Sitting Ducks

Overview

In this enjoyable comedy, an outlandish heist of mobster money, taken by Simon (Michael Emil) the syndicate's bookkeeper, provides the momentum that starts the action. The brash Simon and his undermotivated cohort Sidney (Zack Norman) are in a wild ride down the East Coast to catch a plane to safety in a Latin American country. Along the way they hook up with Jenny (Patrice Townsend), a flirtatious fox, and Leona (Irene Forrest), a walking inferiority complex. The mix of these four characters provides enough ...
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Overview

In this enjoyable comedy, an outlandish heist of mobster money, taken by Simon (Michael Emil) the syndicate's bookkeeper, provides the momentum that starts the action. The brash Simon and his undermotivated cohort Sidney (Zack Norman) are in a wild ride down the East Coast to catch a plane to safety in a Latin American country. Along the way they hook up with Jenny (Patrice Townsend), a flirtatious fox, and Leona (Irene Forrest), a walking inferiority complex. The mix of these four characters provides enough hilarity to keep audiences entertained right through the twist at the end of the story.
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Special Features

Director's introduction ; Trailer gallery ; Filmographies ; Weblinks
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hal Erickson
Maverick filmmaker Henry Jaglom's first box office success was this offbeat road comedy, that finds him taking a stride away from the fractured experimentation of A Safe Place and the disturbing psychodrama of Tracks. Michael Emil (the director's brother) and Zack Norman star as Simon and Sidney, two eccentric Manhattanites who team up to pilfer $750,000 from the mob and abscond with the money to Costa Rica. That's the set-up, but the criminal backstory scarcely matters; Jaglom merely uses it as an excuse, a framework on which to hang a series of vignettes in which his two lead characters share space and trade dialogue and exasperated glances at motels, in restaurants, and on the highways. And it works beautifully: Emil and Norman find an intuitive, jazzy rhythm, a witty repartee with pontifications on dozens of random subjects; the conversation is both entertaining and riotously funny. As a writer-director, Jaglom is traditionally known for improvisation; though it is unclear how much of the Sitting Ducks dialogue was ad-libbed and how much was scripted, the two lead characters that emerge here seem beautifully shaped and thought out in the hands of Norman and Emil. The ebullient mood of Sitting Ducks is best typified by the joyous sequences where Simon and Sidney - accompanied by three traveling companions - tool across the country in a limousine singing an infectious original composition, "Sunny Side Up." The director has indicated that he isn't as proud of this film as he is of some of the others in his catalogue, but it's a truly lovely piece of work; light but eminently enjoyable and not without moments of striking depth, many of them provided via co-star Patrice Townsend's unusual character. Jaglom followed this one up over 10 years later by shooting a sequel, Lucky Ducks, that went unedited and unreleased.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2003
  • UPC: 720917535821
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Emil Simon
Zack Norman Sidney
Patrice Townsend Jenny
Richard Romanus Moose
Irene Forrest Leona
Henry Jaglom Jenny's Friend
Frances Fisher
Technical Credits
Henry Jaglom Director, Screenwriter
Meira Attia Dor Producer
Paul Glickman Cinematographer
Jeffrey Hayes Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Romanus Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chance of a Lifetime [:01]
2. In the Bag [:07]
3. Change of Plans [5:33]
4. The Driver's Seat [2:38]
5. Winning Situation [3:27]
6. Pool Party [3:54]
7. Table Manners [2:02]
8. Pick Up Artists [4:03]
9. Kings of the Road [4:48]
10. Propositions [5:52]
11. The Odd Couple [4:55]
12. Acting Natural [4:43]
13. Pleasure Principles [3:22]
14. Personal Space [3:11]
15. Mixed Emotions [2:16]
16. Hot Pursuit [2:01]
17. Obsessions [4:56]
18. End of the Road [3:17]
19. Sitting Ducks [2:06]
20. Personal Matters [2:20]
21. Close Calls [4:16]
22. Last Night [1:02]
23. Parting Thoughts [2:12]
24. End Credits [3:33]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Access
   An Introduction by Henry Jaglom
   Special Features
      Trailers of the Jaglom Collection
         Always
         Babyfever
         Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?
         Sitting Ducks
         Venice/Venice
      Filmographies
         Henry Jaglom
         Michael Emil
         Zack Norman
         Irene Forrest
      Weblinks
      Wellspring
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