Feature: A View from the Id

The American Snitch (1983): Politically Incorrect, Intellectually Assaultive, Mildly Amusing

Author: Bob Etier
Published: March 26, 2012 at 5:26 am

The American Snitch is a 1983 comedy that lampoons tabloids like National Enquirer and The Weekly World News (“The World’s Only Reliable News”) with unsophisticated humor, a moth-eaten screenplay, cartoonish characters, and a train-wreck appeal. Sure you can turn away, and you’ll probably ask yourself why you don’t, but you’ll watch the whole thing anyway.

Jeff Morton (Fred McCarren) is a good reporter with a bad temper—bad enough to repeatedly get him fired for hauling off and belting his bosses. He finds himself jobless in Atlanta. With no prospects (having been arrested again for punching a newspaper boss), he reluctantly accepts a job with The American Snitch, a bottom-of-the-barrel tabloid that specializes in taking pictures of celebrity look-alikes in compromising positions and inventing dirt about former presidents.

Jeff is mortified to be working for The Snitch even though he’s involved with a woman who loves the rag, and is determined to do “serious” reporting. He stumbles upon a private research facility that is somehow in cahoots with the Army, experimenting on convicts.

It’s all a lot of silliness and the real humor is found in the faux Snitch front pages and the deluded souls who report their sightings of Jesus, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and aliens. The American Snitch holds its audience captive with stupidity and over-the-top situations. It’s not hilariously funny, but is at times amusing. 

Available from on-line retailers, The American Snitch is offered by MGM through its Limited Edition Collection on DVD, manufactured on demand.


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Article Author: Bob Etier

Two words describe Bob Etier: "female" and "weird." Like many freelance writers, there's something about her that isn't quite right. Read her stuff and find out what.

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