Payday with Rip Torn

I’m certainly not the first person to point out that the 1970’s were a golden age in American cinema, where filmmakers were free to explore characters through meandering storylines rather than be forced to pack their films with explosions and plot points. Payday is written by the fairly obscure writer, Don Carpenter, and directed by an equally obscure Canadian filmmaker, Daryl Duke- but they strike gold here, mostly because they found the amazing Rip Torn to play their troubled and trouble-making protagonist, Maury Dann. A country music cliché in every possible way, Dann is a womanizing, ego-driven mess of a person from the first scene to the last- but Torn pulls off the character study flawlessly, completely sucking you into his world, despite not having any redeeming qualities to speak of. It’s a subtle, brilliant piece of writing, directing, and acting.

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