Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a...
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Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a boxer that will knock out 10 Diggstown men, in a boxing ring, within 24 hours. "Honey" Roy Palmer is that man - although at 48, many say he is too old. A sub plot is thrown in about Charles Macum Diggs - the heavyweight champion that gave the town its name - and who is now confined to a wheel-chair. Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
The referee is play by Benny Urquidez, a famous kick boxing world champion. See more »
Roy Palmer was leaning against the ropes between each round in the first few fights; fighters don't do that, since it makes the arm muscles tense and sore. As a fighter, Palmer should have known better. See more »
Do you know the difference between a hustler and a good con-man?
Diggstown (also known as Midnight Sting) is directed by Michael Ritchie and stars James Woods, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Bruce Dern. It also features Heather Graham, Oliver Platt, a pre-fame James Caviezel and Randall "Tex" Cobb. The plot sees Woods as con-man Gabriel Caine, recently out of prison he and his cohort Fitz (Platt), set up a boxing "sting" in Diggstown, a hickville place out in Olivair County that is run by egomaniac John Gillon (Dern). The set-up entails Caine's old friend Honey Roy Palmer (Gossett Jr) having to fight, and beat, 10 Diggstown men in one day. As the money goes down and secrets come out, corruption and violence is never far away.
Midnight Sting was one of those film's that came to my attention in the early hours of one morning. I couldn't sleep and turned the TV on out of pure frustration at lack of sleep. What I didn't know at that time of irksome sleepy annoyance was that I would fall in love with a movie, a love that lasts to this very day. The TV announcer said the name of the movie and that it stars James Woods. Since Woods is always value for money I thought I would give it a go, for the next 98 minutes I laughed out loud, I cringed at some sad moments and I punched the air on more than one occasion. It quickly became one of my favourite movies of all time. On the surface it looks a very simple tale, but it has so much more to offer outside of the excellent fight sequences and some belting one liners.
Based on Leonard Wise's novel The Diggstown Ringers, the film deals in loyalties, friendships, greed, power, corruption and lies; not to mention small town mentality being under the microscope. It's impeccably acted too, with the Woods and Gossett play off one of the most engaging duets of the 1990s. While the twists, and there are some corkers, really crown what was already a smart and witty script. It was a film that went largely unnoticed on its release, and even now in this age of rampant internet use it appears to still be under seen or sadly forgotten. It of course wont become a personal favourite of all newcomers to it, but just maybe one day if you can't sleep or you are stuck for a rental then you should give it a chance. Because it deserves a chance to at least try to welcome you into its fan club.
I love it, you know that by now, and there's a chance that you will too. Punch the air brilliant. 10/10
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