Straight Time & Blue Collar
“Straight Time is the story of the month of freedom a convicted armed robber ‘enjoys' between his July release on parole after six years in a California prison and his subsequent arrest in August for another armed robbery and murder. Dustin Hoffman portrays Max in a performance that is among his most powerful and convincing. Max is a chronic ‘offender,' a repeater, and Hoffman gets inside this character and doesn't soften him. Physically, he gives Max some of Ratso Rizzo's unwashed low-lifer quality. He gives Max charm, but it's an expedient, sneaky charm that he uses to get what he needs. Max is cornered, and can't be trusted....
“In addition to Hoffman's performance, Straight Time gets its persuasive force by being - like the prison drama ‘Short Eyes' - an insider's account. The film is based on the novel ‘No Beast So Fierce' by ex-convict Edward Bunker. Bunker collaborated on the screenplay, and plays a small role in the film.
“The film contains many scenes shot in long takes. The effect is of someone looking at things without blinking....”