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Film / Solly's Diner

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Solly's Diner is a 1979 short film (10 minutes) written, directed by, and starring Larry Hankin.

Solly's diner is a greasy spoon in someplace that's probably New York City. It's 4 a.m. and an eccentric homeless guy named Jones is trying to cadge a meal from the waitress. A drunk sleeps on the next stool.

Jones graduates from panhandling to armed robbery when he reveals a gun in his coat and pleasantly, politely demands the cash in the register. His plan is complicated, however, when another armed robber also storms in and demands the cash in the register.

Larry Hankin is a well-known TV character actor probably best remembered for playing Mr. Heckles during the early run of Friends. The drunk on the stool is Paul Willson, who played Paul in the later seasons of Cheers and also played one of the Bobs in Office Space.

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Tropes:

  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: Jones's effort to rob the diner is interrupted by a different armed robber also robbing the diner.
  • Credits Gag: When the second robber asks Jones his name, he says "Sometimes Jones." In the closing credits he is in fact credited as "Sometimes Jones".
  • Epic Tracking Shot: Starts with a tracking shot lasting over a minute that tracks all around the tiny diner, first going down the row of stools to one end, then getting a closeup of the counter and grill and going back the other way.
  • Motor Mouth: Jones just won't stop chattering, badgering the second thief to share some of the cash with him, eventually asking for $2.
  • No Name Given: For the second robber, the waitress, or the drunk.
  • Real Time: No time skips, just ten eventful minutes at a diner.
  • Soft Glass: Played along with Grievous Bottley Harm for a gag when the second robber tries to be even more intimidating by breaking a beer bottle into a shiv, only to instead shatter it into a million pieces.
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  • The Speechless: The drunk, who spends the whole movie sleeping on a stool, until the gunshot. He wakes up, and promptly faints.

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