The Underneath (1995)
"Underneath" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  28 April 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 2,486 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 32 user | 26 critic | 11 from

A recovering gambling addict attempts to reconcile with his family and friends but finds trouble and temptation when caught between feelings for his ex-wife and her dangerous hoodlum boyfriend.



(novel), (screenplay) (as Sam Lowry) , 1 more credit »
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A look at the art of Spalding Gray who drew from real life experience to create a compelling and deeply personal series of monologues.

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Stars: Spalding Gray


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Chambers
Clay Hinkle
Mrs. Chambers
Guard Tom
Guard Casey
Mark Feltch ...
Guard George
Jules Sharp ...
Hinkle's Assistant
Kenneth D. Harris ...
Mantrap Guard
Vincent Gaskins ...
Michael's Partner


Michael Chambers returns home to celebrate his mother's marriage. Michael had been ousted from his home town due to his gambling indiscretions and had left his wife to deal with the mess he created. He now must reassimilate back into the town, renew his relationships with his family and friends (and enemies) and, most of all, seek out his ex-wife to woo her again. In the process, he obtains a job working with his mother's new husband as an armored car driver. He almost seems the perfect prodigal son as he finds his niche back in the community and his way back into his ex's heart. His troubles surmount when he and his wife are caught in the act by her hoodlum boyfriend/fiancé. To get out of this predicament, Michael must concoct a plan to heist of a payroll being carried by his armored car company. Written by Joel Schesser <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For passion, betrayal and murder... there's still no place like home.


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Underneath  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)


$536,023 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Redford was originally set to produce this film. See more »


[first lines]
Susan Crenshaw: Are you getting off at Austin?
See more »


Version of Criss Cross (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

A stylish and well-acted neo-noir
26 July 2014 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

A compulsive gambler returns to the town he fled years before on account of bad debts. He quickly hooks back up with an old flame who is now married to a local hood. Before long he finds himself involved in organising a big money heist.

I get the impression from other reviews that this Texas neo-noir from director Steven Soderbergh doesn't have too good of a reputation. This is something that surprises me somewhat and is a sentiment I cannot get behind. For me, this was a well-directed and well-acted crime film with an interesting structure and a bit of style to burn. Its story is told in three different time-lines that dovetail for the final section. The flash-backs and flash-forwards are effective in creating a tension that ensures we want to find out how everything fits together. Not only this it always looks interesting too, with unusual framing and stylized lighting often used. This emphasis on the visual works well for the neo-noir sub-genre and here is no different. Peter Gallagher is very good in the lead role, in a character that isn't terribly sympathetic, while Alison Elliott was equally good as the woman he reacquaints himself with. Pleasingly, the film ends with a finale that neatly wraps things up in a satisfying and unexpected way.

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