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Georgie Soloway, a pop hit love song writer who cannot love, himself, or others. He spends his days with various women flying his plane, and dropping in to the world around him.
Wildly successful songwriter Georgie Soloway perches on the ledge of his opulent Manhattan penthouse, composing his suicide note. After tuning his beloved guitar, he prepares to jump, but then rethinks his note. As he is rewriting, the paper floats off in the wind and as Georgie reaches for it, he falls off the ledge, landing on the couch of his psychiatrist, Dr. Solomon F. Moses. Georgie's suicide and visit to Moses have been a fantasy inspired by his existential despair and loneliness, which Moses habitually tries to treat with medication and dispassionate advice. Georgie has not slept for six nights and now insists on seeing Moses, but as he walks the streets to reach the doctor's office, the crowds disorient him. At a magazine stand, he spots himself on the cover of the latest issue of Time , but as he never carries cash, is forced to steal the magazine. At Moses', Georgie, who wants to consider his doctor a friend, announces that although he is finally ready to love himself, someone is now trying to kill him: A man named Harry Kellerman has been calling all of Georgie's friends and coworkers and spreading vicious lies about him. In Georgie's paranoid mind, he sees Moses sing in response a song exhorting him to leave him alone. Moses prescribes sleeping pills, but Georgie refuses them and returns home, where a former girl friend calls to inform him that Kellerman told her Georgie is violent and diseased. That night, Georgie attends the rock concert of a band that plays his songs merely to profit financially from them, and is invited onstage to play with them. At home, sometime lover Susan is waiting, but after admitting that Kellerman called to tell her Georgie considers her dumb, she leaves angrily. Upstairs in his apartment, he enters a series of memories: his wedding to Gloria, his mother teaching him piano as a child, and scenes with Ruthie Tresh, his teenage girl friend. When they first make love, Georgie hides under the foldout couch, insisting that he is merely trying to fix it. As pieces of the ceiling begin to fall around them, Ruthie informs him that she is a nervous virgin, and he admits the same. As she joins him under the couch, they declare their mutual love while the ceiling continues to fall. Soon after, Ruthie announces that she is pregnant, and although Georgie is willing to quit school and marry her, his parents convince him to obtain an abortion for her in order to preserve his freedom. Although Ruthie is crushed, she agrees to go to the doctor alone, then tells him, "I think you never got out from under that couch." Georgie is roused from his reverie by coworker Marty at the door, invited over by Kellerman. When Georgie throws him out, Marty retorts that he is as crazy as Kellerman said. Georgie then remembers living with Gloria and their two sons. After twelve years of marriage, she informs him that she knows he has been cheating on her. When he blames his problems on a fear of time passing and says his children "tick at him like clocks," she asks for a divorce. After his Mexican divorce, his lawyer exults at Georgie's new freedom. In the present, Georgie hears a telephone message from Kellerman wishing him a happy 4th of July. He then imagines Moses as Santa who refuses Georgie's request for a new life and a day without fear. Outside the apartment, Georgie finds his colleague Sidney Gill, an inveterate womanizer who recommends sex as a cure for Georgie's ills. After Sid leaves for yet another date, Georgie calls his accountant, Irwin Marcy, for the fourth middle-of-the-night appointment in the past week. Irwin, though exasperated and exhausted, kindly humors Georgie, assures him that they are friends, and reads his quarterly earnings report to help him sleep. Georgie, who knows the report by heart, dozes, dreaming that Gloria is trying to leap from the same building as he is. As a crowd cheers them on, Georgie accidentally prods Gloria off the ledge to her death. When he falls onto Moses' couch, the doctor, speaking in a Rastafarian accent, tells him to try voodoo. Awakening, Georgie, determined to track down Kellerman, calls his driver, Chomsky. In the car, he recalls the previous week: Allison Densmore auditions for his latest play, sings weakly and is too fearful to leave the stage. Entranced by her vulnerability and warmth, Georgie talks to her until she is calm enough to leave with him. Like Georgie, Allison wonders how her life has passed so quickly and with so few accomplishments. Georgie takes her on his private plane, after which she brings him home, where she jokes about her loneliness to hide her pain. As they make love, Allison thanks Georgie for the love she feels from him. In the present, Georgie is driving through the Lincoln Tunnel when he realizes that he loves Allison, and imagines that he is running through the empty tunnel but cannot find the end. He drives to his father Leon's restaurant, where Leon, proud but dismissive of his son, admits that he is dying. Although Leon states that he feels cheated, he reassures Georgie that he is resigned to his death. Georgie flies his plane over Manhattan to locate the cemetery where Leon has asked to be buried. He then calls Ruthie's house, but upon awakening her, cries incoherently and hangs up, whispering that the sky is falling. As Georgie pilots his plane, he imagines Moses appearing beside him in the cockpit dressed as an Alpine skier. After Georgie, who is really Kellerman, calls Allison to warn her away from himself, Moses encourages Georgie to dive, and as he steers the plane directly into the ground, he sees his own face in a crowd cheering him on to his death. After the plane crashes, Georgie and Moses ski down a snowy mountain together.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||GP||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 15 Jun 1971; Los Angeles opening: 18 Jun 1971|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (DeLuxe)||Distributions Co:||National General Pictures Corporation|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Cinema Center Films|
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