Tough Guys Don't Dance
is a 1987
film written and directed by Norman Mailer
based on his novel of the same name. It is a murder mystery
piece that was scorned by audiences and critics alike. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival
The script had revisions done by Chinatown
and Last Woman on Earth
scribe/script doctor Robert Towne
. The title comes from an anecdote told to Norman Mailer by a prizefighter
named Roger Donahue: Frank Costello
, the Murder Inc.
honcho, and his gorgeous girlfriend greet three champion boxers in the Stork Club
. Costello demands that each, in turn, dance with the woman, and each nervously complies. The last, Willie Pep
, suggests that Mr. Costello dance. Costello replied, "Tough guys don't dance."
Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to blackouts, awakens from a two-week bender to discover a pool of blood in his car, a blond woman's severed head in his marijuana stash, and the new Provincetown, Massachusetts
police chief, Captain Luther Regency, shacked up with his former girlfriend Madeleine.
As his father Dougy helps try to unravel the mystery, Madden is dogged by the psychotic Capt. Regency, who has it in for him because a car crash that he was involved in with Madeline has left her unable to have children. Flashing back, Madden remembers the time when he encouraged Madeline to swing with a Li'l Abnerish... Read More