Offbeat tale, based on Paul Brodeur’s 1970 novel, has Vietnam vet Steve Railsback on the lam and accepting refuge from both benevolent and sinister film director Peter O’Toole, who puts the fugitive through some highly dangerous paces as a stunt man while shielding him from the cops.
Lawrence B. Marcus and adaptor-director Richard Rush are least successful in making fully credible the relationship between Railsback and film-within-the-film star Barbara Hershey, with his disillusionment upon discovering that she once had a fling with O’Toole playing as particularly unconvincing.
O’Toole is excellent in his best, cleanest performance in years. He smashingly delineates an omnipotent, godlike type whose total control over those around him makes him seem almost unreal.
1980: Nominations: Best Director, Actor (Peter O’Toole), Adapted Screenplay