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The Music of Chance (1993)

R | | Drama | 4 June 1993 (USA)
A thrill seeker agrees to help a shady professional gambler win a high stakes poker game. However, they lose and become captives of two eccentric rich men who decide to forcibly keep them on their remote gated ranch as indentured servants.

Director:

Philip Haas

Writers:

Philip Haas (screenplay), Belinda Haas (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Spader ... Jack Pozzi
Mandy Patinkin ... Jim Nashe
M. Emmet Walsh ... Calvin Murks
Charles Durning ... Bill Flower
Joel Grey ... Willy Stone
Samantha Mathis ... Tiffany
Chris Penn ... Floyd
Pearl Jones Pearl Jones ... Louise
Jordan Spainhour Jordan Spainhour ... Floyd Jr.
Paul Auster ... Driver
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Storyline

Whilst traveling across America living off the money from a large inheritance, ex-fireman Nashe has a chance meeting with Pozzi, a professional gambler and card shark. Nashe agrees to fund the penniless Pozzi in a game of poker against two eccentric millionaires, Flower and Stone, in an attempt to regain some of his spent fortune. His gamble has unforeseen and bizarre consequences for both himself and Pozzi. This film is an almost exact translation of the novel by Paul Auster. Written by Stewart Kristiansen <cskjs@swan.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack Pozzi is about to take the biggest gamble of his life...

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La musica del caso See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$313,967
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Jim Nashe is in bed after the party, he reads a book. You can see that the cover indicates the book is one by Paul Auster, who wrote the novel upon which the movie is based. See more »

Quotes

Calvin Murks: Mornin' boys.
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Soundtracks

Jerusalem
Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Lyrics by William Blake
Performed by Mandy Patinkin
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User Reviews

This film took me completely by surprise
28 February 2000 | by WazooSee all my reviews

I rented this movie about five years ago not knowing what to expect. I saw a few raves on the back of the box, and even though the cast looked a bit uneven, I took a chance. I was totally mesmerized. I enjoyed it so much I watched the whole thing all over again the next evening. It's a totally captivating story with wonderful cinematography, a beautiful soundtrack, and it's all held together by the fact that you have no idea what is going to happen next.

The story -- based on the novel by Paul Auster -- is certainly an original one. Mandy Patinkin plays a fireman named Nash who is taking an extended roadtrip/vacation and picks up the James Spader character (Pozzi) on the side of the road, bruised and bloody. Apparently Pozzi, who is normally a card player with a golden touch, lost his shirt to a pair of eccentric millionaires. Nash agrees to front Pozzi the money to get back in a game with the old guys in an attempt to win back his money. Well, one thing leads to another and Nash and Pozzi lose their shirts in the rematch. The payoff scheme conceived by the millionaires eventually drives Nash and Pozzi to the brink of insanity. Without giving away too much more of the plot, let's just say it involves the building of a wall and we'll leave it at that.

All the performances are memorable. It's a small cast, but each actor (Patinkin, Spader, Charles Durning, Joel Grey, M. Emmet Walsh, Christopher Penn and Samantha Mathis) does wonderfully. Patinkin is marvelous as a quiet, sensible man who slowly goes mad. Spader is totally over the top and manages to deliver what's probably his finest performance to date. Durning is terrific, as is the always-dependable character actor Walsh.

A few months after seeing the movie for the first time, I read the book and was pleasantly surprised at how faithful the book was in recreating the story. If you are a fan of this book or any other of Auster's works, this is definitely worth checking out.


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