Ninety-Two in the Shade

Novelist and screenwriter (Rancho Deluxe, Missouri Breaks) Thomas McGuane made his directorial debut with this adaptation of his own 1973 novel. Set in Key West, Florida, Ninety-Two In the Shade unfolds in an atmosphere of wilting heat, the crazy-tough world of boat captains and fishermen, and a constant, if nebulous, corruption and potential violence. Onto this shady scene wanders Peter Fonda, a self-indulgent rich kid looking for something to do besides grow eccentric and insane like the rest of his family, but wanders smack up against Warren Oates, a confused, self-destructive fisherman who threatens to kill the upstart Fonda.
Rich in its characterizations, and perhaps a bit old-fashioned for that, as well as for its Hemingwayesque setting, the film plays with its traditional aspects in a completely contemporary and original manner.

“The camera is inconspicuous to the point of being run-of-the-mill modern, with... a few moments of visual eloquence.... (The film's) real business and strength lie in the crawling, silly non-sequiturs out of which the characters emerge....” --R. McGuinness, Soho Weekly News.

“It's full of odd, headstrong, seemingly disconnected moments that only a novelist would dare, and it's a field day for its actors. I think of Elizabeth Ashley demonstrating the art of baton-twirling to a startled tourist in a sleazy, otherwise empty Key West Saloon, or of Burgess Meredith arguing obscenely with his son, William Hickey, who has withdrawn from life into a crib-like, mosquito-netted bed on the front gallery of his Key West mansion.” --Vincent Canby, NY Times.

“Simply in terms of the originality, energy and density of his characterizations, McGuane's achievement here is unrivaled in contemporary filmmaking.” --R. McGuinness

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