Frank is an expert professional safecracker, specializing in high-profile diamond jobs. After having spent many years in prison, he has a very concrete picture of what he wants out of life--including a nice home, a wife, and kids. As soon as he is able to assemble the pieces of this collage, by means of his chosen profession, he intends to retire and become a model citizen. In an effort to accelerate this process, he signs on to take down a huge score for a big-time gangster. Unfortunately, Frank's obsession for his version of the American Dream allows him to overlook his natural wariness and mistrust, when making the deal for his final job. He is thus ensnared and robbed of his freedom, his independence, and, ultimately, his dream.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
James Caan made sure to speak slowly and clearly and tried to avoid using contractions in his words. He decided that Frank would do this so he would save time by never having to repeat himself. See more »
Late in the film, when Frank gets out of his car to plant the bomb at his bar, the Green Mill, the lights used to illuminate the scene are clearly visible in the car door as the door's angle changes. When he opens the car door to get back in, the lights are visible again. See more »
I see on your application here - by the way, you misspelled mail, it's M-A-L-E, the other's what we put in post boxes - I see you put under employer: 1959 to 1976, Joliet State Penitentiary.
You worked for the state, I take it?
After a fashion.
And what did you do at the prison?
Desks. I, uh, I spot-welded desks, and then I got promoted to shoes.
You were in charge of the shop?
Lady, I was a convict, I was doing time.
You were what?
Frank, let's go.
[...] See more »
Even though this film was made only a little over two decades ago, I consider it a film-noir classic! James Caan said once that this was the film he was in that he was proudest of next to The Godfather. I remember that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel said this was one of the finest films of 1981. Caan is wonderful in a role that he was born to play, a tough guy with his heart on his sleeve. Everything about this film is wonderful from the musical score by Tangerine Dream to the dark lighting effects to the authentic detail about the life of a thief ( I read that Michael Mann actually used real life thieves as technical advisors to this film!). Even though Caan's character is an anti-hero, you have to feel sorry for him because he is caught in a situation where there is no way out! The best scene in the film is where he tells Tuesday Weld about his prison experiences and shows here the picture cut out that he has made of his American dream. Jimmy Caan is truly awesome, he is the only actor that ever made me cry (in Brian's Song) I also wanted to mention another great character actor who is in the film. His name is Robert Prosky and he plays the mob boss who uses Caan. This was his film debut after many years as a stage actor and he is terrific. Watch the scene in the acid plant where he threatens Caan. He is really chilling! Michael Mann created Crime Story and Miami Vice and he also directed Manhunter, but lets not forget this film as well.
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