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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"American Buffalo" is an excellent example of how a director with a breadth of vision can take an established, award-winning play and expand it to mesmerize big-screen and VHS audiences. All the action takes place in an inner-city junkshop, where Donnie (Dennis Franz) and Teach (Dustin Hoffman) plot to steal a valuable coin collection. From the movie's opening lines to the closing scene where one of the characters is being wheeled to the hospital, "American Buffalo" makes plain that, in America, people's business interests often turn them on one another, and sometimes turn them violent. The real star of the show is Dustin Hoffman's flawless and addicting interpretation of the character "Teach," once again showing Hoffman's dedication not just to the craft of interesting filmmaking - but to presenting the minute details an actor can reflect when given such a well-written character.
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