Born To Win

This ironically titled 1971 comedy-drama may be Ivan Passer’s best American film after Cutter’s Way. George Segal gives one of his finest performances as a former New York hairdresser with a $100-a-day heroin habit, and the remainder of the cast, which includes Karen Black, Paula Prentiss, Jay Fletcher, Hector Elizondo, and a pre-Mean Streets Robert De Niro, shines as well. David Scott Milton’s script makes the rather subversive suggestion that junkies’ lives are purposeful and even fulfilled in a way because they’re so highly motivateda provocative alternative to the usual wisdom on the subject. Check this one out. (JR)

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