American Buffalo

  • 1996
  • 1 HR 28 MIN
  • R

If MIDNIGHT COWBOY's Ratso Rizzo hadn't died on the back of that bus, he'd now be Teach (Dustin Hoffman), the grimy, middle-aged hustler whose desperately vicious dreams of one big score drive this adaptation of David Mamet's 1980 play. Junk shop owner Don (Dennis Franz), incensed that a sharp-eyed coin collector bought a rare buffalo nickel from him for...read more

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If MIDNIGHT COWBOY's Ratso Rizzo hadn't died on the back of that bus, he'd now be Teach (Dustin Hoffman), the grimy, middle-aged hustler whose desperately vicious dreams of one big score drive this adaptation of David Mamet's 1980 play. Junk shop owner Don (Dennis

Franz), incensed that a sharp-eyed coin collector bought a rare buffalo nickel from him for a measly $90, plans to even the score by sending his teenage protege Bobby (Sean Nelson) to rob the guy. Teach wants in on the action, forcing Don -- whose vague sense of right and wrong makes him a moral

giant among incorrigible losers -- to grapple with a situation whose slippery ethics would defeat a far smarter man. Mamet's seedy, three-man allegory of American capitalism at its most pathetically ruthless didn't particularly cry out to be filmed, but director Michael Corrente (FEDERAL HILL)

rises manfully to the task, resisting the impulse to open up the claustrophobic drama and letting his cast make Mamet's tainted words their own. Hoffman -- taking over the role originated on stage by Al Pacino -- is better than he's been in years, while Franz and the youthful Nelson more than hold

their own.

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