Pocket Money


1h 42m 1972
Pocket Money

Brief Synopsis

An easy-going cowpoke and his hard-drinking partner agree to move 200 steer from Mexico to the U.S. to get out of debt.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jim Kane
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Comedy
Western
Release Date
Feb 1972
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Feb 1972
Production Company
Coleytown Productions, Inc.; First Artists Production Company, Ltd.
Distribution Company
National General Pictures Corporation
Country
United States
Location
Nogales, Arizona, United States; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, Arizona, United States; Mexico; New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jim Kane by J. P. S. Brown (New York, 1970).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

An easy-going cowpoke and his hard-drinking partner agree to move 200 steer from Mexico to the U.S. to get out of debt.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jim Kane
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Adaptation
Comedy
Western
Release Date
Feb 1972
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Feb 1972
Production Company
Coleytown Productions, Inc.; First Artists Production Company, Ltd.
Distribution Company
National General Pictures Corporation
Country
United States
Location
Nogales, Arizona, United States; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States; Santa Fe, Arizona, United States; Mexico; New Mexico, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jim Kane by J. P. S. Brown (New York, 1970).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

Pocket Money (1972)


One of several “twilight” cowboy movies made in the early 1970s, such as Monte Walsh (1970), J. W. Coop (1971) and Junior Bonner (1972), Pocket Money (1972) is a lightly comedic contemporary western that marked the third collaboration between director Stuart Rosenberg and star Paul Newman, following Cool Hand Luke (1967) and WUSA (1970). (Rosenberg would direct Newman for a fourth time in The Drowning Pool, 1975.)

The film was developed and produced by an independent company, First Artists, that Newman established with Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand, before Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman also joined the fold. For this first release, the company bought the rights to a 1970 novel by J. P. S. Brown entitled Jim Kane. Filming began in spring 1971 in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, with the finished film released by National General Pictures in February 1972.

The wisp of a plot finds Newman as a naïve Texas cowboy, desperate for money, who enters into a questionable deal to supply Mexican cattle to a shady rodeo supplier played by Strother Martin. Joining Newman on this dubious quest is a friend played by Lee Marvin, a boozer with several failed schemes to get rich quick.

The pace is meandering, with the focus more on the characters than on plot concerns. While Terrence Malick’s screenplay appealed to both major stars, the end result left them somewhat unsatisfied. As Lee Marvin told writer Grover Lewis shortly after release, “I really loved that script, and we got it all down on film. We had it, and it just didn’t get on the screen.” Marvin claimed that Paul Newman had control over the edit and “finessed” Marvin’s part down. Newman disputed this in his own interview with Lewis: “It’s just absolutely not true,” he said. But Newman agreed that the film didn’t work as well as he had anticipated and hoped. “I was delighted to play that character, that adolescent. [But] I think the picture was too repetitious in terms of the humor, and it didn’t really know where it was going.”

Critic Vincent Canby, writing in The New York Times, found Pocket Money very appealing although he noted that the dialogue was at times made up of “almost incomprehensible cowboy jargon... It takes a while to catch on to the comedy of Newman’s performance, if only because it seems to be quietly satirizing every conventional hero he’s ever played. Marvin, too, is most funny, whether talking himself out of a fight he knows he would lose, or trying to romance a girl of no great moral rectitude by offering her devotion instead of money.” 

Pocket Money is also notable as one of two screenplays written by Terrence Malick that were filmed before Malick’s illustrious 1973 writing-directing debut, Badlands. (The film of the second screenplay, Deadhead Miles, shot in 1971, would be released in 1972). Like many of Malick’s films, plot and story in Pocket Money take a back seat to mood, feel, and character, as well as a longing for a nobler world.

SOURCE:
Grover Lewis, “Lee Marvin’s Great, Goddamned Moments of the Big Kavoom” and “Cruisin’ for Burgers with Paul Newman,” originally published in Rolling Stone, collected in Academy All the Way (Straight Arrow Books, 1974)

Pocket Money (1972)

Pocket Money (1972)

One of several “twilight” cowboy movies made in the early 1970s, such as Monte Walsh (1970), J. W. Coop (1971) and Junior Bonner (1972), Pocket Money (1972) is a lightly comedic contemporary western that marked the third collaboration between director Stuart Rosenberg and star Paul Newman, following Cool Hand Luke (1967) and WUSA (1970). (Rosenberg would direct Newman for a fourth time in The Drowning Pool, 1975.)The film was developed and produced by an independent company, First Artists, that Newman established with Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand, before Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman also joined the fold. For this first release, the company bought the rights to a 1970 novel by J. P. S. Brown entitled Jim Kane. Filming began in spring 1971 in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, with the finished film released by National General Pictures in February 1972.The wisp of a plot finds Newman as a naïve Texas cowboy, desperate for money, who enters into a questionable deal to supply Mexican cattle to a shady rodeo supplier played by Strother Martin. Joining Newman on this dubious quest is a friend played by Lee Marvin, a boozer with several failed schemes to get rich quick.The pace is meandering, with the focus more on the characters than on plot concerns. While Terrence Malick’s screenplay appealed to both major stars, the end result left them somewhat unsatisfied. As Lee Marvin told writer Grover Lewis shortly after release, “I really loved that script, and we got it all down on film. We had it, and it just didn’t get on the screen.” Marvin claimed that Paul Newman had control over the edit and “finessed” Marvin’s part down. Newman disputed this in his own interview with Lewis: “It’s just absolutely not true,” he said. But Newman agreed that the film didn’t work as well as he had anticipated and hoped. “I was delighted to play that character, that adolescent. [But] I think the picture was too repetitious in terms of the humor, and it didn’t really know where it was going.”Critic Vincent Canby, writing in The New York Times, found Pocket Money very appealing although he noted that the dialogue was at times made up of “almost incomprehensible cowboy jargon... It takes a while to catch on to the comedy of Newman’s performance, if only because it seems to be quietly satirizing every conventional hero he’s ever played. Marvin, too, is most funny, whether talking himself out of a fight he knows he would lose, or trying to romance a girl of no great moral rectitude by offering her devotion instead of money.” Pocket Money is also notable as one of two screenplays written by Terrence Malick that were filmed before Malick’s illustrious 1973 writing-directing debut, Badlands. (The film of the second screenplay, Deadhead Miles, shot in 1971, would be released in 1972). Like many of Malick’s films, plot and story in Pocket Money take a back seat to mood, feel, and character, as well as a longing for a nobler world.SOURCE:Grover Lewis, “Lee Marvin’s Great, Goddamned Moments of the Big Kavoom” and “Cruisin’ for Burgers with Paul Newman,” originally published in Rolling Stone, collected in Academy All the Way (Straight Arrow Books, 1974)

Quotes

You just can't buy back a bad impression.
- Jim Kane
You got to fight these people tooth and nail.
- Leonard
That's hotel property, I just sittin' here waiting for the house dicks to come.
- Bill Garrett
But you gotta pay.
- Leonard
Who the hell is he?
- Bill Garrett
We don't wait for anybody Leonard.
- Jim Kane

Trivia

One of Paul Newman's demands is that he gets to spend an hour each morning on location in a sauna. That is why his character in the film uses the shower steam to create a sauna early in the story.

Based on a novel called "Jim Kane", that was the working title of the film. The title was changed to take the emphasis off of one character and to stress the partnership of Paul Newman and Lee Marvin.

Notes

The working title was Jim Kane. James Arnett's onscreen credit reads: "Technical advisor and 2nd unit director." Art director Tambi Larsen's name was misspelled "Larson" in the onscreen credits. Pocket Money marked the inaugural release of First Artists Production Company, Ltd., which was founded in 1969 by Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand and Sidney Poitier. Steve McQueen joined the company in 1971, followed by Dustin Hoffman in 1972. Producer John Foreman was Newman's partner in their Newman-Foreman Co., Inc. Co-production company Coleytown was also owned by Newman.
       According to Filmfacts, Martin Ritt was originally set to direct the film. Pocket Money was the first produced film written by Terrence Malick, although he had previously written Deadhead Miles, which was not officially released until 1982. As noted in contemporary sources, the film was shot on location in Santa Fe, NM, in Arizona in Nogales and Phoenix and in Mexico. A May 1971 Army Archerd column in Daily Variety reported that the film cost $2.7 million, with both Lee Marvin and Newman working for a low fee in return for a percentage of profits. Stuart Rosenberg had directed Newman in two previous films, Cool Hand Luke (1967, ) and WUSA (1970, see below) and went on to direct him in 1975's The Drowning Pool. A modern source adds Bruce Davis Bayne to the cast.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 1972

Released in United States on Video February 20, 1991

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972

Terrence Malick has a bit part in the film.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972

Released in United States February 1972

Released in United States on Video February 20, 1991