The Beat

  • 1988
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

The only thing worse than a great stage play made into a lousy movie is a bad stage play made into a lousy movie. Originally conceived and presented as an off-Broadway play by writer-director Mones, THE BEAT is a horribly pretentious and inept production offering nothing but stock characters and sophomoric philosophy. Set in the ghettos of New York City,...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

The only thing worse than a great stage play made into a lousy movie is a bad stage play made into a lousy movie. Originally conceived and presented as an off-Broadway play by writer-director Mones, THE BEAT is a horribly pretentious and inept production offering nothing but stock

characters and sophomoric philosophy. Set in the ghettos of New York City, the film presents rival street gangs as leaving their hostilities at the door when they enter the classroom of hip English teacher Savage. Young and dedicated, Savage runs his class informally to encourage the kids to

forget their posturing and to open up. His efforts are relatively futile until a new kid, Jacobson, enters the classroom. Dull and sullen, Jacobson is initially viewed as a "retard" by his fellow classmates; but as the days go by, he reveals himself to be a strange bird who spouts torrents of bad

Beat-style poetry and seems to live in a world created in his imagination. Slowly, the other kids are drawn into Jacobson's bizarre little world, their lives changed forever by the experience.

Filmed in a deadeningly dull manner by writer-director Mones, THE BEAT is about as uncinematic as they come. The film is nothing but talk, talk, talk--mostly in the form of bad poetry. Mones must be the only director in the history of film to have shot on location in New York City and come away

with an entire movie that looks as if it was filmed on a stage. His dialog is even worse. Straining hard to capture the rhythms of the street, the lines are peppered with a ludicrous amount of slang and profanity. What is supposed to be realistic dialog merely sounds like a playwright's

self-conscious striving for authenticity. Despite all the talk, there is precious little characterization in this film, and none of the characters ring even remotely true. From the kids to the teachers, everyone is a stereotype, although the young cast struggles mightily to wrest some meaning from

it all.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1988
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The only thing worse than a great stage play made into a lousy movie is a bad stage play made into a lousy movie. Originally conceived and presented as an off-Broadway play by writer-director Mones, THE BEAT is a horribly pretentious and inept production o… (more)

Show More »