Torres, Edwin (directed by Brian de Palma)
1975, Futura (1993, Universal Pictures)
Oh man, I love this movie. I’ve seen it loads of times now, but I could never get sick of it. There is almost nothing bad about it. It’s got violence, boobs, disco, drugs… and a story line. A tragic storyline, no less. Like I said, nothing bad about it. It’s one of those movies that I watch any chance I get, but it wasn’t until I rewatched it recently that I felt compelled to read the book that originated the whole thing. It was actually a happy coincidence (the kind of coincidence which is sadly lacking from Carlito Brigante’s life) that I managed to pick it up at a local book fair for only a few dollars.
Carlito’s Way is not a taxing read. I have the Futura edition which stands at 147 pages, which is not a big read at all. The language is… almost quaint, which sounds mental for a true-crime style book, but it’s full of seventies gangsterisms and street talk like “You right, man, you right!” and “Right on!” Heh. Right on, man. That’s not so prevalent in the movie, which is a good thing, but it may have been because the movie was made almost twenty years after the book came out – so, like I say, there’s disco, but not the ‘jive turkey’ back chat to go with it. It’s almost stream of consiousness style, which can make it quite interesting to follow sometimes, but I love the intermingling of Spanish (the fact that there’s a glossary at the back which doesn’t skimp on the swear words also helps).
Seriously, I find it hard to believe that there are people in this world who haven’t yet seen Carlito’s Way, but if any of those people are reading this and think that they might like to, please go watch it before you read this, ’cause after the jump, there are spoilers.