Fat city

Fat City is a 1972 American neo-noir boxing drama film directed by John Huston in which two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum. The picture stars Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, and Susan Terrell. One of Huston’s later films, it is based on the boxing novel Fat City (1969) by Leonard Gardner, who also wrote the screenplay. Tyrrell received an Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the alcoholic, world weary Oma. After a string of box office flops, John Huston rebounded with this film, which opened to tremendous praise and good business: he was soon in demand for more work. The film was screened at various film festivals, including: the Cannes Film Festival, France, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA; and others. In a 1969 interview with Life magazine, Leonard Gardner explained the meaning of the title of his novel. “Lots of people have asked me about the title of my book. It’s part of Negro slang. When you say you want to go to Fat City, it means you want the good life. I got the idea for the title after seeing a photograph of a tenement in an exhibit in San Francisco. ‘Fat City’ was scrawled in chalk on a wall. The title is ironic: Fat City is a crazy goal no one is ever going to reach.” Fat City is also an old nickname for Stockton, California, where the novel and film are set. The nickname preceded Gardner’s novel.

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