American Boy: A Profile of: Steven Prince – 1978
Review by Jack Gatanella
American Boy: A Profile of: Steven Prince (1978)
Stories from a mixed-up, but totally fascinating life, conducted by Scorsese…,
From the start of this hour-length documentary/interview/candid profile on road manager and sometimes actor Steven Prince, director Martin Scorsese sets up the show with him and Prince in a hot-tub, followed by a (not too aggressive) fight with Prince and another guy. This shows to not be a typical one-on-one, as the interviewee goes into specifics in anecdotes, incidents, and memories that usually end with a great laugh (Prince is a wonderful, if a little tired out, storyteller), or with something that’s very much revealing on his life (in other words, saddening). For myself, I knew very little about the man before the interview (not the least of which that he was road manager for Neil Diamond, got hooked into a particular section of the drug community, and had a good view of life in NYC involving various types), except that he made an unmistakable impression as the traveling salesman in Taxi Driver.
But by the end of the (hard to find, most likely it can be found underground or on ebay) interview, with concise, hard, but fascinating questions from Scorsese, American Boy turns out to be just that, a guy who’s gone through the good times and bad times of this country’s bounties and dis-pleasures. It’s even worth watching twice, especially for Scorsese fans (though there isn’t a terrible amount of visual flair he can exercise here), in case something flies over one’s head in the storytelling. Favorite stories include the Marijuana-Gorilla bit, Jack the Cop, a particular tale of a drug bust, and a certain recollection of a revival of a woman after an OD, later to become the primary influence on the climax of Tarantino’s story Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace’s Wife. Cool Neil Young song too. A