You may know Dustin Hoffman for a lot of great movie roles, but you may not know him as a hardened ex-con trying to do his Straight Time.

straight_time original movie poster


“Straight Time” is a neglected action-drama from 1978 – with Hoffman starring alongside iconic character Actor Harry Dean Stanton and a very young Gary Busey.


Here is the gritty trailer from 1978:

The film begins with Hoffman being paroled after serving several years in prison. He attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules, but “straight time” is much more difficult that he knows.straight-time Theresa RussellThe beautiful young Theresa Russell co-stars as a social worker who sees how his past is catching up to him again.kathy-bates-straight-time

You may think of Kathy Bates from films like Misery and Primary Colors, but a very young Bates also stars in the film as Gary Busey’s wife, who fears that Hoffman’s return may spell trouble for her husband…Straight-Time_Masterpiece-_Dustin-Hoffman-1978Dustin Hoffman Fires The Director… Dustin Hoffman!

There is a lot of great action in the film, and there’s also a great movie legend surrounding Straight Time: Dustin Hoffman was going to direct himself in the movie, but after the first day of filming he fired himself. Allegedly, Hoffman realized after one day that he wasn’t comfortable doing both jobs, so turned the movie over to his friend Ulu Grosbard. Grosbard also directed Robert DeNiro in True Confessions.Straight Time Dustin Hoffman Prison

Straight Time is a great crime-drama, with an amazingly intense performance by Hoffman, and terrific location filming around the seedier side of Hollywood.  To prep for his role, the actor spent time in prison before filming.

Straight Time Edward Bunker

Edward Bunker, known as “Mr. Blue” in Reservoir Dogs, has a brief appearance in the film.  Bunker wrote the script, based on the novel “No Beast So Fierce”, a novel he wrote while serving time in prison.StraightTimeDustinHoffmanThis film is gritty, tough, and honest, with great 70’s Actors showing a rougher side of Los Angeles – and Hoffman showing a darker side as well.