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The Grifters (1990) - Plot Summary Poster

(1990)

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • In Los Angeles, the smalltime crook Roy Dillon is hit by a baseball bat in the stomach when he tries to swindle a bar attendant. His mother Lilly Dillon works in La Jolla for the powerful bookmaker Bobo Justus, who owns the Justus Amusement Company in Baltimore, placing bets to change the odds at the track but also stealing some money for her that she stashes in her Cadillac. When Lilly comes to Los Angeles to a horse race, she pays a visit to Roy after eight years without seeing each other, and she finds that he has an internal hemorrhage and sends him to the hospital, saving his life. When the experienced Lilly sees Roy's girlfriend, the slut and con artist Myra Langtry, she immediately finds that Myra is a roper. But the grieved Roy does not pay attention to his absent mother and decides to travel with Myra to La Jolla to spend a couple of days resting. Myra sooner finds that Roy lives of short-con grift and proposes him a great plan to rope tycoons; further she unravels Lilly's scheme with Bobo's money. When Roy turns Myra and her offer down, the greedy women set in motion a betrayal that brings tragic consequences to each player.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • When con artist Roy Dillon (Cusack) is visited by his Mother, Lilly (Huston), who is also a con artist, she sends Roy off to the hospital because of a blow to the gut he suffered while working the grift. Roy's girlfriend, Myra (Bening), the third con artist, comes to visit Roy, and we discover that Lilly and Myra don't get along. After he is released from the hospital, Roy and Myra go on a little trip, where he is propositioned to be partners in crime with Myra. Everything soon falls apart for the three con artists, which leads to a bloody climax.

    - Written by Justin Sharp <rainman88@earthlink.net>
  • 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.

    - Written by jgp3553@yahoo.com

Synopsis

The film opens with a voiceover (done by producer Martin Scorsese) where it's explained that bettors at racetracks will deliberately bet high on certain horses to lower the odds and earn more money...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

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