette
Claudia Besso Chuck's Mother
Isabelle Blais Chuck's Date #2
Robert John Burke Instructor Jenks
Carlos Carrasco Brazioni
Melissa Carter Chuck's Date #3
Chelsea Ceci Tuvia (8 Years)
Michael Cera Chuck (8 & 11 Years)
Joe Cobden Unknown Comic
Bill Corday Justice of the Peace
Leslie Cottle L.A. Bar Woman
Ethan Thomas C. Dempster Chuck (3 Years)
Pascal Devigne Critic
Ilona Elkin Georgia's Girlfriend
Marlida Ferreira Woman In Pub
Michael Filipowich Handsome Bachelor
Marlene Fisher Casting Executive Woman
Frank Fontaine ABC Executive
Tommy Hinkley Hambone Man
David Julian Hirsh Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon
Isabelle Juneau Amana Girl
Martin Kevan Chuck's Father
Suyun Kim Asian Folksinger #1
Richard Kind Casting Executive Man
Janet Lane Blonde Bachelorette
Artie Lange Bellboy
Ron Di Lauro Gong Show Band
Jeff Lefebvre Frizzy Hair Bachelor
Rachelle Lefevre Tuvia (25 Years)
Michael Ensign Simon Oliver
Andre Minicozzi Gong Show Band
Nathalie Morin Bachelorette Winner
Cheryl Murphy Little Person
Shulan Noma Asian Folksinger #2
Keshav Patel Elvis Singer
Christiane Paul Black Bachelor
Bruce Pepper Gong Show Band
Sergei Priselkov Shaving Man
Andrée-Anne Quesnel Gong Show Model
George Randolph Gene Gene
Emilio Rivera Benitez
Norman Roy Colbert
Fred Savage
Francois St. Pierre Gong Show Band
Michelle Sweeney Housekeeper
Jerome Tiberghien Englishman
Dino Tosques L.A. Bartender
Sean Tucker Barfly
James Urbaniak Rod Flexner
Jerry Weintraub Larry Goldberg
Peter N. Wilson Gong Show Band
Daniel Zacapa Renda
Tony Zanca Bachelor Winner
Technical Credits
George Clooney Director
Renee April Costumes/Costume Designer
James D. Bissell Production Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Amy Minda Cohen Associate Producer
Les Productions de L'intrigue Special Effects
Stephen Evans Executive Producer
Anne Galea Set Decoration/Design
Aaron Glascock Sound/Sound Designer
Jonathan Gordon Executive Producer
Gym Hinderer Associate Producer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Charlie Kaufman Screenwriter
Felix Lariviere-Charron Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Pierre Lavoie Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Lazar Producer
Fannie Duguay Lefebvre Set Decoration/Design
Nicholas Lepage Art Director
Nathalie Lortie Set Decoration/Design
Stephen Mirrione Editor
Russell Moore Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Pierre Paquet Art Director
Joe Rangel Musical Direction/Supervision
Rand Ravich Executive Producer
Curt Schulkey Sound/Sound Designer
Far Shariat Executive Producer
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
Steven Soderbergh Executive Producer
Jeffrey Sudzin Co-producer
Edward Tise Sound/Sound Designer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Alex Wurman Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Downward Spiral [6:02]
2. Going Places [3:58]
3. Palisades Park [5:28]
4. They Bought It! [5:11]
5. I've Been Watching You [3:31]
6. Patriotism [7:03]
7. My Baby's Back [6:39]
8. Tit for Tat [6:21]
9. The Hit Man [7:54]
10. Penny's Proposal [4:23]
11. Duped by a Bachelor [6:47]
12. The Gong Show [4:12]
13. Why Do We Do What We Do? [7:54]
14. Once More Chance [7:02]
15. Take Me Away [2:49]
16. No Love [9:16]
17. Chuck and Penny [7:19]
18. End Credits [4:28]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      Behind the Scenes
         Is It True?
         How It Got Made
         FX in the Camera
         Sam's Interpretation
         Style of the Film
         George, the Director
         Dating Game Turntable Scene
         Play All
      Deleted Scenes
         Commentary With Director George Clooney and Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel: On
         Commentary With Director George Clooney and Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel: Off
         Deleted Scenes
            Chuck and Bellboy
            Day of the Dead Parade
            Chuck Kills Renda
            Confronting the Pizza Eater
            Flexner's Head Explodes
            Penny Suicide Attempt
            Chuck and the Maid
            Dinner With Old Tuvia
            Paranoid Chuck
            Chuck Walks Behind the Set
            Cousin It
            Play All
      Sam Rockwell Screen Test
         Bar Scene With George
         Monologue
         Gong Show
         Play All
      The Real Chuck Barris
      Still Gallery
      Feature Commentary
         Commentary With Director George Clooney and Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel: On
         Commentary With Director George Clooney and Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel: Off
      Gong Show Acts
         Hambone Man
         Stilts Man
         Fan Lady
         Flute Nose
         Baby Lady
         Play All
   Set Up
      Captions
         English for the Hearing Impaired
         None
      Spoken Languages
         English
         French
   Scene Selection
   Sneak Peeks
      Miramax New Golden Age
      Kill Bill
      Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Soundtrack
      Dysfunktional Family
      View From the Top
      Play All
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Food for Cheeseheads

    Movie was recomended by a friend ... ? a friend would do this? The picture is a constant irritation and never raises to a mature level. The language is sophmoric and seems geared to couch potatoes and cheeseheads. A real loser.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I'm Ready for 'MORE Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'!

    Whether it is true or not, Berry tells an incredible story, and this movie actually made me interested in this quasi-celebrity's life. He's certainly an intriguing man, and the way this film is put together is perfect. Sam Rockwell deserved at least an Oscar nomination for this performance and it had the power to make me laugh at times. A must see!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing cast, terrible film

    I am a huge fan of George Clooney, and many of the actors in this film are great. They even did well in this movie, but that just does not excuse the fact that the movie was awful. Just because this movie was unconventional in appearance, and certainly different in style does not make it a good one. I almost walked out of the theatre when i saw this movie, and i NEVER do that. It was not entertaining in the least. In my opinion, don't waste time or money on this film...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AN OUTRAGEOUS FILM

    I'M A HUGE FAN OF SAM ROCKWELL AND HIS ACTING IN THIS FILM DID NOT LET ME DOWN. THE FUNNY PARTS MADE ME BURST OUTLOUD. AND THE SUPPORTING CAST DID MORE THAN SUPPORT. BUT LIKE THE OTHER GUY SAID, DON'T FOCUS ON WHETHER OR NOT IT'S TRUE, FOCUS ON THE MOVIE ITSELF. IT'S AWESOME.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    TERRIFIC PIECE OF FILMMAKING

    Quite simply a superb film that was inexcusably overlooked by critics and filmgoers. Clooney proves to be a first-class director. The script is tight and the unbeatable, perfectly cast group of actors is on target in every scene. Hollywood should be applauded for making this film and condemned for not promoting a work of genius. It will be acknowledged as a masterpiece in years to come. NOT TO BE MISSED.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Passed over

    Confessions of a dangerous mind is an all together great movie. It possesses all the aspects of a memorable movie. 1. there is no other movie like it, looks wise, and story wise. 2. It has great acting, Rockwell comes through and steals the show, I can't wait for him to be in another movie. 3. Clooney came through on the directing, giving it a weird look that matched the weird story. The weird story Written by Charlie Kaufman who adapted it from Barris himself, Kaufman like all of kaufmans stories shows true brilliance and great instinct. I always get excited when a new Kaufman movie comes out. People often get caught up in the thought of, ''Is this true or is Barris making it up.'' Either way in my mind is cool. If he was an agent and still maintained the ability to make TV shows, Sweet. If He wasn't and he wrote this just so people would find him interesting and read his bio, Wow what a great idea. Either way Barris, It worked. I often gave my picks of that year and Confessions was on the top 5, people didn't agree, They get lost in the Is this true or a lie aspect of the film, They missed the whole point.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews