AMERICAN BUFFALO is another story of men's interminable struggle toward the top of the heap, a goal which ultimately and inevitably eludes most of us. Don Dubro, the proprietor of a dusty dark inner-city junk shop, holds court there with his friends and makes plans probably on a daily basis for his ascendancy to the top. He does this more out of habit than hope because he's long ago surrendered his future to the daily repetition of his life as guardian of the discarded remnants of others' possessions. Disheveled Teach, on the other hand, is either too dumb or too stubborn to accept the lot life has dealt him. Instead, he bucks like a wild horse under the saddle and refuses to be broken. Most pitiable of the trio which populates the movie is teen-aged Bobby. Mistaking much of the palaver which passes between the older men as pearls of wisdom, Bobby is the only one of the trio who still has a chance to make a life for himself somewhere beyond this tired too-familiar neighborhood. Don ...Written by
Mark Fleetwood <email@example.com>
American Buffalo is an example of David Mamet's ear for dialogue and his way with the gritty underbelly of society. Perhaps no other movie has so deftly demonstrated Mamet's unique sense of rhythm in spoken language. The movie is engrossing and entertaining, all the while using only one location and three characters. Dustin Hoffman is revoltingly slimy as Teach, and Dennis Franz perfects the conflicted role of Don that he originated on stage many years ago. A must see for any fan of Mamet or student of the human condition.
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