Mad Dog Time
Mad Dog Time is a 1996 ensemble cast
Ensemble cast
An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows flexibility for writers to focus on...

 crime film
Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

  written and directed by Larry Bishop
Larry Bishop
Larry Bishop is an American actor, screenwriter and movie director. He is the son of Sylvia Ruzga and comedian Joey Bishop...

, released through United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

. The film is notable for the various cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

s, including the first movie appearance by Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones (actor)
William "Billy" Frank Jones, better known as Christopher Jones, is an American character actor, born August 18, 1941 in Jackson, Tennessee....

 in over a quarter-century
A century is one hundred consecutive years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages .-Start and end in the Gregorian Calendar:...



The story takes place in a mysterious underworld of swanky nightclubs where armed criminals listen to Rat Pack
Rat Pack
The Rat Pack was a group of actors originally centered on Humphrey Bogart. In the mid-1960s it was the name used by the press and the general public to refer to a later variation of the group, after Bogart's death, that called itself "the summit" or "the clan," featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean...

 music and hold shootouts from a seated position, behind desks.

Mickey Holiday is the top enforcer for Vic, the mob boss. Vic is about to be released from a psychiatric facility, or, as his adversary Jake Parker puts it, "the loony bin." In his absence, Ben London has been running Vic's nightclub while Mickey has been romancing both Rita and Grace Everly, which is doubly dangerous inasmuch as they are sisters and Grace was previously Vic's girl.

Parker recruits a number of hired guns in an attempt to seize power. Mickey kills the first to challenge him, Lee Turner. The next one brought in by Parker, identified as Nicholas Falco and supposedly the fastest draw of all, murders Mickey's close friend, Jules Flamingo, who is unarmed. A showdown is arranged and Mickey ends up eliminating both Parker and the apparently overrated Falco.

Vic returns to resume his reign as mob boss. He brings with him a new enforcer, the "real" Nicholas Falco, the previous one having been an impostor.

"Brass Balls" Ben London promptly challenges Vic for control of the organization (while singing "My Way" on stage in the nightclub) and is shot dead. Falco proceeds to gun down the remaining opposition, including "Wacky" Jackie Jackson, and is eager to shoot it out with Mickey Holiday once and for all.

Mickey attempts to repair his relationship with Rita, who is furious that he has been seeing her sister on the side. Mickey finally confesses to Grace that he has been seeing her in the daytime and Rita at night. She also has been unaware that Vic is back in town.

At a final confrontation held in a private office, Grace reveals that she is pregnant with Vic's child. Forced to choose between Holiday and Falco before they shoot it out, Vic sides with his old friend and Grace kills Falco. He and Mickey end up (apparently) living happily ever after with the Everly sisters.


  • Jeff Goldblum
    Jeff Goldblum
    Jeffrey Lynn "Jeff" Goldblum is an American actor. His career began in the mid-1970s and he has appeared in major box-office successes including The Fly, Jurassic Park and its sequel Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and Independence Day...

     as Mickey Holiday
  • Richard Dreyfuss
    Richard Dreyfuss
    Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Stakeout, Always, What About...

     as Vic
  • Gabriel Byrne
    Gabriel Byrne
    Gabriel James Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined Londo's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne's screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the...

     as Ben London
  • Ellen Barkin
    Ellen Barkin
    Ellen Barkin is an American film, television and theatre actress.-Early life:She was born Ellen Rona Barkin in Bronx, a borough of New York City, New York, the daughter of Evelyn , a hospital administrator who worked at Jamaica Hospital, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman...

     as Rita Everly
  • Diane Lane
    Diane Lane
    Diane Lane is an American film actress.Born and raised in New York City, Lane made her screen debut at the age of 13 in George Roy Hill's 1979 film A Little Romance, starring opposite Sir Laurence Olivier. Soon after, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine...

     as Grace Everly
  • Gregory Hines
    Gregory Hines
    Gregory Oliver Hines was an American actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.-Early years:Born in New York City, Hines and his older brother Maurice started dancing at an early age, studying with choreographer Henry LeTang...

     as Jules Flamingo
  • Kyle MacLachlan
    Kyle MacLachlan
    Kyle Merritt MacLachlan is an American actor. MacLachlan is best known for his roles in cult films Blue Velvet as Jeffrey Beaumont, Showgirls as Zack Carey, as Paul Atreides in Dune, and Ray Manzarek in the Oliver Stone film The Doors...

     as Jake Parker
  • Burt Reynolds
    Burt Reynolds
    Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds, Jr. is an American actor. Some of his memorable roles include Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Bobby "Gator" McCluskey in White Lightning and sequel Gator, Paul Crewe and Coach Nate Scarborough in The Longest Yard and its...

     as Jackie Jackson
  • Larry Bishop
    Larry Bishop
    Larry Bishop is an American actor, screenwriter and movie director. He is the son of Sylvia Ruzga and comedian Joey Bishop...

     as Nicholas Falco
  • Henry Silva as Sleepy Joe
  • Michael J. Pollard
    Michael J. Pollard
    - Early life :Born Michael John Pollack, Jr. in Passaic, New Jersey, he is the son of Sonia and Michael John Pollack. He attended the Montclair Academy and the Actors Studio.- Career :...

     as Red
  • Christopher Jones
    Christopher Jones
    Christopher Jones or Chris Jones is the name of:* Christopher Jones , English sailor, master of the Mayflower*Christopher Jones , Roman Catholic Bishop of Elphin, Ireland....

     as fake Falco
  • Billy Idol
    Billy Idol
    William Michael Albert Broad , better known by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English rock musician. A member of the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans, Idol first achieved fame in the punk rock era as a member of the band Generation X...

     as Lee Turner
  • Angie Everhart
    Angie Everhart
    Angela Kay "Angie" Everhart is an American actress and former fashion model.-Early life:Everhart was born in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of homemaker Ginnie and engineer Bob Everhart. The first of three children, she has a younger brother and a younger sister...

     as Gabriella
  • Billy Drago
    Billy Drago
    Billy Drago is an American actor known for his roles as villains in television and motion pictures.-Personal life:Drago was born William Eugene Burrows in Hugoton, Kansas to William and Gladys Burrows. He took his grandmother's maiden name as his stage name to keep from being confused with another...

     as Wells
  • Paul Anka
    Paul Anka
    Paul Albert Anka, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor.Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana'", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder"...

     as Danny
  • Rob Reiner
    Rob Reiner
    Robert "Rob" Reiner is an American actor, director, producer, writer, and political activist.As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence as Archie and Edith Bunker's son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic, on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s...

     as Albert
  • Joey Bishop
    Joey Bishop
    Joey Bishop was an American entertainer who was perhaps best known for being a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin...

     as Gottlieb
  • Richard Pryor
    Richard Pryor
    Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was an American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, writer and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets...

     as Jimmy the Gravedigger

Cameo appearances

The writer-director's father, Joey Bishop, is seen briefly and speaks no lines. His character supposedly runs Gottlieb's Mortuary—Gottlieb was Bishop's real name.

Richard Pryor appears as Gottlieb's sidekick, Jimmy the Grave Digger. Despite his character being mentioned throughout the film, he is in only one scene, and speaks one line. He is shown in a wheelchair, and his voice is garbled. His physical deterioration was obvious at the time the film was made. This would be Pryor's second to last film appearance.

One scene irrelevant to the plot features Rob Reiner as a limo driver, explaining his humorous philosophy on life to Dreyfuss. Reiner and Larry Bishop were once professional comedy partners.

Critical reception

The film was not well-received by critics on release. Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 gave the film a zero-star rating, noting:

Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line.... Mad Dog Time should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor.

Roger Ebert and partner Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Eugene Kal "Gene" Siskel was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted the popular review show Siskel & Ebert At the Movies from 1975 until his death....

 on their television show "Siskel & Ebert at the Movies" voted this the worst film of 1996. Ebert repeated his written statement that watching this movie was not preferable to 1 hour and 45 minutes of looking at a blank wall, and mentioned how upset he was that Siskel won the right to choose this film after a coin toss, so he had to pick the second worst film of the year, Un indien dans la ville
Un indien dans la ville
Un indien dans la ville is a 1994 French film by Hervé Palud. The film had a limited English language release under the title Little Indian, Big City.Part of the movie was shot in Miami, Florida, United States....

(Little Indian, Big City), a film Ebert also gave zero stars. Siskel said that he still did not know what the film was about even 6 months after he saw it, and said that because in addition to starring in the film, Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Stakeout, Always, What About...

 is listed as a co-producer on the film, he deserves most of the blame for helping get the story on screen.

A New York Times review of Nov. 8, 1996 by Stephen Holden called Mad Dog Time "a rat's nest of hip pretensions posing as a comedy."

In Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

on Nov. 22, 1996, reviewer Ken Tucker described it as "jaw-droppingly incoherent."
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