DVD The Spanish Prisoner (DVD 45026),
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The Spanish Prisoner

  • PG
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • 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.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 02608

  • Credits
    Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman, Ricky Jay
  • Critic Reviews
    "...This diabolical blend of suspense and wit brims with dark surprise....It's spellbinding..."
    Rolling Stone

    "...As satisfyingly convoluted a thriller as any since THE USUAL SUSPECTS..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...[A] Rubik's Cube of a suspense film....As satisfying as a really good crossword puzzle..." -- Rating: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...David Mamet's craftiest and most satisfying cinematic puzzle....THE SPANISH PRISONER is played by an ensemble cast that never misses a beat of the filmmaker's staccato rhythm..."
    New York Times

    "...A twisting tale of paranoia....Martin does a nice turn as a clever con artist..."
    Box Office

    "...Mamet is at his best examining the three-way power grab....Intricate....[A] complex look at the culture of amorality..."

    "...THE SPANISH PRISONER is the smoothest and most convincing of Mamet's elaborate charades and features intriguing performances by Steve Martin and Campbell Scott..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "...THE SPANISH PRISONER resembles Alfred Hitchcock in the way that everything takes place in full view....THE SPANISH PRISONER is delightful..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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