American Success Company, The (1980)

American Success Company, The (1980)

“I sensed there was something I could learn from him that would save my marriage.”

A milquetoast (Jeff Bridges) married to the supremely spoiled daughter (Belinda Bauer) of an arrogant millionaire (Ned Beatty) is inspired by an aggressively virile man (David Allen Brooks) he sees at a party, and seeks help from a prostitute (Bianca Jagger) in gaining confidence to take on a new identity and carry out a heist at his father-in-law’s business.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Black Comedy
  • Character Arc
  • Heists
  • Jeff Bridges Films
  • Mistaken or Hidden Identities
  • Ned Beatty Films

This obscure black comedy — written by Larry Cohen, and directed by William Richert, best known for helming the assassination paranoia flick Winter Kills (1979) — is a surreal ride through a rather simplistic premise, one that seems better suited for a short comedy sketch than a full-length feature. Nothing much happens here other than a man of questionable taste and morals seeking revenge on a raging narcissist; it’s all meant to be madcap and satirical, but falls pretty flat. I’m puzzled why Peary lists this title in GFTFF; it’s only recommended for diehard Bridges fans.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Jeff Bridges as Harry/Mac

Must See?
No. Listed as a Sleeper and a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “American Success Company, The (1980)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    A mess – at least the cut version that I saw. IMDb lists a version of ‘TASC’ that runs about 15 minutes longer – apparently this is a film with a troubled history: re-edited, re-titled, etc.

    But sometimes, even if a film has been cut, you can still tell from what remains that the work is intriguing – or it may even seem just about complete anyway. Or at least coherent…which isn’t the case here.

    This is just crap.

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