“Mikey and Nicky” is the controversial third film from director Elaine May. It is a gangster film of sorts, but what it really concerns is the toxic relationship of two friends, and the complications that come from misplaced loyalty and long term connections. June is the MOTM that we specify that we want a film from a woman director and Elaine May is only the third woman to direct a Hollywood film in the sound era. Is this 1976 movie an overlooked gem, or a painful reminder of why Elaine May directed so few movies? We will be talking about that this week.
Aaron Neuwirth, as the champion of the film, leads the panel this week in dissecting the performances from John Cassavetes and Peter Falk. This film has a substantial number of fans who champion it’s improvisational approach, but it also has critics who think it meanders and forces some unpleasant characters onto the audience. All those points of view are found on this episode.
Most of the guests admired the performances, but there is one major exception and John Cassavetes is called to task by a Lamb on this week’s show. There are a few secondary characters played by notable actors, but this is really a two man show. So how do Falk and Cassavetes pull it off? Tt seems that half the answer to that question is found in the million feet of film that Director May shot, running three cameras, at times when the actors were not even in the scene.
This was a first time watch for three of the people on the show, and for some of them it will be a last time watch as well. Nick Rehak, Howard Casner and Will Slater all have very different views of the film. Aaron and Howard go a couple of rounds concerning the director’s obligations to the studio, and everyone gets to play a game at the end.
It was a great discussion, even if all the guests diverged on whether it is a great film.
Opening Thoughts 2:26
John Cassavetes 11:28
Peter Falk 21:24
The Rest of the Cast 27:40
Elaine May 33:00
The Film’s Ending 56:40
Quick Lambscores 1:01:30
Toxic Friendship Tagline Game 1:04:06
Exit Question of the Week 1:12:00
The show can be found, of course, via iTunes – just do a search for “LAMBcast.” Also, I always post a link to the show on the LAMBcast’s Facebook page, and there’s a player there if you’d like to listen online. Find the show here:
If you’d ever like to catch up on back episodes, go there. If you’re interested, you too can be a LAMBcaster – we love new blood! For more information on the LAMBcast, check out the topic at the LAMB Forums. Music provided royalty-free by Kevin MacLeod’s Incompetech website. Big thanks to Kevin for providing this service. Closing song by Cake. The LAMBcast loves feedback, too – if you’d like yours read on a future show, leave it in the comments section at the LAMB. Please visit and like our Facebook page, and finally, we’re on iTunes, and would still love a review, even if it’s a bad one. Thanks for listening!