IMDb > The Grifters (1990)
The Grifters
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The Grifters (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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The Grifters -- 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.
The Grifters -- 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.

Overview

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Director:
Writers (WGA):
Jim Thompson (novel)
Donald E. Westlake (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Grifters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 January 1991 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's Conning Who?
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A seedy underbelly of life exposed for all to see See more (86 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anjelica Huston ... Lilly Dillon

John Cusack ... Roy Dillon

Annette Bening ... Myra Langtry

Jan Munroe ... Guy at Bar
Robert Weems ... Racetrack Announcer

Stephen Tobolowsky ... Jeweler

Jimmy Noonan ... Bartender
Richard Holden ... Cop

Henry Jones ... Simms

Michael Laskin ... Irv

Eddie Jones ... Mintz
Sandy Baron ... Doctor
Lou Hancock ... Nurse

Gailard Sartain ... Joe
Noelle Harling ... Nurse Carol Flynn
Ivette Soler ... Maid

Pat Hingle ... Bobo Justus

Paul Adelstein ... Sailor - Young Paul

Jeremy Piven ... Sailor - Freshman

Gregory Sporleder ... Sailor - Spooney
David Sinaiko ... Sailor - Stinky

Jeff Perry ... Drunk

Jon Gries ... Drunk's Friend (as Jonathan Gries)

Micole Mercurio ... Waitress

Charles Napier ... Gloucester Hebbing

J.T. Walsh ... Cole
Teresa Gilmore ... Receptionist 1 (as Teresa Gilmore Capps)
Elizabeth Ann Feeley ... Receptionist 2
Billy Ray Sharkey ... FBI Man

Frances Bay ... Arizona Motel Clerk

Xander Berkeley ... Lt. Pierson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steven Anderson ... Nervous Man in Jewelry Shop (uncredited)

Fawn ... Young Teenager (uncredited)
John Gillespie ... Bartender (uncredited)
Lee Hollingsworth ... Dog Race Spectator (uncredited)

Juliet Landau ... Young Lilly (uncredited)

Martin Scorsese ... Opening Voice-over (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Stephen Frears 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Jim Thompson (novel)

Donald E. Westlake (screenplay)

Produced by
Barbara De Fina .... executive producer
Robert A. Harris .... producer
Jim Painter .... producer
Peggy Rajski .... co-producer
Martin Scorsese .... producer
 
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
 
Cinematography by
Oliver Stapleton 
 
Film Editing by
Mick Audsley 
 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Victoria Thomas 
 
Production Design by
Dennis Gassner 
 
Art Direction by
Leslie McDonald 
 
Set Decoration by
Nancy Haigh 
 
Costume Design by
Richard Hornung 
 
Makeup Department
Cydney Cornell .... department head hair stylist
Gina DiMaria .... assistant makeup artist (as Gina Di Maria)
Alec Gillis .... special makeup effects artist
Lori Guidroz .... assistant hair stylist
Julie Hewett .... makeup artist
Tom Woodruff Jr. .... special makeup effects artist
 
Production Management
Fiona Morham .... post-production supervisor
Llewellyn Wells .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
J. Stephen Buck .... first assistant director (as Stephen Buck)
Joe Camp III .... second assistant director (as Joseph Camp III)
 
Art Department
Paige Augustine .... assistant set decorator
Curtis Baruth .... carpenter
Rob Brown .... carpenter
Bill Cancienne .... assistant property master
Linda Cathey .... swing gang
Shelley Chamberlain .... stand-by painter
Joseph Timothy Conway .... assistant property master (as Joseph Conway)
Michael T. Daigle .... key scenic artist (as Michael Daigle)
Frank Darlington .... stand-by painter (as Frank Peter Darlington)
Marina Drasnin .... art department intern
Douglas Fox .... property master (as Doug Fox)
Lucy Frears .... art department intern
Claire Gaul .... assistant set decorator
Robert Greenfield .... leadperson
Joe Griffith .... storyboard artist (as Joseph F. Griffith)
Mike Keith .... stand-by painter
Roger L. King .... carpenter
Leslie 'Tinker' Linville .... key set dresser (as Tinker Linville)
John Moore .... carpenter
Scott Plauche .... art department coordinator
Elizabeth Prejean .... stand-by painter
John Setzer .... carpenter
Chris Snyder .... construction foreman
Chris L. Spellman .... swing gang (as Chris Spellman)
Joseph Torres .... carpenter
Theo Van Den Huevel .... carpenter (as Theo Van Den Heuvel)
Frank Viviano .... construction coordinator
Wallace W. Wright .... stand-by painter
 
Sound Department
Mick Boggis .... assistant sound mixer
Jeremy Child .... assistant dialogue editor
Richard Dunford .... foley editor
Derek Holding .... dialogue editor
Peter Maxwell .... sound re-recording mixer
Folasade Oyeleye .... assistant sound editor
Kant Pan .... supervising sound editor
Gill Parry .... assistant sound editor
John Sutton .... sound mixer
Ian Wright .... boom operator
Steve Hancock .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Peter Watson .... opticals
 
Stunts
John Gillespie .... assistant stunt coordinator
Gary Jensen .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Austin .... video playback operator
James Babineaux .... best boy electric
Joe Broderick .... assistant Steadicam operator
Katherine M. Butler .... second assistant camera (as Kate Butler)
George M. Chappell .... electrician
Mark Shane Davis .... key grip (as Mark Davis)
Jack English .... gaffer
Irv Gorman .... grip
Scott Graves .... electrician
Kurt Grossi .... grip
Suzanne Hanover .... still photographer
Stephen Harvey .... titles still photographer
Lee Johnson .... additional electrician
Steve Lang .... grip
Mitchell Linden .... grip
Marco Mazzei .... first assistant camera
Tony Mazzucchi .... best boy grip
Matthew Morrissey .... third assistant camera
Toby Phillips .... Steadicam operator
Bill Pierson .... dolly grip
Darrin C. Porter .... electrician (as Darrin Porter)
Marc Reshovsky .... director of photography: second unit
Pierre Rouger .... first assistant camera: second unit
Greg Wardell .... electrician
 
Casting Department
Sunny Seibel .... extras casting: Phoenix
Jory Weitz .... casting associate
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kimberly Adams-Galligan .... assistant costume designer (as Kimberly Adams)
Marsha Bozeman .... wardrobe (as Marsha Brand)
Mark Bridges .... assistant costume designer
Elizabeth Feldbauer .... wardrobe supervisor
Gail McMullen .... wardrobe assistant
 
Editorial Department
Julie Feiner .... first assistant editor: Los Angeles
Dan Gane .... second assistant editor: London
Martyn Robinson .... first assistant editor: London
Mary Ann Slim .... post-production assistant
Brian Ufberg .... second assistant editor: Los Angeles
 
Music Department
Brian Masterson .... music recordist
Cynthia Millar .... electronic music designer
 
Transportation Department
Moises Blay .... driver (as Moses Blay)
Fred Falcone .... driver
Al Goelz .... driver
A. Welch Lambeth .... transportation coordinator
Tony Laron .... transportation co-captain
Bill Oykman .... driver
Bill M. Puluti .... transportation captain (as Bill Puluti)
Terry Ragan .... driver
Urs Stalder .... driver
 
Other crew
Catherine Anderson .... production assistant
Beth Bernstein .... assistant production coordinator
William C. Breen .... consultant
Sharon A. Briggs .... assistant: Barbara De Fina (as Sharon Briggs)
Kathleen M. Courtney .... production coordinator
Mary Cybulski .... script supervisor
Richard Davis Jr. .... location manager (as Richard Davis)
Dean Dill .... consultant
Tom Gamble .... production assistant
Nan Garcia-Wood .... medic
Chris Grant .... cook
Daniel Grant .... cook
Vincent Gratzer .... promotions
Jody Hummer .... assistant location manager
Brian Jochum .... production assistant
Julia Judge .... assistant: Martin Scorsese
Shannon Kane .... assistant production accountant
Stephen Masters .... titles designer
Peter E. Nunnery .... production assistant (as Peter Nunnery)
Roger Phillips .... title designer
Pablo Prietto .... production assistant
Cynthia Quan .... production accountant
Ronald M. Quigley .... location manager: second unit (as Ronald Quigley)
Tiffany Rosen .... production secretary
Julian Rothenstein .... title designer
Andrew Varela .... promotions
Dan Winkle .... production assistant
Craig Caton .... creature crew (uncredited)
Michael Jackman .... post-production accountant (uncredited)
Donnie Saylor .... technical consultant (uncredited)
Gregg Singer .... talent assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Anne Harrison .... special thanks
Kim Jacobsen .... thanks
Bruce Kawin .... special thanks
Debra Knoblauch .... thanks
Frank Kush .... thanks
Victoria Ann Varga .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lily Tomlin was considered for the role of Lilly Dillon.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Lily unscrews both light bulbs in the hallway outside Roy's apartment. In a following cut, Roy is seen entering his apartment from a well lit hallway.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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
DO YOU DO YOU LOVE MESee more »

FAQ

Is Lilly Roy's biological mother?
See more »
26 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
A seedy underbelly of life exposed for all to see, 16 August 1999
Author: Kyle Milligan (toldyaso@planeteer.com) from Toronto, Canada

Years ago, this was one of the films I was quite pleased with myself for seeing. I didn't know much about it, but decided to take a chance on it, with no regrets. From the opening sequence to the end credits I was mesmerized and in awe of events that communicated an entirely alien philosophy. Based on the novel by Jim Thompson, "The Grifters" tells a tale of a world that lies just under the surface of the one we know of. That is of course, if you count yourself among the squares and suckers who often fall prey to the craftsmen of the grift.

With startling precision, intrigue and depth, the story unfolds chronicling the lives of three distinctly different yet intertwined individuals. Their setting and perspective is entirely foreign to the majority of us. The filmmakers portray the grifters' different methods and environments as skilled scam artists. For unless you've had a personal experience having fallen prey or gotten wise to a grifter's ploy, you'll simply have to accept the reality of it. They are out there, waiting for the suckers to be born.

This particularly dark tale is very stylishly directed and moves along at a good pace. Each turn offers another sneak peek into the games played and the tricks pulled. The prey are often unaware of their own victimization as they go on about their business.

Another aspect the film deals with is trust or the lack thereof. Our protagonists spend most of their time scamming, conning and tricking people so much that their sense of trust and decency breaks down. They alienate themselves from everyone, and ultimately can't even trust each other.

And of course, what drama would be complete without a twisted love triangle in the mix with betrayal and murder to keep it interesting. If this doesn't sound like another day at the office, you might just find the workplace of "The Grifters" intriguing. Seeing it today, I enjoyed it as much as I did years ago, before I opened my eyes for a fresh look at the world.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (86 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Grifters (1990)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Just Yuck! anjelica1966
Annette's a babe? I was surprised... gcior1
This is gonna mess you up elmeris1
'Pe.. pe..pe...permanent damage' jaypeefriend
How does Myra rat out Lilly to Bobo? kag2-1
Annette Bening and the diamond scene billyfsu20
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