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Those the River Keeps



Phil, a supporting character in the author’s Hurlyburly, takes center stage in this haunting drama about trying to escape the past. A former mob hitman, Phil is in Hollywood trying to make it as a television actor. He’s had a few bit parts, but is hardly a success, and he is largely supported by his wife, Susie, a waitress. Unfortunately, Susie desperately wants something in return, something Phil is not prepared or eager to give: a child. Phil is going nowhere fast when Sal, a mysterious man from his past, appears and offers him the chance to return to an exciting life of crime. Sal is in town to hit a guy, and he wants Phil to be his partner. To Sal, Phil has become a “mook,” a nobody. Phil is tempted with this opportunity to redeem himself as a man.

Character Breakdown