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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one for the throat son?
Jim Thompson reworked to the large format.

A tale of incestual love hiding in a hidden emotional under current, a subterfuge flowing between mother to son. Roy looks like an early Elvis, choosing an older lady, Moira to be his partner. Neither are aware each is on the con. Moira happens to resemble his mother. A menage a trois ensues, when his mother returns...
Published on 13 Aug 2011 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A neo-noir classic on a disappointing disc
The Grifters is an interesting movie more for what it is trying to achieve than what it manages to achieve. The story is brilliantly disturbing and equally engrossing, and it all leads to a truly bitter end. The three leads are great, although Anjelica Huston well and truly steals the show. Was it deserving of the raft of Oscars it nabbed? Probably not, but it's hard to...
Published on 20 Mar 2011 by Gman


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A neo-noir classic on a disappointing disc, 20 Mar 2011
This review is from: Grifters [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Grifters is an interesting movie more for what it is trying to achieve than what it manages to achieve. The story is brilliantly disturbing and equally engrossing, and it all leads to a truly bitter end. The three leads are great, although Anjelica Huston well and truly steals the show. Was it deserving of the raft of Oscars it nabbed? Probably not, but it's hard to argue it shouldn't have been a contender.

Though it's certainly a movie worth seeing, the disc is a real dud. The video transfer is mediocre at best, no better than an upscaled DVD, and there are no extras at all (and this really is a film that will have film buffs eager to see behind the scenes of). Hold off for a re-release in years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one for the throat son?, 13 Aug 2011
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Jim Thompson reworked to the large format.

A tale of incestual love hiding in a hidden emotional under current, a subterfuge flowing between mother to son. Roy looks like an early Elvis, choosing an older lady, Moira to be his partner. Neither are aware each is on the con. Moira happens to resemble his mother. A menage a trois ensues, when his mother returns back onto the scene, locking them all into a death tango, as each manouveres against the other in a will to live.

Jim Thompson jotted down mother son incest from Top-Down before anyone in the therapeutic field, expcept perhaps Stekel, realised it existed. The film follows the ideas inherent in the book, and then adds some flourishes, in particular Moira's scam. Unfortunately the philosphy of child abuse is ditched, as Roy asks the crucial question; why people who are abused go onto abuse others? Carol Robergs life story, the woman from the SS experiments, is also erased and the projections that Lilly and Roy make also disappear. Moira's disintegrating relationship with Cole gets a rework, into something more sanitary.

Central themes seemingly not for ingestion by an American art audience. If they had been included this would have made a very good film, into perhaps the greatest. What is left, after the story has been reworked is a bleak film noir, good acting, sets and atmosphere but the script has had its guts out ripped out. The book deals transcendental themes. An art film audience in the late 20thC is seemingly less literate than a pulp audience of the early 60's.

Returning to the film all the characters work the Grift, long or short cons in the film. Moira also sex works as part of her routine. The film generally follows the book with these insights. Moira takes a more central role, and the characters are in many ways, more tougher, less sensitive, apart from the ending. Lilly reveals both her humanity and a tungsten steel inner core whilst witholding the withering bilious cynicism.

Despite my critiques, comparing it to other films of the era, this has the Scorcese touch before he went Amerikana kitsch; detialing wide open spaces of grey concrete, neon flickering lights in hot humid cities. Race track fixes, bars composed of toughs, people wanting to live a little, always tottering on the edge.

The acting is superb throughout, as Moira jumps from Monroe cutsey, 80's glam flick, to iron edge within a flut of the eyelash. Mother flits from pleading siren to homicidal killer as she licks her lipstick. A film depicting female sensuality of women withering in their 30's hovering in a twilight world as their flower seemingly fades and the will to live exudes. Each person vying for the other in competition, dancing as spiders as Roy is the boy, locked in the middle. He is the prize they fight over, as each has their own design for living, but neither sees his life as something they can live with.

Gangsters fixing horse racing is a Thompson flourish, a tilt at the dream system used to escape from the wider world. Shot in a form of Hopper colour of long empty bars in silent dream worlds, this bottles a new form of noir. Worth watching to glimpse another perception of America, that lies supine purring on a bed whilst watching its meter tick.

Fits in alongside Mullholland Drive in a different viewing of a social world that is awry and segues into Lost Highway as well as Coup De Torchon/Killer Inside Me/Getaway. Jim Thompson said more about psychology in his books than Freud in his whole oeuvre, so it is always better to chew on the pulp tham gaze into the cud.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just for information purposes..., 2 Feb 2014
By 
SJT (London, England) - See all my reviews
..... the UK edition of this film on Blu ray is marginally differently formatted - in the original 1: 1.85, rather than the US edition's 1: 1.78 - and as a result looks a smidge sharper. However, the UK has no extras whatsoever, whereas the US carries a full cast/crew commentary, a making-of documentary, and a brief filmed biography of the author behind the piece, Jim Thompson. The UK disc is region locked: the US, region-free. And this is the sort of information Amazon should be providing
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average blu ray transfer., 24 July 2009
This review is from: Grifters [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Excellent movie but transfer is average and only slightly better than video quality in some indoor scenes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate Blu-Ray transfer of a great modern noir..., 8 May 2010
By 
Gary Vidmar (Colorado Springs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grifters [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Frears' film receives a top-notch presentation on Blu-Ray; it has an accurate theatrical look, plus a discrete soundtrack offering up Elmer Bernstein's smart score with great fidelity. It's wonderful to get older films in 1080 progressive transfers, especially when, like this one, they're very well served.
As for the film, it's a sunny noir with a remarkably dark feel. A great film, and on blu-ray at a terrific price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected pleasure, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
In very good condition and an enjoyable story.
Love the extra stuff on the dvd, especially the directors interview.
Angelica Huston is brilliant.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good adaptation of a classic noir novel., 4 April 2002
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Stephen Frears' adaptation of Jim Thompson's brilliant Freudian-noir (produced by Martin Scorsese) is well worth seeing. It pretty much captures the venal triangle depicted in the book- though you should seek out both Thompson;s books & other related works (Peckinpah's 'The Getaway', the collaborations with Stanley Kubrick: 'The Killing' & 'Paths of Glory'). Both Annette Benning & John Cusack are very good here- though the standout performance is Anjelica Huston (who was also superb in 'Crimes & Misdeameanours','The Dead', 'Prizzi's Honour' & 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'). She depicts the reptilian-matriarch with a female equivalent of Christopher Walken's performance in 'The King of New York'...This film is proof, along with 'High Fidelity', 'The Hi Lo Country' & 'The Van' that Frears is one of the finest British directors around. 'The Grifters' is that rare thing- a very good adaptation of a great novel & a crime film that deserves to be ranked next to films like 'A Simple Plan', 'Blood Simple'& 'One False Move' .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 July 2014
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This review is from: The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Love this film, great performances by players.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Grifters, 18 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
A collector's item for sure. First rate although not entirely faultless.See why Warren Beaty took a fancy to Annette Benning!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Noir, 7 Aug 2011
By 
Raymond Gilbert "Ray" (Nottingham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
What is there to say. Twenty years on and the film is still a masterpiece. I get goosebumps every time I see Anjelica Houston and John Cusack on screen. All three leads are perfect and this has to be one of the best noirs made outside of the '50s. Highly recommended.
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The Grifters - Special Edition [DVD]
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