The Spanish Prisoner (Blu-ray)
It's the oldest con in the book.
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Blu-ray Disc Features:
- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 50 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 12, 2019
- Originally Released: 1997
- Label: Ammo Content
- Encoding: Region A
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Campbell Scott, Ben Gazzara & Steve Martin|
|Performer:||Ricky Jay, Felicity Huffman, Rebecca Pidgeon & Ed O'Neill|
|Directed by||David Mamet|
|Edited by||Barbara Tulliver|
|Screenwriting by||David Mamet|
|Composition by||Carter Burwell|
|Produced by||Jean Doumanian|
|Director of Photography:||Gabriel Beristain|
...[A] Rubik's Cube of a suspense film....As satisfying as a really good crossword puzzle... -- Rating: A-
...A twisting tale of paranoia....Martin does a nice turn as a clever con artist...
Rating: 3/4 -- There are enough twists and grown-up intrigue to keep one asking, "Hey, what's going on here?" Full Review
...As satisfyingly convoluted a thriller as any since THE USUAL SUSPECTS...
Sight and Sound
David Mamet has a penchant for sleight-of-hand thrillers, and The Spanish Prisoner is his craftiest to date.
The Spanish Prisoner shares with Glengarry Glen Ross a vision of life as a cosmic con game in which the victimizers feed the fantasies of the victims. Full Review
Mamet brings more than a decade's worth of filmmaking experience to his latest project, and his skill as a director has improved considerably. Full Review
Los Angeles Times
Moody, austere, and unabashedly clever, THE SPANISH PRISONER is familiar ground for puzzle-loving writer-director David Mamet. Campbell Scott plays the Hitchcockian hero Joe Ross, an unassuming fall guy who has invented a mysterious process worth an unnamed, but presumably enormous, figure. Joe's share in the reward is uncertain, however, and his growing nervousness is subtly stoked by Jimmy Dell (Steve Martin), a charming and apparently wealthy new friend. Suddenly Joe finds himself wondering who he can trust: his boss, his friends, Jimmy, the FBI, or even the girl at work who has a crush on him (Rebecca Pidgeon, speaking her husband's lines as only she can). The big con is always fun to watch from the inside, but Mamet knows it's even more fun when the audience is on the outside, left to imagine the con as all-encompassing so that everyone and everything is suspect. The fine ensemble acting and terse, loaded dialogue add to the atmosphere of total suspense while the muted but rich production design produces a too-believable longing in Joe, whose tiniest greedy qualm is still enough to spell disaster.
Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) is the inventor of a secret process that will make the company he works for very rich. But Joe isn't sure he'll get a piece of the pie, and his dissatisfaction makes him the perfect prey for con artists and manipulators. Director David Mamet manages to pull off the big con--even though Joe and the audience both know it's coming--then packs in more twists than a Bavarian pretzel factory.
- Filmed on location in Boston, New York City, and Florida.
- Star Rebecca Pidgeon (Susan Ricci) is married to writer-director David Mamet.
- Mamet and friend Ricky Jay (George Lang) have collaborated in the past; Mamet directed a television program showcasing Jay's world-class sleight-of-hand routine.
Mamet claims that he got the idea for the film when he encountered a real-life con man--a practitioner of the big con--at a convention in Las Vegas. Mamet was not taken for any money.
- The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
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