- The Search for One-eye Jimmy
"The Search for One-eye Jimmy" (1994) is a classic cult comedy written and directed by Sam Henry Kass.
Brooklyn, NY, the movie is the story of a Californiafilm student Les ( Holt McCallany) who returns to the town in which he grew up to shoot a film about it. The first individual he happens upon is Joe "Head" (so named because of the size of his head) played by Michael Badalucco. While interviewing him, they are told of a neighborhood man named "One-eyed" Jimmy (because of his glass eye) who has gone missing. They then decide to switch gears from a documentary to a docu-drama, filming the hunt for Jimmy as they go. They come across one quirky character after another, each one giving his account of were Jimmy was last, or where he could be. Jimmy's brother, played by Steve Buscemi, is very interested in finding his brother. "Disco Bean", John Turturro's version of a disco-dancing freak stuck in an abandoned building dancing non-stop actually gives his account of how Jimmy lost his eye. "Colonel Ron", ( Samuel L. Jackson), is a homeless, toothless, strange Vietnam Veteranwho catches fish in the East River, and may actually be the most intelligent one in the bunch. "Lefty" (Mancini) and "Junior" ( Nick Turturro) constantly get into physical altercations because Junior, a kleptomaniac, is always stealing Lefty's car. The group uncover a ransom note but to meet the demands of the kidnappers they must borrow a large amount of money from the local loan shark "The Snake", played by Scirico, who thinks it isn't worth the asking price to rescue Jimmy who he calls a "bum". Snake was formerly known as "The Whale" but has just returned from six months in a health spa where he lost two hundred lbs. and now wants to be known as "The Snake". The gang pays a visit to a psychic ( Aida Turturro) in vain. Completely distraught, Jimmy's mother ( Anne Meara) commissions an amateur sketch artist Ellen ( Jennifer Beals) to craft a poorly drawn portrait of Jimmy on a "missing person" flyer from a photograph, rather than using the actual photograph itself. Ultimately she decides she must throw a house party in Jimmy's honor, and invites the entire group of zany characters that we have met along the way. They all show up, and have a great time, and Joe Head woos Ellen as he displays dance moves passed on to him by Disco Bean.
Towards the end Jimmy winds up making his way home after his mother calls an early end to the party. He was trapped in the superintendents' apartment in the basement of his apartment house for three days, where he stayed alive by eating cat food. Visibly shaken, he recounts a tale of not having any beer to drink during his disappearance, and having to watch basic television channels since the super did not pay for cable.
Just as you think the movie is over there’s one final twist, who really owns the documentary? Has Les followed the rules or has he lost everything he worked for?
Samuel L. Jackson
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117577/ The movie's IMDB page]
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