Born to win movie 1972

Born to win movie 1972 DEFAULT

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Born to Win Photos

Movie Info

J. (George Segal) used to be a hairdresser, but now he's found a new profession: heroin junkie. On the mean streets of New York City, he scrounges for his next fix -- mooching from his best friend, Billy Dynamite (Jay Fletcher), and doing odd jobs for a drug dealer known as The Geek. But J. soon finds it more lucrative to work as an informer to the police. Meanwhile, he begins a tenuous romance with Parm (Karen Black), a woman he met while trying to steal her car.

  • Rating:


  • Genre:

    Drama, Comedy

  • Original Language:


  • Director:

    Ivan Passer

  • Release Date (Streaming):

  • Runtime:

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Born to Win


It’s impossible to completely dismiss Born to Win, a would-be comedy about heroin addiction, even though the film is a disaster from a tonal perspective and not especially satisfying from a narrative perspective, because the film’s saving graces include gritty performances by several actors and a great sense of place. So, while Born to Win is laughable compared to the same year’s The Panic in Needle Park, a truly harrowing take on the same subject matter, Born to Win isn’t an outright dud. George Segal stars as J, a former hairdresser who has fallen into petty crime as a means of supporting his habit. Over the course of the story, J embarks on a new romance with Parm (Karen Black), a rich girl with a taste for dangerous adventure, and he gets into a complicated hassle with his dealer, Vivian (Hector Elizondo). The romantic stuff with Parm defies logic right from the beginning—Parm discovers J trying to steal her car, but instead of calling the police, she takes him to bed. Huh? The drug-culture material is more believable, especially when two cops (one of whom is played by a young Robert De Niro) coerce J into helping them entrap Vivian. In general, the seedier the scene in question, the more watchable Born to Win becomes. For instance, one of the best sequences involves J sweet-talking a mobster’s wife by pretending he wants sex, when in fact he’s simply trying to enter the mobster’s apartment for purposes of robbery. Segal’s not the right actor for this story—he’s too charming and urbane—but it’s interesting to imagine the circumstances by which a character fitting Segal’s persona might have fallen into such desperation. Had Born to Win focused on J’s descent (and had the filmmakers not opted for such a glib treatment of addiction), the picture could have had impact. Alas, director/co-writer Ivan Passer fumbles, badly, by attempting to merge black comedy with inner-city tragedy, and his undisciplined storytelling is exacerbated by a truly horrible music score. Predictably, De Niro (whose role is inconsequential) and Elizondo fare best in this milieu, while Black and costar Paula Prentiss barely register. Yet the real star of the movie, if only by default, is New York City, with the dirty streets of Manhattan amplifying the film’s implied theme of lost souls getting chewed up by an unforgiving universe.

Born to Win: FUNKY

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Born To Win

If you liked Drugstore Cowboy, filmed in '89 but set in '71, now you can see "Born to Win", filmed in '71 and nothing to do with '89. Both were good junkie movies but for different reasons. Be warned.. Born to Win starts off a little slow.. film quality, script and acting come off somewhat low-budget. Don't be put off by this. Instead, try to enjoy shots of a 1971 NYC and suspend judgement. Get past the first 15 minutes and your interest is liable to pick up. I found it intriguing, by the first half hour, and continues to get better all the way until its killer ending. And the ending is really crafty and clever - and makes a brutal point. This is the way movies should end - with such a knock-out punch that your brain is reeling from it even hours or days after seeing the movie. This was the case for me, but I didn't come to it for the sake of Robert DeNiro's cameo appearance. This movie is not about DeNiro, so don't come to it for that, or judge it based on his amount of screen time. George Segal and Karen Black are the leads.. and they put in great performances once the movie gets going. But it's the story, it's what happens in the story, that makes this movie so interesting. And clever. If you make it to the ending. This is a really good movie, period, but will be even more enjoyable if you have some appreciation for where it was filmed and when it was made.

Born to Win (2016) with Cristina Castaño, Victoria Abril, Alexandra Jiménez movie

Born to Win

Let's see. Segal made "No Way to Treat a Lady" and "Bye Bye Braverman" and "Where's Poppa?" and now "Born to Win." He has also had some big financial successes along the way, but these four comedies will do nicely for anyone mounting a retrospective on good recent movie comedy. They have their faults, but mostly they're faults of ambition, not timidity, and Segal has allied himself with directors willing to take chances.

This time his director is Ivan Passer, a Czech who got out when the Russians invaded Prague. Passer's "Intimate Lighting" is one of the best European films of the past decade. With "Born to Win," he was trying to give us an ultimately tragic movie about heroin addiction -- and to throw in some slapstick along the way. This is asking for trouble, and Passer gets into some, but "Born to Win" is much more interesting than most of the recent cycle of drug films.

Segal, gaunt and hollow-cheeked, cruises the familiar territory of upper Broadway and Times Square, dealing drugs and inhabiting shaky friendships. He has broken up with his wife (Paula Prentiss), depends on his best friend (Jay Fletcher) for support in emergencies, and begins an affair with a girl (Karen Black) after she catches him trying to steal her car.

Passer presents the whole up-down trap of heroin addiction in one unforgettable series of scenes. Segal, having scored, feels great and is sure he can kick the habit this time. Karen Black drives him west out of the city: The whole world, drenched in sunshine, is before them, and they will always be in love. The scene is balanced with a cold and desperate one a little later. He needs a fix and they drive back to a cold, sunless Manhattan with its despair and its pushers.

The slapstick scene resists description. I'll try just to give you an idea. Segal has double-crossed a couple of big pushers and is locked naked in the bedroom of a plush high-rise apartment while they decide when to kill him. Desperately trying to attract attention, he exposes himself to the cliff dwellers across the way, hoping they'll call the cops. But this being New York...

Well, anyway, Passer has a nice cynical sense of humor, and Segal is a virtuoso at making his character funny and sad, laughing and laughed at, brave and pathetic. It may have, been the film's daring, rather than its accomplishment, that got it invited to the New York Film Festival last October. That would have been enough.


Movie born to 1972 win

There was still time before his storm. After a little rest. literally six floors. they continued.

BORN TO WIN (1971) full movie - COMEDY - Drama movie - the best classic movies - comedy-drama movies

Uhhh, well done, salaga. Man. Managed something with my wife.

Now discussing:

And soon, to my joy, I saw yesterday's homeless woman in faded jeans tattered at the knees, the same tattered sneakers. In a filthy sweater with an absurd shock of hair on her head. But what does she do. I was amazed looking at how a homeless woman walking along the path of the park, looked into the trash cans standing next to the benches and pulled out empty bottles.

And jars of beer from them.

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