Watch Now: AFTER DARK, MY SWEET
After making the romantic drama Reckless (1984), the crime drama At Close Range (1986) and the screwball comedy Who’s That Girl (1987), American director James Foley went on to direct After Dark, My Sweet (1990), a neo-noir thriller based on crime fiction writer Jim Thompson’s 1955 novel of the same name. The film follows escaped mental ward patient and ex-boxer Kevin “Kid” Collins (Jason Patric) and alcoholic widow Mrs. Fay Anderson (Rachel Ward) who become romantically involved while getting caught up in a kidnapping scheme set up by Garrett “Uncle Bud” Stoker (Bruce Dern). As if things were not chaotic enough, the male protagonist manages to gain the attention of Doc Goldman (George Dickerson), who displays an unusual interest in him.
Even though Foley’s movie was a box office flop, grossing only $2.7 million on a $6 million budget, the reviews were more than favorable, with critic Roger Ebert including it on his “Great Movies” list in 2005. Generally praised for its well-written screenplay (Foley and Robert Redlin), superb acting, wonderful cinematography (Mark Plummer) and emotional realism, After Dark, My Sweet is a successful adaptation that depicts loneliness as a perpetual state permeating the very core of the protagonists’ lives.