7.0/10
21,995
95 user 57 critic

The Grifters (1990)

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:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ambiciones prohibidas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$125,195 (USA) (21 January 1991)

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

Myra is seen working a con at the offices of Coe, Stark, Fellowes & Associates. Tucker Coe and Richard Stark are two pseudonyms used by Screenwriter and Author Donald E. Westlake. See more »

Goofs

Bobo appears to punch Lilly so hard that her shoes disappear. The punch in her gut drops her to the floor. The next shot shows her on the floor but her shoes are nowhere to be seen. 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

Referenced in The Best of Film Noir (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Heartbreak Highway
(uncredited)
Performed by Keith Whitley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Juicy piece of neo-noir
24 April 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

THE GRIFTERS (1990) ***1/2 John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, Pat Hingle, J.T. Walsh, Charles Napier. Donald Westlake's slick, serpentine screenplay adaptation of noir author Jim Thompson's novel offers up a juicy, ripe slice of pulp fiction with hip Cusack a slick con artist strictly small time, Huston as his duplicitous, estranged Mobbed up mother on the take and Bening as his slinky gal pal with a few cards up her collective sleeve.

Excellently executed in the rhythms of a perfectly coiled con game about to be sprung with slick precision thanks to fine acting all around and a jolting climax thanks to a steady helm by director Stephen Frears.


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