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HIGH STAKES (director/writer: Amos Kollek; cinematographer: Marc Hirschfeld; editor: Robert M. Reitano; music: Mira J. Spektor; cast: Sally Kirkland (Bambi/Melanie Rose), Robert Lupone (John Stratton), Richard Lynch (Slim), Kathy Bates (Jill), Edward Black (Bouncer), Sarah Gellar (Karen Rose), W.T. Martin (Bob), Eddie Earl Hatch (Earl), Maia Danziger (Veronica); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Amos Kollek; Vidmark; 1989)
A trite romantic comedy.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A trite romantic comedy about an aging, good-hearted NYC stripper/prostitute, Bambi Rose (Sally Kirkland), who wants to keep her 6-year-old daughter Karen (Sarah Gellar) away from the business. Writer-director Amos Kollek(“Restless”/”Bridget”/”Fiona”), known best as the son of Jerusalem’s longtime Mayor, Teddy Kollek, tries to make something of his uninvolving story and almost succeeds because of Kirkland’ sensitive performance. Unfortunately Kollek has no flair for comedy.

A john throws the half-dressed Bambi out of his car because she’s too old, and at the same time hot-shot Wall Street financier John Stratton (Robert Lupone) has been mugged. The two meet on the cute in front of Bambi’s walk-up apartment on West 42d Street. They fall in love at first sight. During their apartment get to know each other chat, Bambi’s sadistic pimp Slim (Richard Lynch) bursts in filled with anger. The two vulnerable vics fight back and knock Slim cold. They then steal his gun and big roll of cash. As a result, the mob Bambi works for kidnaps her baby daughter, and Bambi and John team-up to retrieve the baby.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”