Lookin’ to Get Out Movie (1982)

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Director Hal Ashby

Producer Andrew Braunsberg

Writers Al Schwartz, Jon Voight

Stars Jon Voight, Ann-Margret, Burt Young

Cinematography Haskell Wexler

Music Miles Goodman

Genre Comedy

Running Time 105min

Release date October 8, 1982

Country United States of America

Language English

Gross $946,461


Actor Character

Jon Voight Alex Kovac

Ann-Margret Patti Warner

Burt Young Jerry Feldman

Bert Remsen Smitty

Jude Farese Harry

Allen Keller Joey

Richard Bradford Bernie Gold


The movie begins by introducing us to Alex Kovac who is seen to be an upbeat street-smart person with a love for suits. He finds himself losing in a poker game owing $10,000 to Harry and Joey who are not so friendly when a debt goes unpaid. In an effort to recoup the money, Alex Kovac convinces his friend Jerry to go with him to Las Vegas.

When they get to Las Vegas, they are fortunate to have a similar name to a regular wealthy member of the casino. They take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy the perks of assuming the identity of Jerry Feldman including a good room and gambling money.

After a while, Harry and Joey find them in Las Vegas and threaten him to find the money fast. Alex and Jerry work with an old acquaintance, Smitty, who is skilled at counting cards to rack up large wins at the casino.

The large wins catch the attention of the casino and that spells trouble for Alex Kovac and his counterparts that include his old lover Patti Warner (Ann-Margret). Eventually, they find a way around the mayhem and return home in one piece.


This movie is a great showcase for friendship and the much that it can overcome. Both Alex and Jerry have their own issues but they will do what they can to help each other out. Alex and Jerry make a good pair because Alex’s loudness is balanced by Jerry’s timid appearance.

The movie is set in the ’80s hence you get a good sense of the times from the clothing to the music. It will not have you laughing until your ribs hurt but it is written in a way to deliver subtle but good humour. The cast delivered a good performance that is in-tune with the levity of the characters.

It is easy to tell that that the quality of the movie was of high standards because of the picture quality. With a budget of 17 million, the movie would have been a total bust without the final cut being of such quality.

The movie does not have a complex narrative; the story is simple but packed with humour at the right instances. Those who want a good introspective on what comedy movies were like in the ’80s should watch this movie.

It did not do exceptionally well at the box-office for a movie with such a high budget. However, it was not a complete failure as it carried through well. If you want an award-winning comedy this is not it, but if you want an old movie for a slow Thursday night, this movie would be it.


Lookin’ to Get Out is well produced for its era. With a rating of 5.2, it deserves a watch even more so because it was a limited edition. It is among the best productions from Hal Ashby that mark his skill. It is light-hearted, simply written and it will have you rooting for your favourite actor among the cast all through. If you are a fan of Angelina Jolie, watch her first performance in this movie and see her talent spring from such a young age.

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