The Grifters

( 7 )

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 ...
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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.
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/2002
  • UPC: 786936190984
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

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
Sandy Baron Doctor
Frances Bay Arizona Motel Clerk
Xander Berkeley Lt. Pierson
Teresa Gilmore Capps Receptionist 1
Jon Gries Drunk's Friend
Lou Hancock Nurse
Noelle Harling Nurse Flynn
Richard Holden Cop
Henry Jones Simms
Ed Jones Mintz
Juliet Landau Young Lilly
Michael Laskin Irv
Micole Mercurio Waitress
Jan Munroe Guy at Bar
Jeff Perry Drunk
Jeremy Piven Sailor - Freshman
Gailard Sartain Joe
Ray Sharkey FBI Man
Ivette Soler Maid
Gregory Sporleder Sailor - Spooney
Juliet Taylor
Victoria Thomas
Stephen Tobolowsky Jeweler
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 A. Harris Co-producer
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
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Perfomances by Great Actors!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bravo Zulu for Director Stephen Frears in ''The Grifters''

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2000

    The Grifters, John Cusack, Great Movie!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews