Payday (1973)

“If you can’t smoke it, drink it, spend it or love it … forget it.” Rip Torn excels as booze-swilling, pill-popping, foul-mouthed, slut-mongering “Maury Dann,” a self-destructive country music legend on the road to oblivion. Warning: spoiler alerts! In one fascinating scene, Dann has sex with new groupie “Rosamond” (Elayne Heilveil) in the backseat of his Cadillac while his girlfriend “Mayleen” (Ahna Capri) lies passed out next to them (he later nonchalantly dumps Mayleen by the side of the road). Other highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective!) include Dann dumping a pile of pills into his invalid mother’s hands, Dann bribing a local radio station DJ with a bottle of Wild Turkey to play his songs, Dann stopping by his ex-wife’s house to celebrate the phantom birthday of one of his kids (he doesn’t remember their ages much less their birthdates), Dann arranging for his chauffeur “Chicago” (Cliff Emmich) to take the rap for a fatal stabbing outside a restaurant and, last but not least, the final, nihilistic ending. Directed by Daryl Duke (The Silent Partner) and written by Don Carpenter, Payday features a solid cast that includes Michael C. Gwynne, Jeff Morris, Henry O. Arnold, Bobby Smith, Richard Hoffman, Walter Bamberg, Eleanor Fell, Clara Dunn and Dallas Smith. Capri portrayed “Tania” in the classic Bruce Lee martial arts flick Enter the Dragon (1973).  

Leave a Reply

Close Menu