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...
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Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a 'nice place'. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing - where punches can kill.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
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The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Honey" Roy Palmer's (Louis Gossett, Jr.'s) training distance running time was seven minutes and three seconds. See more »
Roy Palmer was leaning against the ropes between each round in the first few fights; fighters don't do that, since it makes the arm muscles tense and sore. As a fighter, Palmer should have known better. See more »
[Gillon confronts Ham while Slim hangs by a noose, a mysterious man with a gun is nearby]
[shows Ham the bribe he took]
Five thousand Dollars, hidden under the seat of the cab in *your* truck.
[Ham opens his mouth, but Gillon cuts him off immediately]
DON'T you lie to me, boy!
I'm a generous man. SO the way I see it, you've got two options. You can "whoops him good", and win your fight tonight. Or you can lose it, and bury your brother here by first light of the morning.
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Do you know the difference between a hustler and a good con-man?
Diggstown (also known as Midnight Sting) is directed by Michael Ritchie and stars James Woods, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Bruce Dern. It also features Heather Graham, Oliver Platt, a pre-fame James Caviezel and Randall "Tex" Cobb. The plot sees Woods as con-man Gabriel Caine, recently out of prison he and his cohort Fitz (Platt), set up a boxing "sting" in Diggstown, a hickville place out in Olivair County that is run by egomaniac John Gillon (Dern). The set-up entails Caine's old friend Honey Roy Palmer (Gossett Jr) having to fight, and beat, 10 Diggstown men in one day. As the money goes down and secrets come out, corruption and violence is never far away.
Midnight Sting was one of those film's that came to my attention in the early hours of one morning. I couldn't sleep and turned the TV on out of pure frustration at lack of sleep. What I didn't know at that time of irksome sleepy annoyance was that I would fall in love with a movie, a love that lasts to this very day. The TV announcer said the name of the movie and that it stars James Woods. Since Woods is always value for money I thought I would give it a go, for the next 98 minutes I laughed out loud, I cringed at some sad moments and I punched the air on more than one occasion. It quickly became one of my favourite movies of all time. On the surface it looks a very simple tale, but it has so much more to offer outside of the excellent fight sequences and some belting one liners.
Based on Leonard Wise's novel The Diggstown Ringers, the film deals in loyalties, friendships, greed, power, corruption and lies; not to mention small town mentality being under the microscope. It's impeccably acted too, with the Woods and Gossett play off one of the most engaging duets of the 1990s. While the twists, and there are some corkers, really crown what was already a smart and witty script. It was a film that went largely unnoticed on its release, and even now in this age of rampant internet use it appears to still be under seen or sadly forgotten. It of course wont become a personal favourite of all newcomers to it, but just maybe one day if you can't sleep or you are stuck for a rental then you should give it a chance. Because it deserves a chance to at least try to welcome you into its fan club.
I love it, you know that by now, and there's a chance that you will too. Punch the air brilliant. 10/10
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