Paranoia is the chief problem Beatty suffers from in this moody, murky, and often frightening movie about nightclub entertainers and Chicago mobsters. Beatty is a stand-up comic, not very good, who runs up a lot of gambling debts and then runs away because he thinks he is about to get
beaten up for nonpayment. He hides out on the West Side of Chicago, using an assumed name, and gets a janitorial job, spending most of his waking hours hauling garbage. Then Beatty's ego, not unlike that of Lenny Bruce's, yearns to be edified again; he must go back on the stage and win applause at
all costs. He contacts his agent, Hart, who books him into Hatfield's club. Before resum...