Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Tales of Ordinary Madness Details


Ben Gazzara delivers a gutsy, four-barreled performance as skid-row poet and storyteller Charles Bukowski (rechristened Charles Serking onscreen) in Tales of Ordinary Madness, blackly comic Italian director Marco Ferreri's adaptation of Bukowski's roman à clef Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness. Half soused, with a 2 a.m. shadow and street urchin rags, Serking waltzes through the scummiest neighborhoods of the City of Angels, indulging in booze, poetry, and copulation, and lounging in flophouses and on grimy public buses. His bedmates are a midget, a string of seedy whores, and various earthy L.A. denizens, played by Susan Tyrell, Ornella Muti, and others; he eventually falls for a prostitute who can express her affection only via self-mutilation. Ferreri lets Bukowski's ribald humor flow throughout and exposes the dark erotic currents at the heart of the author's narratives. Laced with perverse, shocking imagery, this unbridled celebration of life's dark underbelly has been praised by critics such as The New Yorker's Pauline Kael and Playboy's Bruce Williamson for its "genuine audacity and risktaking." ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi


Ben Gazzara
as Charles
Ornella Muti
as Cass
Susan Tyrrell
as Vera
Tanya Lopert
as Vicky
Katya Berger
Roy Brocksmith
as Bartender
Hope Cameron
as Landlady
Judith Drake
as Fat Woman
Hope Cameron
as Landlady
Roy Brocksmith
as Bartender


Marco Ferreri
Jacqueline Ferreri
Sergio Amidei
Marco Ferreri
Tonino Delli Colli
Philippe Sarde
Composer (Music Score)
Ruggero Mastroianni
Dante Ferretti
Production Designer
Sergio Galiano
Associate Producer
Nicoletta Ercole
Costume Designer
Charles Bukowski
Short Story Author