A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Weems ...
Racetrack Announcer
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Richard Holden ...
Cop
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Irv
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Mintz
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Doctor
Lou Hancock ...
Nurse
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Joe
Noelle Harling ...
Nurse Carol Flynn
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Storyline

Lily works for a bookie, placing bets to change the odds at the track. When her son is hospitalized after an unsuccessful con job and resultant beating, she finds that even an absentee parent has feelings for her child. This causes her own job to go wrong as well. Each of them faces the down side of the grift. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's Conning Who?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ambiciones prohibidas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$13,446,769 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lily Tomlin was considered for the role of Lilly Dillon. See more »

Goofs

When Roy visits Lilly in her hotel room to repay his medical expenses, there is a boom mic clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Voice-over: Around the country the bookies pay off winners at track odds. It's dangerous when a long shot comes in. Unless you have somebody at the tracks to lower those odds.
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Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.15 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

DO YOU DO YOU LOVE ME
Performed by Dreamworld
Words & Music by Pete Theodore and Emilie A. Bernstein (as Emily Bernstein)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An unacknowleged classic
3 April 1999 | by (Jersey Shore, USA) – See all my reviews

When I casually flipped to this film (without even knowing what it was) I at first thought it was an exceptionally good film-noir. You might say the film snuck up on me- I was utterly unprepared for what I was about to see. I was drawn in closer and closer to the tangled web the three characters are stuck in, and utterly mesmerised by the performances. I don't think I have ever been so enthralled by a movie. After the intensely disturbing ending- which is not arbitrary, no matter what some of the reviews complained- I found myself unable to sleep. Rarely does a film have such an effect on me. THE GRIFTERS really does have to be seen to be totally understood; word fail one so easily when discussing great art.


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