Barfly (1987)

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Original Title : Barfly
Director : Barbet Schroeder
Writer : Charles Bukowski
Genre : Comedy
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Jack Baran , Richard Garcia , Yoram Globus , Menahem Golan , Tom Luddy , Fred Roos , Barbet Schroeder
Music : Jack Baran
Photography : Robby Müller
IMDB ID : 0092618
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poster for "Barfly" by Barbet Schroeder (1987)
Barfly (1987) - Barbet Schroeder


Mickey Rourke Henry Chinaski
Faye Dunaway Wanda Wilcox
Alice Krige Tully Sorenson
Jack Nance Detective
J.C. Quinn Jim
Frank Stallone Eddie
Sandy Martin Janice
Roberta Bassin Lilly
Gloria LeRoy Grandma Moses
Joe Unger Ben
Harry Cohn Rick
Pruitt Taylor Vince Joe
Joe Rice Old Man in Bar
Julie 'Sunny' Pearson Hooker in Bar
Donald L. Norden Man in Alley
Wil Albert Carl
Hal Shafer Mike
Zeke Manners Roger (as Zeek Manners
Pearl Shear Helen
Rik Colitti Jack, The Window Washer
Michael Collins Elbow Inn Bartender
Ronald G. Joseph Liquor Store Clerk (as Ron Joseph
Damon Hines Black Kid
Lahmard J. Tate Black Kid
Carlos Cervantes Cop
Peter Conti Cop
Vance Colvig Jr. Alcoholic Man (as Vance Colvig
Stacey Pickren Lady Manager
Leonard Termo Harry
Gary Cox Lenny
Fritz Feld Bum
Albert Henderson Louie
Sandy Rose Louie's Woman
Madalyn Carol Young Girl Hooker
George Marshall Ruge Loverbird Man
Debby Lynn Ross Loverbird Woman (as Debbie Lynn Ross
Charles Bukowski Bar Patron (uncredited


Mickey Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic. He spends his life in bars in Los Angeles, drinking every night. One day he meets Wanda, also a alcoholic and falls in love with her. Wanda is not like his former girlfriends, one is still able to see the beauty she once was before she started to drink. Together they meet Tully Sorenson, who wants to publish some of Henry's poems. For a short time he becomes famous but in the end it is clear that Henry and Wanda have only one goal in life: drinking to forget the lousy life they live outside the bars of Los Angeles.


Henry, portrait of a serial drinker... I've seen this movie several times... I really enjoy it, even though it centers around the lives of two wretched drunks (played by Rourke and Dunaway) who, if you met them in real life, would probably frighten you to death. Though both of them are wretched souls indeed, there is nevertheless enough compassion, wisdom, and charm emanating from both of them to make them actually likeable screen characters. And you can't help but do a mental "double take" on many of the lines of dialogue: Rourke's character, with a sort of "beat" hipness, really makes you think about your own life and your own values. The only flaw I could find was that, considering the incredible amount of drinking that is depicted, I felt it would have been more realistic to show Henry and Wanda having more horrible hangovers, maybe even with frequent vomiting attacks. But then again, maybe these are two people who really know how to hold their liquor. See it, and decide for yourself! P.S.: NOT recommended that you watch this film if you are on the wagon and trying to stay on it!!