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Diggstown (1992)

Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a... See full summary »


Michael Ritchie


Leonard Wise (novel), Steven McKay (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Gabriel Caine
Louis Gossett Jr. ... 'Honey' Roy Palmer
Bruce Dern ... John Gillon
Oliver Platt ... Fitz
Heather Graham ... Emily Forrester
Randall 'Tex' Cobb ... Wolf Forrester
Thomas Wilson Brown ... Robby Gillon
Duane Davis ... Hambone Busby
David Fresco ... Fish
Willie Green Willie Green ... Hammerhead Hagan
Orestes Matacena ... Victor Corsini
Kim Robillard ... Sheriff Stennis
John Short John Short ... Corny 'Buster' Robbins
Michael McGrady ... Frank Mangrum
Roger Hewlett ... Sam Lester


Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a boxer that will knock out ten Diggstown men, in a boxing ring, within twenty-four hours. "Honey" Roy Palmer is that man, although at forty-eight, many say he is too old. A subplot was thrown in about Charles Macum Diggs, the heavyweight champion that gave the town its name, and who is now confined to a wheelchair. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where the pros meet the cons.


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 August 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Midnight Sting See more »

Filming Locations:

Deer Lodge, Montana, USA See more »


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,504,099, 14 August 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original title of the film was "Midnight Sting". See more »


After the fight with Busby, Palmer has several bruises on his face and eyes. In the next scene when discussing whether he should go on, the bruises disappear, only to reappear when Palmer begins his next fight. See more »


Gabriel Caine: He's bigger than you are. He's tougher. He's faster. He's younger thant you are. He hasn't fought 22 rounds today, but remember this... you are BLACK!
Honey Roy Palmer: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Gabriel Caine: I don't know. I mean it's... I'm trying to inspire you. It's a Roots kinda thing. It's a motivation thing.
Honey Roy Palmer: Well, you're shit at motivation.
See more »


Referenced in Cum to Live (2001) See more »


Mountain Music
Written by Randy Owen
Performed by Alabama
Courtesy of RCA Records Label of BMG Music
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User Reviews

Shamefully overlooked. Woods has never been better.
21 July 2005 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

At least it has recently appeared on ESPN Classic so it would seem that a cult following may be building for this terrific film. I don't think this one lasted three weeks in the theaters around here, but the first time I saw it on cable, I was hooked. Diggstown is not only a hilarious film, but it's also one of the best "sports" movies I've ever seen.

Our story has a small group of con men led by James Woods who are trying to outwit a corrupt small town kingpin. They bet that "Honey" Roy Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.) can knock out ten of the town's best boxers in a 24 hour period. Palmer is an outstanding, yet aging talent who "never got his shot". His skills, and the help of some local insiders make Woods and Co think they have a real shot at robbing the town blind. The funny thing is how Bruce Dern, who plays the local kingpin, reacts. He is no fool. He knows that Palmer will be tough to beat, and that Woods is trying to con him. But he has too much pride to pass on the wager. He also thinks the boxing talent in town is certainly good enough to beat a forty-eight year old fighter no matter how good he used to be. You'd think the locals would have the upper hand, but Woods and his people have all kinds of tricks up their sleeve both leading up to and during the matches. Once the wager is agreed to, the film never lets you up for air.

Diggstown is a very funny movie. James Woods could sit down and read the newspaper aloud and it would be entertaining, but here he has a great script to work with. Plenty of one-liners and intelligent dialog are used by everyone. The fight scenes are a considerable cut above any Rocky film ever made. It really looks like people are getting the crap beat out of each other in the ring. The motley crew of locals that Palmer has to fight are a hoot. One of them is even played by The Passion of the Christ's very own Jim Caviezel. He actually makes the mistake of calling Palmer the N-word in the ring. Yikes! There are numerous twists as the conclusion draws near. It becomes a question not of which side has the most endurance, rather which side has the biggest surprises in place to trip up the other. The final twist in one you will absolutely NOT see coming. For great comedy, spectacular fight scenes, and a surprise ending, check out Diggstown. It's a shame more people don't know about this film! 9 of 10 stars.

The Hound.

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