7.0/10
23,298
97 user 61 critic

The Grifters (1990)

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A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Jim Thompson (novel), Donald E. Westlake (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anjelica Huston ... Lilly Dillon
John Cusack ... Roy Dillon
Annette Bening ... Myra Langtry
Jan Munroe ... Guy at Bar
Robert Weems Robert Weems ... Racetrack Announcer
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Jeweler
Jimmy Noonan ... Bartender
Richard Holden Richard Holden ... Cop
Henry Jones ... Simms
Michael Laskin ... Irv
Eddie Jones ... Mintz
Sandy Baron ... Doctor
Lou Hancock ... Nurse
Gailard Sartain ... Joe
Noelle Harling Noelle Harling ... Nurse Carol Flynn
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Storyline

Lily works for a bookie, placing bets to change the odds at the track. When her son is hospitalized after an unsuccessful con job and resultant beating, she finds that even an absentee parent has feelings for her child. This causes her own job to go wrong as well. Each of them faces the down side of the grift. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's Conning Who?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ambiciones prohibidas See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$125,195, 21 January 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,446,769
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineplex-Odeon Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the lines in the film are taken word for word from the book. See more »

Goofs

Lily unscrews both light bulbs in the hallway outside Roy's apartment. In a following cut, Roy is seen entering his apartment from a well lit hallway. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Voice-over: Around the country the bookies pay off winners at track odds. It's dangerous when a long shot comes in. Unless you have somebody at the tracks to lower those odds.
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Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.15 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Heartbreak Highway
(uncredited)
Performed by Keith Whitley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Anjelica steals the show
4 July 2005 | by movieman_kevSee all my reviews

Stephen Frears directs this amazing adaption of a Jim Thompson book, which deals with three grifters (a person who swindles one by means of deception or fraud) who are tied to each other relationship-wise. Roy Dillion (John Cusack) is a small town grifter recuperating after a punch in the stomach for being found cheating. He finds his loyalties torn between his girlfriend and estranged mother (Annette Benning and Anjelica Huston, respectively), both of which are big time high-stakes grifters. This film is tense, exiting, and well-acted, but make no mistake about it, even though Cusack is more or less the main character, this IS Anjelica Huston's movie through and through. Her acting in this seems to shine so brightly and generally be on a higher plateau than either Cusack or Benning can hope to ascend to in the film. One of my favorite movies.

My Grade: A

DVD Extras: Commentary with Director Stephen Frears, Screenwriter Donald Westlake and Actors John Cusack and Angelica Huston; 16 minute Making of featurette; The Jim Thompson Story featurette; Publicity and Production stills); and Trailers for "Serendipity", "High Fidelity", Grosse Point Blank", & "40 Days And 40 Nights"

Eye Candy: The future Mrs. Warren Beatty shows everything


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