Grifters

The Grifters

3.7 7
Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening

     
 

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Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into

Overview

Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), who is too similar to herself. Soon, the two women are competing for Roy in a battle that is more of a power struggle than a pursuit of affection, and the battle quickly turns dangerous. Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for her work.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Of the several movies made in the 1990s that mined the original material of writer Jim Thompson, Stephen Frears' The Grifters was easily the best. Adapted for the screen by noted crime novelist Donald Westlake, the intelligent, knowing script is a major strength. Like Frears' previous film, Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters is full of smart, character-driven deceit and intrigue. It's essentially a morality play, but, in keeping with the material's film noir feel, its morals are not simple, and definitive conclusions are unclear. John Cusack, Annette Bening, and Anjelica Huston perfectly portray the three characters involved in the ethical tug-of-war: Cusack finally asserted himself an adult actor with his stylish, sympathetic performance, but Huston and Bening steal the show as the harpies out to devour him. They capture the film's peculiarly fragile tone. With its odd gloss and modern viewpoint, The Grifters is more akin to the post-noir sensibilities of Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye than to such other neo-noir films as Red Rock West or the Thompson-inspired After Dark, My Sweet.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/07/2013
UPC:
0096009024918
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax Echo Bridge
Time:
1:50:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Roy Dillon
Anjelica Huston Lilly Dillon
Annette Bening Myra Langtry
Pat Hingle Bobo Justus
J.T. Walsh Cole
Charles Napier Rebbing
Eddie Jones Mintz
Juliet Taylor Actor
Victoria Thomas Actor
Jan Munroe Guy at Bar
Stephen Tobolowsky Jeweler
Richard Holden Cop
Henry Jones Simms
Michael Laskin Irv
Sandy Baron Doctor
Lou Hancock Nurse
Gailard Sartain Joe
Noelle Harling Nurse Flynn
Ivette Soler Maid
Jeremy Piven Sailor - Freshman
Jeff Perry Drunk
Micole Mercurio Waitress
Teresa Gilmore Capps Receptionist 1
Ray Sharkey FBI Man
Frances Bay Arizona Motel Clerk
Juliet Landau Young Lilly
Gregory Sporleder Sailor - Spooney
Jon Gries Drunk's Friend
Xander Berkeley Lt. Pierson

Technical Credits
Stephen Frears Director
Mick Audsley Editor
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Barbara de Fina Executive Producer
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Robert Harris Co-producer
Julie Hewett Makeup
Richard Hornung Costumes/Costume Designer
Leslie McDonald Art Director
James Painten Co-producer
Peggy Rajski Co-producer
Martin Scorsese Co-producer
Oliver Stapleton Cinematographer
Juliet Taylor Casting
Victoria Thomas Casting
Llewellyn Wells Production Manager
Donald E. Westlake Screenwriter

Scene Index

Commentary; Behind the scenes

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The Grifters 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent 1990 film noir. The entrancing cast, Southern California locations and terrific musical score make this a compelling and contemporary story of grift and greed.
jethot More than 1 year ago
Cusak is a loser grifter living on the edge of his trade while Annette Benning is another slightly smarter grifter that plays Cusak's girlfriend with some plans that don't include Cusak or his mother played by Anjelica Houston. Each plays their part wonderfully and the script is well written, a little on the gritty - film noir side. The story is realistic enough that in spite of cinematic drama you could imagine people living this life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Grifters was unfortunately widely overlooked! This is a GREAT movie! Definitely not for kids! Very sexy, very dramatic and you just never know what will happen next! Please don't miss this great film!