After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Johnny Hooker, a small time grifter, unknowingly steals from Doyle Lonnegan, a big time crime boss, when he pulls a standard street con. Lonnegan demands satisfaction for the insult. After his partner, Luther, is killed, Hooker flees, and seeks the help of Henry Gondorff, one of Luther's contacts, who is a master of the long con. Hooker wants to use Gondorff's expertise to take Lonnegan for an enormous sum of money to even the score, since he admits he "doesn't know enough about killing to kill him." They devise a complicated scheme and amass a talented group of other con artists who want their share of the reparations. The stakes are high in this game, and our heroes must not only deal with Lonnegan's murderous tendencies, but also other side players who want a piece of the action. To win, Hooker and Gondorff will need all their skills...and a fair amount of confidence. Written by
During the draw poker hand that Gondorff wins with three 10s, there are two rules violations. After they draw cards and Lonnegan bets $500, Gondorff says "call and raise". This is not allowed; since the first word Gondorff said was "call", he would only be allowed to match the $500 bet, especially in a high stakes game (unless he was playing with extremely lenient poker players). Furthermore, he would not be allowed to raise a mere $300, or any amount less than $500; all raise amounts must at least match the amount of the prior bet. See more »
[Polk greets Snyder]
FBI Agent Polk:
Sit down and shut up, will ya? Try not to live up to all my expectations.
See more »
The opening animated logo for Universal Pictures is in 1930s style, matching the movie's setting, instead of the 1970s version. See more »
A delicious wheeze from start to finish. Certainly a film that leaves you thinking that you'd like to have been in Henry's gang and played a part in separating Lonnegan from his dough. The editing is pin sharp and beautifully cast with a superb musical track to keep you company. The framing, the photography, the pace all dovetail exquisitely and if you feel left outside of the game plan in your first viewing, never fear, the second time of watching, you'll enjoy it just as much but it will mean more. Certainly it's a film you'll want to see a second time. At least. Oscars rightly by the handful and nominations are full deserved to combine for a winning performance by all concerned. Definitely in my top fifty of all time.
90 of 112 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?