Willie & Phil Vhs CoverWillie & Phil Vhs CoverWillie & Phil Vhs Cover
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Willie & Phil
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Willie & Phil (1980)
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Videonut324 on 07/16/2013
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Heads or Tails . . .

Heads it's . . . Willie tails it's Phil.

What is this thing called love.

Director Paul Mazursky's follow-up to his 1978 hit An Unmarried Woman found this filmmaker creating a feature-length homage to the Fran├žois Truffaut classic Jules and Jim. Willie and Phil begins with Jewish intellectual schoolteacher Willie (Michael Ontkean) meeting gregarious Italian-American fashion photographer Phil (Ray Sharkey) at a screening of Jules and Jim. The two hit it off immediately and soon find their circle of two expanding to three when they meet Jeanette (Margot Kidder), a free-spirited Southerner who has moved to New York City to figure out her life. Jeanette soon moves in Willie, but the three find themselves in a romantic triangle that constantly shifts over the next nine years as each of the three struggles to find their destiny while honoring the love they feel for each other. Mazursky would later remake another foreign classic (Boudu Saved From Drowning) into his hit Down and Out in Beverly Hills

The film was reviewed by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker. "It could be that the theme of Jules et Jim, which preoccupies Mazursky - woman as the source of life and art, and woman as destroyer - is just what he can't handle. The ad for Willie & Phil does bring out the film's latent subject: we see the open mouth of a giant goddess who is holding two men in the palm of her hand. They reach up to her with their offerings - one with a bottle of wine, the other with a bunch of flowers. She may be breathing life into these dwarf suitors or preparing to devour them along with their gifts. Either way, she's a source of awe and terror. All through the picture, Mazursky has been trying to demystify what he experiences as mystifying. This movie is a little monument to screwed-up notions of what women are."

Release Date: August 15, 1980

Distrib: 20th Century Fox

Boxoffice: $4,400,000 2013: $12,987,400