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The Music of Chance (1993)

R | | Drama | 4 June 1993 (USA)
Two men face the consequences of gambling after playing with men beyond their league.

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(novel), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jim Nashe
...
Calvin Murks
...
Bill Flower
...
Willy Stone
...
Tiffany
...
Floyd
Pearl Jones ...
Louise
Jordan Spainhour ...
Floyd Jr.
...
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Storyline

Whilst traveling across America living off the money from a large inheritance, ex-fireman Nashe has a chance meeting with Pozzi, a professional gambler and card shark. Nashe agrees to fund the penniless Pozzi in a game of poker against two eccentric millionaires, Flower and Stone, in an attempt to regain some of his spent fortune. His gamble has unforeseen and bizarre consequences for both himself and Pozzi. This film is an almost exact translation of the novel by Paul Auster. Written by Stewart Kristiansen <cskjs@swan.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack Pozzi is about to take the biggest gamble of his life...

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La musica del caso  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$313,967 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Jim Nashe is in bed after the party, he reads a book. You can see that the cover indicates the book is one by Paul Auster, who wrote the novel upon which the movie is based. See more »

Quotes

Calvin Murks: Mornin' boys.
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Connections

References White Heat (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Jerusalem
Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Lyrics by William Blake
Performed by Mandy Patinkin
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User Reviews

 
Elegant, unique, and compelling
18 May 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Paul Auster writes marvelous contemporary fiction, and this is a wonderful film adaptation of perhaps his finest work.

THE MUSIC OF CHANCE revolves around two very different protagonists. Jim Nash (Mandy Patinkin) is an ex-fireman, driving across America, and searching for meaning to his life. Jack Pozzi (James Spader) is a professional poker player, out of money, out of luck, and given a ride to New York by Nash. It emerges Jack has a game scheduled with two eccentric millionaires (Joel Grey and Charles Durning), so Jim puts up the capital with the last of his own money. But the poker game doesn't go quite according to plan...

Some people have described this film as "pretentious" - pretending to what exactly? Jack Pozzi and Jim Nash are two unusually clearly defined characters - one shallow, over-confident, tetchy; the other calm, reasonable, tolerant. Their eventual predicament is also disarmingly simple. That air of mystery to the film does not spring from narrative or character but from the viewer's own philosophies towards life. Does one choose one's own path or is it chosen for you? Chance or fate? Freedom or incarceration? Meaning or, in Nash's words, "just bullshit". So in fact even if you think the events onscreen have no deeper meaning, well then that *is* the meaning. For you anyway.

The acting is universally excellent, with Grey, Durning, M Emmet Walsh, and Chris Penn illuminating supporting roles. But Patinkin and Spader dominate the film, with two absolutely captivating performances. Philip Haas's direction is suitably under-stated, and there is also excellent use of music, from jazz to classical.

THE MUSIC OF CHANCE is an absorbing and intelligent piece of film-making. If only there were more films like it.


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