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It is 1957. J.C. Cullen is a young man from a small town, with a talent for winning at craps, who leaves for the big city to work as a professional gambler. While there, he breaks the bank at a private craps game at the Gem Club, owned by George Cole, and falls in love with two women, one of them Cole's wife. Infuriated, Cole wagers everything on the craps table, including the Gem Club itself, and he and Cullen have it out.Written by
Brian C. Madsen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An undiscovered gem about gambling, sex, and growing up in a tough world
This is Matt Dillon's best performance by far. This shows why everyone thinks he has such talent. But like most of his other work, this movie is dark and realistic about human nature -- in a word, truthful. All the characters have at least two levels -- the superficial level, and a deeper level which is usually darker and more warped, yet never exaggerated. This film also features a masterful performance by Tommy Lee Jones, an excellent job by Suzy Amis, and Diane Lane's most sensational, most lurid, and deepest performance ever in her depiction of a scheming strip tease queen, the ultimate femme fatale, yet a tortured little girl underneath.
The script is very good, very insightful, very restrained in its depiction of a lurid underworld of raw emotion. It dramatizes a world of sin and depravity, yet the story is at core a morality play in which decency and morality not only survive but thrive in spite of extreme temptations.
A good movie on every level.
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