Before They Were Famous — Watch Philip Seymour Hoffman’s First Feature Film: “Triple Bogey On A Par Five Hole”

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The world was saddened by the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014. Aside from the personal considerations, people were disturbed to think of the number of roles he would never play and parts he would not perform. Considered to have been one of the most versatile actors of his generation, his death at the age of 46 was mourned around the world.

Now, as audiences wait to see his final screen performance as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (scheduled for release on November 20), it is also possible to see Hoffman’s first ever feature film performance as Klutch in the quirky and original comedy Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole.

Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole
is a well-received movie by independent filmmaker Amos Poe, whose filmography includes Rocket Gibraltar – for which he wrote the screenplay –  and Alphabet City, The Blank Generation, and Subway Riders, which he directed. 

The New York Times referred to the movie as “blithely comic” and “… a sweetly demented original, a shaggy-dog story told with utmost gravity…Especially striking is the cinematography by Joe DeSalvo. The film was photographed in black and white, and printed on color stock. It looks gorgeous, all deep bluish-blacks and brilliant whites…” 

It is the story of the three Levy children, who sail around Manhattan on a gorgeous yacht. Their parents, Harry and Sally (there are any number of references to other movies) were crooks who mostly robbed people on golf courses. They were shot to death during one of the robberies, but their children don’t seem to harbor serious ill feelings against them. One of the daughters, Bree, says of them  “I like to think they were just a couple of crooks with some really cute kids.”

The film also features Robbie Coltrane, the immensely popular English actor (the Harry Potter franchise and the James Bond franchise) and comedian who appears in many of Amos Poe’s films. He plays the part of family friend Steffano Baccardi  of whom the New York Times said  he “…evokes primal evil, though, in fact, he’s benign…Grandly mustachioed, with his hair dyed a patent-leather black, wearing the kind of white linen suit once favored by Sidney Greenstreet.”

Watch Philip Seymour Hoffman’s first film role.
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