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  • Actor John Cassavetes, wearing a white button-down shirt; a mirror is behind him.
  • Actors  John Cassavetes and Peter Falk sit at a table that is covered in cans and cups of beer, and cups of milk; the latter smokes a cigarette.
  • Actors  John Cassavetes and Peter Falk sit together on public transportation.

Elaine May’s

HELD OVER! Must End Thursday, July 18

2:30 & 9:10 ONLY


(1976) As always, John Cassavetes’ two-bit mobster Nicky is in big fat trouble ­– maybe because he stole money from the boss? And as always, best buddy Peter Falk’s Mikey is called on to bail him out – no easy task, when Nicky keeps changing their getaway plans. Or is Mikey actually the one setting him up? Legendary auteur vs. studio battle with May, using three cameras throughout, allegedly shooting three times more footage than what was used for Gone with the Wind, and hiding reels from the studio during editing. The studio replied in kind, giving it a minimal release and the advertising tag line “you’re not gonna like these guys.” 4K DCP restoration. Approx. 106 min.



“A dark dazzler… Over the course of one evening, the two pass an entire lifetime together talking, walking and waiting for the inevitable. Like all May’s films, has the hard-to-capture feeling of spontaneous life.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“May was known for her comedy but here proves absolutely fluent in the language of mobster lowlife, with an edge of caustic, disillusioned humor, and strange yet shockingly real outbursts of violence… This is a stag-rutting choreography of the emotions, with a sour smell of lonely defeated men, a tang of being up all night with cigarettes and beer.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“May might be the least sentimental woman storyteller since Flannery O’Connor in her stark refusal to sweeten the pill. If her relentless realism evokes the epic sweep of Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, her narrative still manages to cram a lifetime of troubled friendship, rivalry, money, and pain into the vicissitudes of a single night.”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum

Film Forum