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Grifters [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, Pat Hingle, J. T. Walsh
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Producers: Martin Scorsese, Robert Harris, James Painten
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 20 July 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BD9DP2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,752 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When con-artist Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is reunited with his estranged con-artist mother Lily (Anjelica Huston), he finds himself caught in the middle of the savage feud which develops between her and his girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening), also a con-artist. Myra is trying to draw Roy into a game where the stakes are much higher than anything he has tried before. This results in a vicious beating. Lily takes exception to this, attempting to persuade Roy to change his ways. But Myra won't be outdone and vows to exact a terrible revenge.

From Amazon.co.uk

Annette Bening twists like a mink on a leash through Stephen Frears' The Grifters, an adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel. This may be the perfect trope for the moral hysteria that coils around a mother, her son and his girlfriend in this slender but highly pleasurable neo-noir. Small in effect and local in scope, the film is about small-fry, attractive, bloodless con-artists who view the world as neatly split between ropers and suckers, grifters and squares. "Grifter's got an irresistible urge to beat a guy that's wise", an old-timer tells Roy (John Cusack). And yet the three characters here--played by Angelica Huston, John Cusack and Bening--only beat the innocent: Lilly (Huston) gigs at the track for a mobster named Bobo, putting wads of cash on long-shot horses to even out the odds. Roy, her son, swindles citizens by dimes and degrees, flashing twenties at bars then paying for his beer with tens. His girlfriend, Myra (Bening), is hustling herself, her salad days as a long-con roper behind her. Theirs is a world of gut punches and smart lines, and the adrenaline these cheats and chisellers live by is palpable onscreen. But a larger canvas? Maybe it's there as a parallel universe. "What do you sell again?" Myra asks Roy, the matchbook salesman. "Self-confidence", he says, a wry allusion to the confidence game all three of them are playing. The movie boasts dazzling turns by Bening, Cusack and, especially, Huston, whose m&eagrave;re-fatale breaks new ground for noir. --Lyall Bush, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
..... 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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Format: 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Grifters is directed by Stephen Frears and adapted to screenplay by Donald E. Westlake from the novel of the same name written by Jim Thompson. It stars Anjelica Huston, John Cusack and Annette Bening. Music is by Elmer Bernstein and cinematography by Oliver Stapleton.

"The best reason I can think of is that you scare the hell out of me. I have seen women like you before, baby. You're double-tough and you are sharp as a razor, and you get what you want or else; but you don't make it work forever. Sooner or later the lightning hits, and I'm not gonna be around when it hits you"

1990 was a grand year for neo-noir, of the dozen + titles that came out that year, The Grifters sits atop of the pile. A superlative film noir that boasts class on the page and on both sides of the camera. Set in modern day Los Angeles, the story follows three cynical and sly con artists through a psychological fog of bluff, double bluff, pain, misery, manipulations and shattering developments. That the trio consists of a boyfriend, girlfriend and an estranged mother only darkens the seamy waters still further.

Los Angeles positively bristles with a smouldering atmosphere thanks to the work of Frears, Bernstein and Stapleton. Sexual tension is ripe, Westlake's adaptation doing justice to Thompson's novel, while the three leads - and Pat Hingle in super support - are on fire, bringing complex characters vividly to life as they trawl through the devilishly labyrinthine plot, adding biting humour and shallow savagery into the bargain.

A top draw neo-noir that doesn't cut corners or pull its punches, from the split screen opening salvo to the pitch black finale, The Grifters delivers high quality for neo-noir fans. 9/10
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Format: Blu-ray
Excellent movie but transfer is average and only slightly better than video quality in some indoor scenes.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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