George B.


Filmed almost entirely in Chico, CA [where I lived for 18 months], this film is about a 'slow' person. George is a part-time janitor at a bar. He wins big in Reno and decides to start his own cleaning business. He enlists friends to help, most of whom care about him. He falls for a clerk at the local MacFrugal's, a curvy, conniving sort, who can get anything she wants with a smile, or a surprising and passionless sexual encounter. It's clear that she doesn't really care about George, but he pays no heed to his friends' discouraging words, and gives her a ring.

George is one of those people who is easily persuaded. He's been taken advantage of his whole life. The film shows us many good, caring people, and just as many people trying to get their hands on his money. Several main characters are ambiguous. I wasn't sure if a betrayal was planned in advance, or if it was a preemptive strike, or a spur-of-the-moment thing. In keeping plot avenues open, the filmmakers have too many to choose from. Is George really slow, or just quiet and introspective? Is Angela a nice girl deep down, or does she use her sexuality to get whatever she wants? A character at a bar provides comic relief, equating cleaning a building to a Marine strike, but his character is so over-the-top artificial, that the scenes seem to be from another movie. It was well-acted and it captured the pace of a summer's day in the Sacramento Valley, but it doesn't leave anything to grab on to. David Morse is a master at quiet, slow speech, and he does a good job in the role, but I'm not sure where George B. was trying to go.

Shown as part of Cinequest VIII, The San Jose Film Festival.

George ... David Morse ["St. Elsewhere", The Good Son, "Homicide: Life On The Street", Twelve Monkeys, The Langoliers (TV), The Crossing Guard, The Rock, Contact]
Angela ... Nina Siemaszko [Tucker: The Man And His Dream, Lost Angels, "Lonesome Dove", Twenty Bucks, Airheads, The American President]
Jerry ... Bradley Gregg [Stand By Me, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, "Lonesome Dove", Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, The Fisher King]
Little Mike ... John Franklin [The Addams Family, Wag The Dog]
The Mother ... Grace Zabriskie [Norma Rae, "Hill Street Blue", An Officer And A Gentleman, The Big Easy, Rampage, Drugstore Cowboy, "Twin Peaks", "Seinfeld", Wild At Heart, My Own Private Idaho, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Waterdance, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, "NYPD Blue"]
Johnny ... Henry V. Brown Jr.
Security Guard ... Brad Garrett [Eight Men Out, "Seinfeld", "The Pursuit Of Happiness"]
Eddie ... Paul Dion Monte [Cobra]
Frank ... Lee Tergesen [Point Break, Wayne's World, Wayne's World 2, "Homicide: Life On The Street", "Oz"]
Ken ... Marcelo Tubert [The Trigger Effect]
Tom ... Dennis Hayden
Loan Officer ... Richard Gross
Edited by Pamela Raymer
Cinematography by Wayne Kennan
Written and Directed by Eric Lea

98 minutes

This Was Written On February 3, 1998

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