7.0/10
1,393
16 user 6 critic

Skin Game (1971)

In 1857, con man Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke swindle slave owners into buying Jason, who's a free man, and later share the profits when Jason escapes captivity.

Directors:

Paul Bogart, Gordon Douglas (co-director) (uncredited)

Writers:

Peter Stone (screenplay) (as Pierre Marton), Richard Alan Simmons (story)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Quincy
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Jason (as Lou Gossett)
Susan Clark ... Ginger
Brenda Sykes ... Naomi
Edward Asner ... Plunkett
Andrew Duggan ... Calloway
Henry Jones ... Sam
Neva Patterson ... Mrs. Claggart
Parley Baer ... Mr. Claggart
George Tyne ... Bonner
Royal Dano ... John Brown
J. Pat O'Malley ... William
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Abram
Napoleon Whiting ... Ned
Juanita Moore ... Viney
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Storyline

Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke have pulled off every dodge known for conning a well-heeled sucker, but it wasn't until they hit on the old skin game that they started to clean up. The game is simple. Jason, though born a free man in New Jersey, poses as Quincy's slave as the pair ride through Missouri and Kansas in 1857. Quincy picks a likely mark in each town, sells Jason to him for top money and rides out of town. Then Quincy and Jason get back together on the road to another town, because if Jason can't just run off after dark, Quincy finds a way to spring him loose. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Would you buy a used slave from this man ? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1972 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

El rey de los picaros See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cherokee Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on Richard Alan Simmons' original story "Skin Game". The screenplay was written by Peter Stone, who did not receive on-screen credit, and requested that his name be taken off the credits because his screenplay was re-written by a second writer, thereby altering the theme, the plot and, most importantly, the characters. See more »

Goofs

Susan Clark's character explains to Quincy that there is to be a vote whether Kansas will join the Union as a slave state like Missouri or a free state like Nebraska. Nebraska wasn't admitted to the Union until 1867, 6 years after Kansas. See more »

Quotes

Jason: Oh! Don't tell me that besides providing a breathtaking panorama of Ohio, that this fine old establishment also provides break-
[Jason turns, sees Ginger and immediately switches dialects]
Jason: Lo-o-ord-e Mas' Quincy, eh, hauled these vittles all the way down here...
Quincy: Jason, you can forget it, she knows.
Jason: What, Mas' Quincy?
Quincy: Who we are.
Jason: [Forced laughter] Ah! Ha ha ha ha ha, wonderful!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Skin Con!
22 September 2017 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Skin Game is predominantly directed by Paul Bogart and written by Richard Alan Simmons and Peter Stone. It stars James Garner, Louis Gossett Jr., Susan Clark, Brenda Sykes, Edward Asner and Andrew Duggan. Music is by David Shire and cinematography by Fred J. Koenekamp.

Slavery era America and two interracial con-men travel from town to town duping white folk into purchasing black Jason O'Rourke (Gossett Jr,). After Quincy Drew (Garner) strikes a deal, with money in hand, the pair meet up later to scarper and split the profits. A nice con, that is until ladies and savvy outsiders enter the fray...

A lovely Panavision/Technicolor production, Skin Game is a little remembered comedy Oater, not because it's poor, but more than likely because it has been shunted to one side due to what is now perceived as political incorrectness. Which is a shame, for although it doesn't fully exploit the premise it is working with, it's a very likable pic that's propped up by strong lead performances.

As the not so intrepid duo move from town to town, places with great names like Dirty Shame and Bitter End, a number of funny scenes keep things perky, be it bath time, Jason crying or the verbal jousting rumbling on, the comedy is subtle and easy to digest. The introduction of Clark lifts the pic higher, for she's a bigger rogue than Quincy and Jason, adding more cream to an already amusing pudding.

It's all very improbable as such, so we are not surprised when things inevitably go belly up, while the intention to probe the bile of the era in question doesn't make a telling mark. But the pros of the piece far outweigh the cons to give us a film worth tracking down. 7/10


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