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American Buffalo [DVD] [1996]

Dennis Franz , Dustin Hoffman , Michael Corrente    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 2.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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American Buffalo [DVD] [1996] + Glengarry Glen Ross [DVD] [1992]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dennis Franz, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Nelson
  • Directors: Michael Corrente
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Boulevard
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct 2010
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003TFUJO0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,016 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A plot to steal a potentially valuable buffalo-head nickel binds together two mistrusting, disaffected schlubs and their young, would-be accomplice. David Mamet adapted the screenplay from his hard-biting 1975 stage play.


Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "It's not worth a nickel" 13 Aug 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A film starring Dustin Hoffman, plus the chief super from the Hill Street Blues, from an adapted script by screenwriting legend David Mamet, at a pocket-money price? Why hadn't I heard of it, what was wrong with it?

Nothing - except it's more a filmed play than a film, with almost all the talky dialogue taking place in a dusty old New York junk shop. Dustin Hoffman is superb, mixing a florid torrent of irrelevant comment, swearing and unease that is not a far cry from his brilliant turns in Rain Main and Midnight Cowboy. Dennis Franz, meanwhile is the shop's proprietor and is an almost opposite, a masterclass in understated body language as the rants from Teach (Hoffman) have become like water off a duck's back to him.

A third character, black youth Sean Nelson is the dog's body of the outfit and has his own agendas to deal with. The U.S coin of the title is one that might be worth a lot of money, or is it? Having sold it for more than they thought it worth, do they steal it back, just in case it's worth thousands?

Mamet's dialogue crackles with a crisp reality - Teach swears like a trooper, with F and C swear words jumbled up along with everything else. He's harmless, you conclude, if not obviously emotionally damaged. Donny, (Franz) says as much and as little as most shopkeepers say; only when it's needed to get a deal done; to clarify a point.

It undoubtedly would have had more impact and urgency within the confines of a set in an actual theatre, but on DVD it's OK. The shop, at least looks like a proper shop with a plethora of junk, the clutter adding to the feeling of messed up lives, somehow.

Sadly, this won't appeal to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed it for a monologue 4 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I needed this for a monologue I was doing and it was great! The case was good and the whole thing came in good condition. Apart from that all I can say is watch the film! It's good to see Dustin in this sort of role and the other two actors are just fantastic! It's an odd film and play and hard to follow but David Mamet is an amazing writer and quite big too! Some parts I thought could be done differently but over all a good filmed-version of the play to watch that is not a complete shambles in my opinion!
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4.0 out of 5 stars "It's not worth a nickel" 13 Aug 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
A film starring Dustin Hoffman, plus the chief super from the Hill Street Blues, from an adapted script by screenwriting legend David Mamet, at a pocket-money price? Why hadn't I heard of it, what was wrong with it?

Nothing - except it's more a filmed play than a film, with almost all the talky dialogue taking place in a dusty old New York junk shop. Dustin Hoffman is superb, mixing a florid torrent of irrelevant comment, swearing and unease that is not a far cry from his brilliant turns in Rain Main and Midnight Cowboy. Dennis Franz, meanwhile is the shop's proprietor and is an almost opposite, a masterclass in understated body language as the rants from Teach (Hoffman) have become like water off a duck's back to him.

A third character, black youth Sean Nelson is the dog's body of the outfit and has his own agendas to deal with. The U.S coin of the title is one that might be worth a lot of money, or is it? Having sold it for more than they thought it worth, do they steal it back, just in case it's worth thousands?

Mamet's dialogue crackles with a crisp reality - Teach swears like a trooper, with F and C swear words jumbled up along with everything else. He's harmless, you conclude, if not obviously emotionally damaged. Donny, (Franz) says as much and as little as most shopkeepers say; only when it's needed to get a deal done; to clarify a point.

It undoubtedly would have had more impact and urgency within the confines of a set in an actual theatre, but on DVD it's OK. The shop, at least looks like a proper shop with a plethora of junk, the clutter adding to the feeling of messed up lives, somehow.

Sadly, this won't appeal to everyone.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellant 16 Jan 2008
Format:DVD
exciting difficult play film does justice to the play
an insightful view of what makes the usa tick
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Your Face 15 Oct 2000
By Absurdist Ad Nauseam - Published on Amazon.com
To say that David Mamet has an ear for language and an eye for human interaction would be an injustice to this ingenious playwright/screen writer, for he transcends even the most astute observor. Few stage plays adapted for the screen maintain their integrity, but "American Buffalo" is the exception. The intensity of this movie is further heightened by the superior acting of both Hoffman and Franz. Many an aspiring actor/playwright could benefit from viewing this outstanding film.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense Performances in a world that only Mamet can present 25 April 1999
By The Winchester - Published on Amazon.com
The performances in this film keep it above the average fare. Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson all give terrific performances in this character study of those at the bottom. Many complained that Hoffman acted in a retread of Ratso rizzo, but I say Teach is a much different character. It is a shame that, to paraphrase Entertainment Weekly, films such as Pulp Fiction and Usual Suspects have softened the impact of the language used in this film, but the words act as violence, gaining intensity. Profane but also powerful. Mamet creates a brilliant view of the world through these character's eyes. Michael Corrnete's direction attempts to make it cinematic by allowing the action to breathe from the confined stage settings, and mostly succeeds. (That is the reason why I give 4, not 5 stars) It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is a fantastically acting and engrossing story. Bonus: Thomas Newman's score is fantastic and perfectly compliments the mood of the film.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Friendship 19 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"American Buffalo" is a rare example of the theater play adapted from stage to the big silver screen. Watching it, you might have an impression that you watch your TV. Fortunately, the quality of the disc is one of the best I have ever experienced. Unlike your average TV program, the image is crisp and the sound is superbly engineered. Not to mention that there are no ads to divert you from what happens on the stage.
And there happens very little. As expected, the plot is designed to go on in only one room, the junk-shop, and there are basically two actors, with the small guy thrown in from time to time. Hoffman and Franz engage in a prolonged, fast dialogue with their stage potential showing off much more than in any action movie they participated in during the last decade. Quite fast into the play, we get to familiar with their personalities. Not only the script helps us in that, but also their mimics, their body-language. And this play is all about personalities.
What will long-time male friends do if confronted with external money-earning possibility? Will one let another to the secret? Will they share the task? The answer seems to be mutual trust. We are no angels, however, and some of us are short-tempered, testosteron-full, irritable, restless, self-unappreciating, blabbering life-losers. Some of us are stoic, trusting yet suspicious, naive, irritable life-losers. Hoffman masterly portrays the first type, and Franz illuminates the second.
Have you noticed the use of gadgets? The junk items and furnishings of the shop play an important role, indeed. Hoffman, while talking non-stop, touches them, moves them, looks at them without looking, concentrating on the words he speaks. Sure that this feature is overdrawn here, exaggerated. But have you thought whether you touch items while talking to others? It helps us concentrate if we are insecure and restless. On the other hand, this irritates our interlocutors beyond description. Franz does not really care about his items for sale or anything else for that matter. He is irritated by Hoffman, by his personality, incompatible with his own, disconcerted by Hoffman's inability to stay calm. He fight the irritation in the name of friendship.
The same applies to the dialogue - they get mutually irritated at each other. They challenge themselves with accusations, play these little instruments in ourselves that force men to stand up and go for something that pure reason advises against.
In the end, what matters is the friendship. People who have found themseleves in a situation where trust plays an important role - may have difficulty with loyalty. The bottom line is that some things are valued more than others. Friendship.
In summary, I have been delighted to watch this play adapted for the silver screen. It's so much different than the rest of movie production. It's refreshing, spirit-uplifting and very, very well-played. Outstanding!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoffman Shines In This Small-Scale Mamet Adaptation 18 Jan 2006
By J. Merritt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This came and went with nary a peep back in '96, but it deserved more attention than it got. Adaptations of David Mamet's work are not for everyone, I realize, but at least in this case the playwright did the adapting himself. Hoffman is a treat as Teach, a small-time hood who is all talk and very little action. The entire film is essentially a three-person, one-set ensemble piece, but Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and the young Sean Nelson pull it off. Franz wisely chose to underplay his role as Donny, who listens semi-patiently to all of Teach's endless bluster, and Michael Corrente's direction is mostly successful in keeping the film from feeling too stagey.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars . 1 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
It isn't one of Mamet's strongest plays, and even though I generally like the aggressive, choppy Mamet-style of dialogue, it is maybe a bit overdone in this one. The direction is very cramped, intentionally, I think, and with obvious purpose, but it does get a bit dreary after an hour or so. Still, Mamet fans will find plenty to love, here. Amusing, chatty, somewhat oblique comedy, with a dark dramatic intensity that very slowly bubbles up from underneath, creating a startlingly gripping climax.
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