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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2003)

Action & Adventure movie directed by George Clooney

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Bizarrely creative

  • Sep 12, 2003
George Clooney shows yet another aspect of his interesting career in the movies by stepping into the shoes of Director for the strangely, absurdly interesting CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND. Much of the feel of the biopic of Chuck Barris' life and times as an on-the-edge talent who gave us The Gong Show and The Dating Game is tongue in cheek or surreal or film noir (is the CIA assassin bit for real?). There is a small statement at the inception of this prolonged purview of Barris' life that claims the film is based on diaries etc so we are led to believe this is indeed fact - stranger than fiction. Clooney has a terrific style with pacing and view choices, color, mood, music - all of which contribute to creating a solid movie. His generosity of spirit is also noted by quick cameo appearances by the likes of Brad Pitt, Rutger Hauer, Julia Roberts etc and his main characters Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, and Clooney himself are all superb. This is an odd movie and perhaps not for everyone's taste, but it certainly introduces a fine fresh look that bodes well for more work from Clooney.

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review by . September 09, 2003
This is a pretty "offbeat" movie, to say the least. For many modern day viewers younger than 25 or so, Chuck Barris will be pretty much unknown to them. But for those of us who remember THE GONG SHOW or THE DATING GAME, it's a real treat. That's not to say that young people won't enjoy it, I just think they'll miss out on some of the fun.The movie delves into the mad fantasies of Barris, and it never speculates on whether his "autobiography" is true or not. Was he really a hitman for the CIA? Well, …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


The memoirs of game-show creator-host Chuck Barris (the man responsible forThe Newlywed GameandThe Gong Show) are the inspiration for this sneaky biopic, which not only covers Barris's television career, but also his exploits--unsubstantiated, but also not disproved--as a government assassin. As Barris, Sam Rockwell gives a gutsy, manic-depressive, warts-and-all performance, depicting how Barris cheated repeatedly on his longtime girlfriend Penny (Drew Barrymore), was recruited into the CIA by a stone-faced agent (George Clooney, who also makes a stylish directorial debut), created some of the most popular yet reviled TV shows of the 1970s and '80s, and had a torrid affair with a mysterious, beautiful operative (Julia Roberts). For a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich,Adaptation),Confessions of a Dangerous Mindis pretty straightforward, letting Barris's fevered brain speak for itself. The result manages to be lurid, comic, and oddly philosophical.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: George Clooney
Screen Writer: Chuck Barris, Charlie Kaufman
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2003
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: Miramax Films
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