Inside Moves (1980)

“Step INSIDE Max’s bar …” An uplifting film that deserves to be rediscovered, Inside Moves opens on a downbeat note with a failed suicide attempt that leaves “Roary” (John Savage) partially disabled. Roary starts hanging out at Max’s, a friendly neighborhood bar in Oakland, California, where he befriends the bartender “Jerry” (David Morse), an aspiring NBA basketball player hindered by a leg injury that requires surgery he can’t afford, as well as a colorful group of regular barflies that includes “Wings” (Harold Russell), “Stinky” (Bert Remsen) and “Blue Lewis” (Bill Henderson). Roary also falls for waitress “Louise” (Diana Scarwid, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress). Directed by Richard Donner (The Goonies), Inside Moves was based on a 1978 novel of the same name by Todd Walton and features cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs. It was co-scripted by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson. The excellent cast also includes Amy Wright, Tony Burton and Harold Sylvester. Highly recommended! A double amputee, Russell (1914-2002) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as “Homer Parrish” in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), as well as an honorary Oscar for “bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.”

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