In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.
John Dahl directed this exploration of New York private clubs devoted to high-stakes poker, with first-person narration from the film's central figure, law student Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), who loses his entire savings to Russian club owner Teddy KGB (John Malkovich). Mike then turns away from cards, devoting his attentions to his law studies and his live-in girlfriend Jo (Gretchen Mol), who's concerned when Mike's former gambling buddy Worm (Edward Norton) is released from prison. She has good reason to worry, since it takes Worm only a matter of minutes to draw Mike back into poker action. When she learns Mike has returned to the poker clubs, she moves out, and Mike begins to lose interest in his studies. Worm has a prison debt, and the threatening Grama (Michael Rispoli) wants the money. Mike not only indulges the irresponsible Worm, he gets involved in Worm's debts. When Grama demands $15,000 on a five-day deadline, the two buddies go into high gear with a non-stop, no-sleep ...
On the DVD commentary it's revealed that Edward Norton ad libbed a number of Worm's lines. Among them was, "She crossed her legs too fast," which is a quote from Chinatown (1974). See more »
The "municipal workers" that Worm refers to, the cops in the upstate New York game, are driving county (police) vehicles in their civilian clothes, which is absolutely not allowed and the Sheriffs know that it risks their job for "misappropriation of government property". See more »
[at the judges game]
It's plenty wise we know what we're holding and we know what you're holding
The fuck you know what we all got
Summer clerkship in your office says I know what your holding
I wouldn't bet with a job like that let's just say "I'll put you at the top of the list" if your right
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A tightly focused vehicle for Damon's charm and swagger.
This film is incredibly focused. There is not one throw-away line or one extra frame in the entire movie. From the first establishing shot to the final line, the production team plays it tight and aggressive. I couldn't help but think of "The Hustler" as I watched, and Damon more than survives this comparison to a young Paul Newman. His swagger and charm and the even, controlled truthfulness of his performance all serve to place him solidly in the game with any of Hollywood's best. Highly recommended.
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