066: The Grifters (1990)

Straight after making waves with the Oscar-winning Dangerous Liaisons, Stephen Frears directed this thrilling little flick about three complex con-artists, based on a brilliant piece of pulp fiction from the sinister cerebrum of Jim ‘The Killer Inside Me’ Thompson.

With all it’s cool darkness, The Grifters is a very sexy film noir. Although the story might be a little lightweight and it borrows quite heavily from Scorsese, the three central performances from Huston, Cusack and the beautiful Bening are nothing short of fantastic. Each actor relishes in their devilishly amoral characters, constantly rubbing up against each other, figuratively and otherwise.

Unfortunately, The Grifters never achieved the commercial or critical success of Frears’ former film and consequently this deliciously sordid nineties classic has been lost amongst both his and his actors’ prolific back catalogues. If you can find it and if you like a bit of stylised sleaze then slip this on your betamax box.

★★★★☆☆

IMDb it.

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