Movies You May Have Missed: Part 4

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How many movie love stories are written by former Marines?  Bob Comfort wrote the screenplay for Dogfight which features River Phoenix playing Marine Eddie Birdlace.  Birdlace and his buddies are out on the town in San Francisco the night before they’re due to ship out to Vietnam.  They organize a callous “dogfight” at a local bar where each man puts in fifty dollars and brings the ugliest woman he can find.  Birdlace picks unassuming, self-contained Rose (Lili Taylor).  The scene where she finds out about the dogfight sets the film off in an unexpected direction.

Nancy Savoca’s direction, Bob Comfort’s script, and the lead performances make what initially appears a run-of-the-mill narrative into something more moving and honest.  The great soundtrack features a host of 1960s artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seegar.  This film had a very small release in 1991 but deserves a wider audience.


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