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Straight Time Details


Paroled criminal Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) is compelled to withstand the calculated cruelties of slimy parole officer Earl Frank (M. Emmet Walsh). The more Max tries to go straight, the more he is defeated by circumstance or hectored by the sadistic Frank. It becomes clear after a while that neither Max nor his fellow ex-cons will be able to survive looking for legitimate work. Max is too "far gone" as a human being to succeed at anything other than crime. He goes back to his old thieving ways, inveigling reformed crook Jerry Schue (Harry Dean Stanton) into helping him. A climactic "big caper" goes tragically awry, thanks in great part to the tragic flaws in Max's personality. Based on a novel by Edward Bunker, Straight Time is possibly the most realistic cinematic probe into the sociopathic psyche of the career criminal. Famed theatrical director and instructor Ulu Grosbard directed, with an uncredited assist from star Hoffman; it was their second film together, after Hoffman ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 18, 1978


Dustin Hoffman
as Max Dembo
Theresa Russell
as Jenny Mercer
Gary Busey
as Willy Darin
Harry Dean Stanton
as Jerry Schue
M. Emmet Walsh
as Earl Frank
Rita Taggart
as Carol Schue
Kathy Bates
as Selma Darin
Sandy Baron
as Manny
Edward Bunker
as Mickey
Barry Cahill
as Salesman No. 2
Corey Rand
as Carlos
Fran Ryan
as Cafe Owner
David Kelly
as Counter Man
John Gilgreen
as Bank Guard
Emily LaRue
as Girl
Tina Menard
as Hotel Manager
Peter Jurasik
as Bank Teller
Peter Kwong
as Grocery Clerk


Ulu Grosbard
Howard Pine
Tim Zinnemann
Stanley Beck
Dustin Hoffman
Edward Bunker
Edward Bunker
Book Author
Alvin Sargent
Jeffrey Boam
Owen Roizman
David Shire
Composer (Music Score)
James Newport
Production Designer
Stephen B. Grimes
Production Designer
Howard Pine
Executive Producer
Marvin March
Set Designer
Bernie Pollack
Costume Designer
Richard Portman
Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Roe
First Assistant Director
Dick Ziker
Dick Ziker
Stunts Coordinator
John Carlen
Technical Advisor
Bob Westmoreland