Mickey One

Director: Arthur Penn
Screenwriters: Alan Surgal

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


As Robin Wood astutely remarks, "The protagonist of Mickey One is, like Billy the Kid and Bonnie and Clyde, a character with a fully developed popular image and a very uncertain sense of the relationship between this image and his real self: Mickey One is not even the real name of the down-on-his-luck nightclub comedian Warren Beatty plays in the film, but a pseudonym he has coined from an unknown Pole The exact Identity of his pursuers remains equally undefined

Charles Higham, in his excellent analysis of the film, says. "This extraordinary Kafkaesque work is far more effective than Orson Welles' version of The Trial, which provided its basic inspiration. Warren Beatty symbolizes American youth in the 1960s, trapped and on the run. Penn creates more vividly than in any other film the pulverizing weight of a mechanical world. He shows Beatty fleeing across immense junkyards where cars are crushed flat and dropped from the teeth of cranes, streets where furtive figures creep Into alleyways for shelter, and strange little huts where bizarre figures lurk trying to lure him In. The last scene is extraordinary It shows the 'K'-like protagonist in a boite with a single spotlight pinning him down like a dying butterfly:

We are screening a brand-new 35-mm print which has been restored and preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Sunday Jan 23 6:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Sunday Jan 30 11:40 am
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

  • Section: Challenge and Innovation: A Tribute to Arthur Penn
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 93 min.
As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]