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Nine Queens [DVD] [2002]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Leticia Brédice, María Mercedes Villagra, Gabriel Correa
  • Directors: Fabián Bielinsky
  • Writers: Fabián Bielinsky
  • Producers: Pablo Bossi
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Jan 2003
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JGND
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,839 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

In present day Buenos Aires, experienced con-artist Marcos secretly watches novice Juan at work and intervenes to help when he gets caught. The pair then go into business together, and think they have latched onto something big when an old-timer speaks to them about a set of highly valuable forged stamps. Juan and Marcos get hold of the stamps and begin operating a complex con intended to earn them a great deal of money... but all is not as it seems.

From Amazon.co.uk

If David Mamet had been born in Buenos Aires instead of Chicago, Nine Queens is most likely the kind of movie he'd be making. An intricate, playful scam caper, where not only the characters but we the audience are constantly trying to suss out who's screwing whom--and how, and why--it's a movie very much in the Mametian mould. But at the same time the Argentinian setting gives Fabian Bielinsky's debut feature a specifically Latin pungency and the urgent sense of a society teetering over a financial abyss. Which is all the more remarkable since, even though a key plot-point turns on a bank going bust, the movie was made a few months before the Argentinean economy went belly-up.

The intrigue grips from the very outset as Juan, a young con artist, overreaches himself in a grocery store. He's rescued from disaster by Marcos, an older and more experienced grifter, who then takes him on in a master-pupil relationship. When the chance of a major coup involving some rare stamps (the Queens of the title) turns up, the partnership starts coming under strain; can either one really trust the other? And is either who he pretends to be? The plot suffers from a few implausibilities and loose ends, but sustains its momentum beguilingly. Ricardo Darín, as the saturnine Marcos, and Gastón Pauls as the fresh-faced, seemingly ingenuous Juan play off each other beautifully--but the dominant character is the seething, hustling city of Buenos Aires itself, where social mores are fluid and uncertain, and everybody has his eye out for the main chance. This is a society Bielinsky (who also scripted) clearly knows intimately, and like a true con-artist he makes shrewd use of his expertise to keep us guessing right up to the final twist. –-Philip Kemp --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on 26 Feb 2005
Format: VHS Tape
"Nine Queens", or "Nueve Reinas" in its original Spanish title, is one of the more entertaining Argentinian movies I've watched so far. The dialogue is witty, the action doesn't stop, and the acting is flawless. Too much praise for a movie that isn't overly well-known?. Well, even good things are not widely recognized to be so sometimes, and this is one of those occasions.
The theme of the movie is not overly original: two conmen trying to pull off a scam that involves a set of stamps (the "Nine Queens"), and a lot of money. But what makes this movie interesting is how that idea is developed, managing to surprise the spectator until the very end. The director (Fabián Bielinsky) also wrote the script, that won a National Prize in Argentina.
Scam after scam, you will feel you are taking part of the many "adventures" of a very seasoned Marcos (Ricardo Darín) and an endearingly young and idealistic Juan (Gastón Pauls) in their quest to become rich, albeit for very different reasons. The question is, who is conning whom?.
All in all, I think you will thoroughly like this movie. The story and the acting are great, and so is the beautiful setting, the city of Buenos Aires. Watch it, and enjoy :)
Belen Alcat
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Jun 2007
Format: VHS Tape
This Argentine film has to be one of the great con movies...intricate, funny, difficult to see where it's going, and satisfying. Juan (Gaston Pauls), a young, naive-looking con artist, tries to play a bill-changing scam twice at a convenience store and gets caught. A smooth-looking older guy, Marcos (Ricardo Darrin), who was watching, suddenly steps forward, says he's a cop and hustles Juan out the door. But it turns out Marcos is a con artist, too; a lot more experienced, it seems, who is looking for a partner. He's willing to show Juan the ropes. When Marcos and Juan walk down a busy street, Marcos points out all the hustles. The scammers are all around them. "They're there," he says to Juan, "but you can't see them. That's what it's all about. They're there, but they aren't. So mind your briefcase, your door, your window, your car, your savings. Mind your rear. Because they're there and they'll always be." "Thieves," says Juan. "No...that's what everybody calls them. They are spitters, breakers, skin workers, blind fronts, hoisters, hooks, stalls, petermans, night raiders, mustard-chuckers, fences, operators, swindlers. I'm hungry. Let's go to my office and get a meal." And they step into a near-by bar where Marcos owes money.

Marcos has conned and cheated everyone who has ever dealt with him, including former partners, his sister and his younger brother. Now he comes across what will be the biggest con of his career. It involves the nine queens, a sheet of stamps from the Weimar Republic, defective, rare and extremely valuable. Marcos and Juan need a set of forged stamps, which they can get, and the real stamps, which they can get but only for a high price.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Tobin on 29 July 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Nine Queens was circulated in British independent cinemas around the same time as City of God. And although COG is a fine film, this one blew it out of the water.

I didn't sit down with a huge amount of expectation for Nine Queens but the 90 minutes just zoomed past. Set in Buenos Aires,this crime caper sees petty thieves fight for the priceless stamps of the Weimar Republic (hence the title) with hilarious and tense results. The film is very much given its own character against the austere backdrop of modern day Argentina. Although of course it is all foreign language, the dialogue is often at times eye-wateringly funny.

No spoilers here - just watch it. Immensely enjoyable.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sam Chapman on 29 Nov 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Nine Queens is a great example of why so many people do not espouse the idea that Hollywood is the be all and end all of the movie industry. What becomes apparent from the outset in this film is that the plot, so rarely present in most screen presentations these days, will be what carries the movie from beginning to end.
The Nine Queens are a set of stamps made for the Weimar Republic during the time of Hitler's Third Reich. Needless to say, to the right buyer they are worth a lot of money. So, when our protagonists, newly made friends and confidence tricksters, come into possession of nine fakes, it becomes their greatest challenge to get them sold. But things do not go exactly to plan and what unfolds is a tense, intelligent and unwittingly funny drama of the highest calibre.
I can say with my hand on my heart that if you like films, there absolutely no way you will not like this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Simon Vickers on 1 Sep 2007
Format: VHS Tape
An absolute joy to watch. this is what cinema is all about - the hero, the anti-hero, the quest, the revenge, the twist, the confusion...

A real gem, it's hard to fault this film.

If you liked 'Usual Suspects' please watch!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WRL on 25 Jan 2009
Format: VHS Tape
Since viewing this film I have found it hard not to recommend it to anyone mildly interested in cinema. It twists and turns like The Spanish Prisoner but David Mammet could learn a lesson from this. It's a basic con film where at every turn things go from bad to worse and to the viewer it just isn't going to succeed. Let's just put it this way things are not always what they seem. Everything in the film is good, acting, plot, cinematography etc. How this isn't one of the best known foreign films is a mystery. Hollywood had a go at this one, in fact it wasn't bad until I saw the original. I wish every film I saw was this good.
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