6.2/10
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26 user 23 critic

Telling Lies in America (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 15 October 1997 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A loner befriends a local celebrity, Billy Magic, but he soon begins to tell lies in order to maintain the friendship and the newfound status.

Director:

Guy Ferland

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Billy Magic
Brad Renfro ... Karchy 'Chucky' Jonas
Maximilian Schell ... Dr. Istvan Jonas
Calista Flockhart ... Diney Majeski
Paul Dooley ... Father Norton
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Kevin Boyle
Luke Wilson ... Henry
Damen Fletcher Damen Fletcher ... Amos 'Blood Smith'
Jerry Swindall Jerry Swindall ... Andy 'Croak' Stas
K.K. Dodds ... Justine
James Kisicki James Kisicki ... Cecil Simms
J.J. Horna J.J. Horna ... The Blind Kid
Ben Saypol Ben Saypol ... Timmy Morelli
Tony Devon ... Danny Hogan
Rohn Thomas ... Sgt. Disapri
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Storyline

Karchy (Brad Renfro) is a boy in school who has moved from Hungary to America in the 1960s. He is struggling in school and trying to adjust to America's culture. He then hears about a radio DJ, Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon), who holds a contest for a Student Hall of Fame every week. When Karchy finally wins after several weeks, he spends more time with Billy Magic...a man with money, girls, and glam. Karchy thinks that, by spending time with Magic, he can become "cool". He then starts telling lies, to make himself seem greater than he really is. But when his lies begin hurting the people he cares about, he realizes that it isn't worth telling lies if it affects your friends. Afterwards, he learns to accept himself for the person he is, and gives up lying. And as for Billy Magic, it turns out that he pays his price for all the lies that he has told as well.... Written by <Aya704@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just don't get caught. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex related situations | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magic Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,470, 19 October 1997

Gross USA:

$318,809

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$318,809
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of the first seven films, on which to be foreclosed, by the Screen Actors Guild for non-payment of wages and residuals to SAG members. On July 13, 2004, rights to the film were sold at auction. See more »

Goofs

About two-thirds through the movie, when Karchy picks his girlfriend up at the store after (her) work, they walk down a handicap wheelchair ramp which didn't exist in the 1960's. See more »

Quotes

Kevin Boyle: [Karchy is hidden in a confessionary pretending to be a priest] Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It's been three days since my last confession. The reason I'm here today, father... you know what it is. I just can't stop doing it. I get these thoughts and I can't keep my hands off of it. Father? Are you there, father? I know you said I was gonna go blind, father. I don't wanna go blind. Last night I did it three times. I'm doing so much that it hurts when I touch it. I wanna kill my dad again...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Dreamin'
Performed by Jeremy Baka
Written by Jeremy Baka
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User Reviews

Under-promoted Gem
24 November 2001 | by williamecookSee all my reviews

Yes, the movie deals tangentially with the payola scandals of the 50's (truly a big problem in the entertainment industry), but only as one of the many lies hinted at in the title.

The two main characters (Renfro and Bacon) do *nothing* but lie. They are balanced by the purity of the other characters (Flockhart and Schell).

Schell's character was a little underwhelming and the work by Renfro was, at times, uneven, but both were generally excellent. My only other quibble was with the settings of the film. As a Clevelander (where the story takes place and the film was shot), it's easy to understand the where the scenes took place and how the story was built around them, but I'm not sure that an "outsider" would understand the implications to the story of those different locations (the neighborhoods, the market, etc.).

The real find is Calista Flockhart. She gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, sweeter and deeper than anything you'll see on Ally McBeal. Interestingly, Flockhart spent time working on stage at the Cleveland Playhouse, so was well-suited for the role in a way.

Joe Eszterhas is not exactly known for his subtlety, but this movie is a small triumph for him and portends better things from his pen in the future.


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