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The Grifters (Miramax Collector's Series) (1991)

Anjelica Huston , John Cusack , Stephen Frears  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening, Jan Munroe, Robert Weems
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Writers: Donald E. Westlake, Jim Thompson
  • Producers: Barbara De Fina, Jim Painter, Martin Scorsese, Peggy Rajski, Robert A. Harris
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000069I1U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,879 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Grifters (Miramax Collector's Series)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Feature Commentary track with director Stephen Frears, screenwriter Donald Westlake, actors John Cusack & Angelica Huston
  • The Making of The Grifters
  • The Jim Thompson Story
  • The Grifters scrapbook

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R)-winning actress Anjelica Huston (Best Supporting Actress, PRIZZI'S HONOR, 1985), John Cusack (SERENDIPITY), and Annette Bening (AMERICAN BEAUTY) star in this acclaimed hit where seduction and betrayal could lead to murder! When small-time cheat Roy Dillon (Cusack) winds up in the hospital following an unsuccessful scam, it sets up a confrontation between his estranged mother Lilly (Huston) and sexy girlfriend Myra (Bening). Both Lilly and Myra are ruthless confidence artists playing the con game in a league far above Roy ... and always looking for their next victim! The question soon becomes who's conning who as Roy finds himself caught in a complicated web of passion and mistrust!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELEVATOR TO HELL April 29, 2000
Format:DVD
Produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Stephen Frears, THE GRIFTERS is a winner. With three top actors, Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening and John Cusack, Frears invites us to a non-stop ride to hell.
Caught between his mother and his girl-friend, John Cusack will have a hard time to survive and become a man. You can almost touch the hate those two women feel for each other. Their last encounter is really a scene you will remember : set in Phoenix, in a motel, in a subtle variation of PSYCHO's first murder, it is a moment of great cinema.
Cusack is outstanding as the gentle grifter, Frear's cinematography is first class and Anjelica has never been so devilish. No doubt about it, THE GRIFTERS is a masterpiece of the film noir genre.
A DVD that bleeds.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Special Edition of a great movie January 6, 2003
Format:DVD
A fantastic movie about con artists. The tone of this movie is perfect: utterly unsentimental, deadpan, cool and calculated. Great score, great performances (not just the three leads, there are tons of bit parts that are very memorable), great dialogue. The pacing is snappy. I'm not going to say the movie is flawless, but honestly I can't think of anything particularly negative to say about it.
The DVD is a modest collector's edition. Some may say the extra features are a bit spare, but what is here is very useful and informative. The commentary track is consistantly listenable. There are four participants: the director, the screenwriter, and stars Cusack and Huston. The four were recorded separately and edited together seamlessly to make an entertaining and insightful track. Also here are two short but well-made featurettes, one covers the making of the film and the other sheds some light on the work of the author who wrote the book upon which the film is based.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Yes, Echo Bridge (the company who released this title on blu-ray) does mostly lousy work. In this case though, their Blu-ray is an obvious improvement over the SE DVD. Yes, it is in 2.0 DTS. This film was a originally released in dolby stereo (2.0), so while some might wish for the 5.1 that was created for the DVD, not having it here is no great loss. The Blu carries over the director and cast commentary from the DVD, as well as most of the other extras, so it has that going for it. As for the picture, this was a straight transfer with little effort put into cleaning it up, so yes, there are dust specs here and there but comparing this against my DVD, the picture is absolutely improved; depth, sharpness, detail are all improved upon. And because they did nothing but a straight transfer, there is no sign they used DNR on this. It looks like the film (grain and all) that it actually is. A film from the 90's shouldnt look like it was shot on hi-rez digital. Could it have been better? Sure, but what do you want for a $5 budget release? The bottom line is that it IS an improvement over the DVD. Im glad to have this great film looking the best it ever has.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb March 24, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've never been a John Cusack fan, but he's utterly riveting in the role of a coming-of-age grifter caught between two indelible women. Annette Bening, at least here, is a pure force of nature, a sexy tsunami overwhelming everything in her path. And Anjelica Huston??? Her entire career has been one splendid performance after another, and this is one of her finest. You simply cannot take your eyes off her. The interaction of these three is one of the best examples of ensemble acting outside of an Altman film. And the little subtleties around these three -- from the brilliant set piece of the orange scene to the almost-identical dresses worn by Lily and Myra to Elmer Bernstein's moody score -- make The Grifters a compelling experience. The only disappointment is that the CD has NO extras at all, but you could certainly make the case that this is a movie that can stand completely on its own.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
This item is already available at Best Buy stores. I bought one on Jan 31 for $5.99 thinking it was a real bargain. It wasn't.
The first thing I noticed on the box cover when I got home was that it was in Dolby 2.0, not Dolby 5.1 like the original DVD. The video itself looked like a direct un-remastered film tranfer with all its faults: dirt, scratches, jumpy frame movement, grainy dark areas, etc.
The original DVD had 22 scene selections. This blu-ray version has about half that number and none of them are related to any particular track like the original. The original DVD had a French language track, but this one has none, nor does it have any subtitles. The only extra is a director's commentary track, but the original had that and much more.
If you don't care about these things, go ahead and buy it. I wouldn't.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful Greek tragedy set in America or I Oedipus January 3, 2005
Format:DVD
The Grifters is one of the most underrated films ever made in my opinion.

Oedipal conflicts simmer and ultimately boil over in a timeless American landscape populated by small time con artists, a brutal mafia boss and a dysfunctional mother and son whose reunion initiates many of the diverse plot twists and turns.

Houston's masterful performance is delivered with such blistering intensity that you can smell the burning celluloid as she wiggles her way across the screen.

The other performances are very fine indeed, this is definitely a movie that connoisseurs of fine acting will enjoy.

The pace is fast moving and engaging, the filmic equivalent of a page-turner, I'm easily bored and distracted, and this movie had me gripped until the final incredible scene.

One of the things I really appreciate about The Grifters are the way that the frailty of the human body is communicated realistically. No chairs splintering over people's heads or men punching each other repeatedly in the face before getting up again for more.

A swift pool cue handle jammed into in the guts is enough to cause a critical organ rupture, a small burn on the back of the hand is agonising and the damage done by a drinking glass is unimaginably worse than intended. I'm not going to even discuss the terrifying scene involving a bag of oranges. Just like in real life, violence is swift, unpredictable and causes all kinds of visible and hidden damage.

The other thing I really liked was the way that each of the characters had different personas depending on who they were relating to and the situation they found themselves in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I know we live in a world with people like these characters who live...
Annette Bening nude. That alone worth the price of admission. A son with feelings for his mother and a mother with feelings for her son that neither will admit to, and that drives... Read more
Published 4 days ago by charles Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Great seller, Great Service!!
This movie was great!! service was great. delivery was great!! very happy customer!!
Published 5 days ago by jerri riebesel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie. Very Dark. Naked Annette Benning.
Published 26 days ago by Horace Cocroft Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grifters
I had been wanting to watch this movie again for a long time so I was pleased to see it included in Amazon Prime. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jolene Wipf
3.0 out of 5 stars "The Grifters"...not as good as the first time I saw it
I first saw The Grifters when it was released in theaters. I liked it at that time, but upon seeing it again recently it did not strike me as being as good. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Richards
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Finish it
Yes, it was that bad... and I suffered through Cranked. I loved Cusack in Hot Tub Time Machine and in Gross Pointe Blank... this is a far cry from either of those.
Published 2 months ago by CLaws
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Grifting Movie!
Based on the Jim Thompson novel, this movie takes you into the world of small and big time grifters, people who connive and hustle and film flam to steal from fool, dolts, and the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Putkowski
1.0 out of 5 stars I was grifted in buying this horrible movie
The people raving about this movie are crazy. This movie is absolutely horrible. It's very drawn out and boring! I wish I could get my time and money back on this one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rich
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible movie masquerading as a noir comedy
It starts out looking like a comedy. It starts feeling disjointed and vague towards the middle and degenerates quickly into disgusting towards the end. A waste of two hours. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Prasad
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, disturbing, movie...
This one has some weird angles to it, but it is a Martin Scorsese movie. Definitely not one to let the kiddos watch!
Published 3 months ago by Jay Dollarhide
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