Box art for Fat City

Fat City

drama, sports


In limbo between retirement and his youthful prime, alcoholic farm laborer Tully (Stacy Keach) shacks up with fellow outcast Oma (Susan Tyrrell) and keeps trying to make a boxing comeback, but his personal demons repeatedly overpower his ambitions.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    100%
  • Audience Score
    86%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    100%
    reviews counted: 14
    see all Fat City reviews
  • Audience

    86%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: John Huston's 1972 restatement of his theme of perpetual loss is intelligently understated.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fresh: So you say to yourself, this Fat City is pretty damn realistic, even if you know in your heart that "realistic" and Hollywood should not be printed on the same page-otherwise paper ignites. Still, you're marveling at it.

- David Thomson, The New Republic, Monday, June 17, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

John Huston's pictures are humane. All he had was sympathy and respect for those men and women born losers, survivors, ordinary people with struggles, sacrifices, constant boredom, values, cares, hopes, little but fruitful victories, plus scattered and rare but strong connections between them, that help to make it through each day. Here was accomplished another masterful allegory of life through boxing. Poetry with no need of words.

- pier007, Sunday, August 22, 2010

4 stars

a really good and gritty drama that must contain the performance of stacy keach's career. he plays a washed up fighter pushing 30 who meets young jeff bridges on his way up. and just who the hell is susan tyrell? i wanted to slap her in every scene. outstanding performance. it's a downer but a beautifully done and pretty much forgotten huston film from the 70's which was something of a comeback film for him. huston was a fighter in his younger days and so was the scriptwriter who adapted his own novel. they knew enough to get the details right. i loved the scenes where the trainers go on about the injuries they've seen.

- rubystevens, Monday, June 22, 2009

5 stars

My favourite John Huston film with amazing performances by Keach and Susan Tyrrell. Jeff Bridges is great as well. Depressing, but somewhat inspiring as well. Taken from imdb: Under the then-extant rules, Keach should have been awarded Best Actor honors from the New York Film Critics Circle for his portrayal of Tully in Fat City (1972), as it required only a plurality of the vote and Keach was the top vote-getter in the category. At the time, the NYCC was second in prestige only to the Academy Awards (and some actors and filmmakers considered it a superior honor) and was a major influence on subsequent Oscar nominations. (In the 1976 presidential election year, director Robert Altman characterized the NYFCC Awards as the 'New York primary' leading up to the Oscar 'election,' where the Golden Globes was the 'California primary.') A vocal faction of the NYFCC, dismayed by the rather low percentage of votes that would have given Keach the award, successfully demanded a rule change so that the winner would have to obtain a majority. In subsequent balloting, Keach failed to win a majority of the vote, and he lost ground to his main rival, Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972). However, Brando could not gain a majority either, and a compromise candidate, Laurence Olivier in Sleuth (1972), eventually was awarded Best Actor honors. Both Brando, who eventually won the Oscar for his come-back triumph as Don Corleone in the classic gangster picture, and Olivier were nominated for the Academy Award, but Keach was not.

- cacutshaw, Monday, January 12, 2009