Up 5,549 this week

American Buffalo (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 September 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 2,881 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 35 critic

Long-repressed feelings of bitterness and betrayal explode when three inner-city losers plot the robbery of a valuable coin in a seedy second-hand junk shop.



(play), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 09 Aug 2011
a list of 177 titles
created 25 Nov 2011
a list of 41 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 31 Jul 2014
a list of 32 titles
created 06 Aug 2014

Related Items

Search for "American Buffalo" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: American Buffalo (1996)

American Buffalo (1996) on IMDb 5.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Buffalo.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Oleanna (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Student Carol visits Professor John to discuss how she failed his course but the discussion takes awkward turn.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: William H. Macy, Debra Eisenstadt, Diego Pineda
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Jessie is an ageing career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two symbiotic sociopaths play obscurely deviant mind games with each other while engaging in perversely brutal acts of violence against victims apparently chosen at random.

Director: David F. Wheeler
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Guilfoyle, Joseph Maher
Straight Time (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules. He soon finds himself back in jail at the hands of a power-hungry parole ... See full summary »

Directors: Ulu Grosbard, Dustin Hoffman
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Theresa Russell, Gary Busey
Two Bits (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jerry Barone
Homicide (1991)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Jewish homicide detective investigates a seemingly minor murder and falls in with a Zionist group as a result.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Vincent Guastaferro
Lenny (1974)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public.

Director: Bob Fosse
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner
Death of a Salesman (TV Movie 1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An aging traveling salesman recognizes the emptiness of his life and tries to fix it.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich
Edmond (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A fortune-tellers teasing rumination sends Edmond Burke lurching into New York City's hellish underworld.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: William H. Macy, Julia Stiles, Joe Mantegna
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both... See full summary »

Director: James Foley
Stars: Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, Bruce Dern
Hero I (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia
The Border (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupted border agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine


Complete credited cast:


AMERICAN BUFFALO is another story of men's interminable struggle toward the top of the heap, a goal which ultimately and inevitably eludes most of us. Don Dubro, the proprietor of a dusty dark inner-city junk shop, holds court there with his friends and makes plans probably on a daily basis for his ascendancy to the top. He does this more out of habit than hope because he's long ago surrendered his future to the daily repetition of his life as guardian of the discarded remnants of others' possessions. Disheveled Teach, on the other hand, is either too dumb or too stubborn to accept the lot life has dealt him. Instead, he bucks like a wild horse under the saddle and refuses to be broken. Most pitiable of the trio which populates the movie is teen-aged Bobby. Mistaking much of the palaver which passes between the older men as pearls of wisdom, Bobby is the only one of the trio who still has a chance to make a life for himself somewhere beyond this tired too-familiar neighborhood. Don ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They had a plan. It wasn't worth a nickel.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Buffalo - Das Glück liegt auf der Straße  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$164,109 (USA) (13 September 1996)


$540,364 (USA) (4 October 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Corrente was offered the job of directing after meeting producer Gregory Mosher at a screening of Corrente's "Federal Hill." He told Mosher, the director of the original stage production, "This won't mean anything to Mamet, bout could you tell him that 'Federal Hill' never would have happened if I hadn't seen 'Buffalo' onstage when I was a kid?" Mosher then suggested that Corrente direct the film adaptation. See more »


Teach: I go out there everyday. There is nothing out there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

special thanks to Mr. B See more »


References My Little Margie (1952) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"It's not worth a nickel"
12 August 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A film starring Dustin Hoffman, plus the chief super from the Hill Street Blues, from an adapted script by screen writing legend David Mamet, at a pocket-money price? Why hadn't I heard of it, what was wrong with it.

Nothing - except it's more a filmed play than a film, with almost all the talky dialogue taking place in a dusty old New York junk shop. Dustin Hoffman is superb, mixing a florid torrent of irrelevant comment, swearing and unease that is not a far cry from his brilliant turns in Rain Main and Midnight Cowboy. Dennis Franz, meanwhile is the shop's proprietor and is an almost opposite, a masterclass in understated body language as the rants from Teach (Hoffman) have become like water off a duck's back.

A third character, black youth Sean Nelson is the dog's body of the outfit and has his own agendas to deal with. The U.S coin of the title is one that might be worth a lot of money, or is it? Having sold it for more than they thought it worth, do they steal it back, just in case it's worth thousands?

Mamet's dialogue crackles with a crisp reality - Teach swears like a trooper, with F and C swear words jumbled up along with everything else. He's harmless, you conclude, if not obviously emotionally damaged. Donny, (Franz) says as much and as little as most shopkeepers say; only when it's needed to get a deal done; to clarify a point.

It undoubtedly would have had more impact and urgency within the confines of a set in an actual theatre, but on DVD it's OK. The shop, at least looks like a proper shop with a plethora of junk, the clutter adding to the feeling of messed up lives, somehow.

Sadly, this won't appeal to everyone. There's no real action to speak of, no pretty women to break up the squalid male-ness and like Teach's dialogue, the story goes round in circles. However, this tale of emerging bitterness and feelings of underachievement is palpable and engaging, if you let it. Personally, I'm glad I chanced upon it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Worst movie off all time sinhead83
please help!!!!a place to buy the dvd of this film in english subtitle gormgnuisdeamhan-1
Worse than a 5.3 marottsl
Coming to Broadway with John Leguizamo, + Cedric the Entertainer jeanostrong
please help!!!!a place to buy the dvd of this film in english subtitle gormgnuisdeamhan-1
Discuss American Buffalo (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: