Cinema: Color by the Number

There are some men whose tragedy arises not from what they suffer but what they fail to feel. Little Fauss and Big Halsy are such men—and so are those who made the movie.

Fauss (Michael Pollard), a goofy mechanical genius, is the otherwise backward son of a suffocatin' maw and a sufferin' paw. Halsy (Robert Redford) is a full-time motorcycle rider, ego-tripper and ladysmith. But the steatopygous girls who follow him are, as he admits, "gland cases" and "hurting whores." Between race-track rack-ups and sexual hang-ups, the film is crowded with subject—but barren of object. It is impossible to hide what never...

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