Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Joe Ross is a rising star. He's designed a process that will make his company millions. He wants a bonus for this work, but fears his boss will stiff him. He meets a wealthy stranger, Jimmy Dell, and they strike up an off-kilter friendship. When the boss seems to set Ross up to get nothing, he seeks Dell's help. Then he learns Dell is not what he seems, so he contacts an FBI agent through his tightly-wound assistant, Susan Ricci. The FBI asks him to help entrap Dell. He accepts, a sting is arranged, but suddenly it's he who's been conned out of the process and framed for murder. Bewildered and desperate, he enlists Susan's aid to prove his innocence.Written by
The red and white Cadillac convertible that appears in the car dealer's showroom is the same car that is stolen from an underground garage elevator by the con men in David Mamet's House of Games (1987). See more »
When Joe Ross makes his way through the carousel, a movie light can be seen in the background with a crew member and cases also visible for a few moments to the right of the light. See more »
Clever "who can you trust" whodunnit, with Steve Martin in a serious role.
Steve Martin in a serious role in a Mamet film is reason enough to see "The Spanish Prisoner", which I believe gets its name from a type of sucker scam of the same name. And that's what this film is about. A young professional invents "the process" which is very valuable to his company but he is worried he will not get compensated well enough. This seed of doubt, which others around him recognize, sets into motion a whole series of secrets and deceptions. The dialog is snappy as in all Mamet writing, and you either really like the style a lot, or you don't. I really like it. The various twists get a bit hard to follow, and it is the kind of movie you have to see at least twice for full benefit. It is not a great film, but a worthy one.
Beside Steve martin in his serious role, which he pulls off very well, the film also has Ben Gazzara and Mamet's wife, Rebecca Pidgeon who is very good in one of the key roles in this film.
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