Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)


“I don’t need an analyst I need lost and found.”

            Anyone who has ever gone through a period of depression knows how much it sucks. You feel like you are not in control and you think irrationally and way too emotionally. You do not want to go through the day you just want to stay staring on the couch looking into nothing. Well, I know I did not want to do any of these. No matter what anyone says to you, you just want to stay the way you are. In The Prisoner of Second Avenue we see a man going through all the whole process and then finally seeing the light of day.
            The story begins in the middle of the summer during a bad heat wave. Mel Edison (Jack Lemmon) has a tough time getting to work. Once he gets there he finds out that another executive in the company has been fired. When he gets home Mel is tense and angry and cannot sleep that night. His wife Edna (Anne Bancroft) wants him to talk to her about what is making him so tense. It seems just about everything in his life is bothering. He explains that he is able to hear things more like the neighbors having a party or the smell of garbage. Everything just bothers him.
            Edna tells Mel that she said yes to his brother Harry’s invitation to come up to his house in the country for the day. Mel is not happy his brother drives him crazy. At the house Mel and Harry talk. Mel confesses to Harry that he has lost his job and he has not told Edna yet.
            Eventually Mel tells Edna what happened. He actually tells her after their apartment was broken into. She goes out and gets a job which really leads to Mel’s downward spiral. He gets jealous and angry that she has a job and he does not.
            One day Mel is out for a walk when he and a young guy bump into each other. Mel freaks out thinking the guy stole his wallet and runs after him. He catches up with the guy by jumping over a stone wall in Central Park and knocking him down. After that Mel feels like he has gained his confidence back he stood up to someone and got them. Edna tells him that he left his wallet at home on the dresser. She actually had a really rough day and is in a bad mood close to where Mel was at the beginning of the film. Mel handles a situation well and Edna sees they will finally be alright.
            I need to just completely nerd out over Anne Bancroft in this film. Oh my god she was wonderful! I absolutely adore this woman she was such an amazing actress. She was the best part of the film. Her faces cracked me up. Bancroft was great in the scene where she had to explain to Mel how they were robbed she looked so stumped. Her face when Mel asks her how she has enough energy to go to work for her boss. She closes the door then walks back in and goes “What did you say?” her face was so scary it was great! Bancroft piled on her New York accent and Italian temper and I loved it. With Anne Bancroft you were never watching an actress you were always watching the character.
            Jack Lemmon I cannot stand I usually avoid his films like a plague, well except for Some Like It Hot I love that film. He was alright here he was not as annoying as he usual is to me. I liked his character though because I knew what he was going through.
            The young guy that Mel accidentally mugs is Sylvester Stallone. He looked so handsome.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue was good. I liked the story because I can relate a bit to what Mel and Edna go through. I went through the whole job loss and depression thing for a few months and it was terrible. But I think this film proves that there is always a light at the end of the darkness once your confidence comes back everything falls into place. I definitely suggest watching The Prisoner of Second Avenue especially for Anne Bancroft.