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American Buffalo (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 September 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 2,879 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.



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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?


The Times Square Restaurant in Pawtucket, RI was renamed the Riverside Diner to fit the script of this film. As of 2010, it is still called the Riverside Diner, although the elaborate neon marquee that stood on the building several years after filming has been replaced by a simpler sign. See more »


Teach: If I had kept everything my old man threw out, I'd be a wealthy man today.
See more »

Crazy Credits

special thanks to Mr. B See more »


References My Little Margie (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

A good movie if you're a fan of the stage play
7 May 2002 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Your average movie goer will not enjoy this film. With a small cast of three main characters, the majority of the film takes place in a single room. This alone may explain why the film never took off as the blockbuster it should have been with actors such as Dennis Franz and Dustin Hoffman. The direction of the film could have been much better that it turned out to be. Like other critics have said, the film was shot like it was being acted on stage. This is very true. The film has no unique directing style nor does it have any strong motif to add to the films creative look and style. The acting in the film, on the other hand, is wonderful. Franz and Hoffman are excellent together. With a stronger movie maker in the director's chair, the movie could have been much much better.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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