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David Mamet's "House of Games" (1987)


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If nothing else, the Criterion release on DVD of David Mamet's House of Games is a great opportunity to revisit this very interesting movie, possibly one of the best looks at the lives of contemporary con men -- although of course this one has at its center a very strong woman character, who ultimately proves to be a bit of a (har, har) femme fatale herself.

 

It's a lot of fun to imagine how a similar premise might have been done in the 40's or 50's, but also great to see a more contemporary take on it, and of course Mamet's dialogue is delicious to listen to.

 

Haven't had a chance to go through the extras yet, but the transfer is pretty good for a 1987 movie.

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Not for all tastes. But I liked the film, great Dialog. "Lindsay Crouse" plays the Femme Fatale who was married to Mamet at the time. Definitely worth watching.

Use to show up from Time to Time on IFC.

 

vallo

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The extras on the Criterion definitely make it worth renting, at the very least, or buying it if you're a big fan of David Mamet's work. There's a lot of great stuff on the audio commentary. Mamet was definitely not pleased at Orion Pictures' handling of the movie's theatrical release, that much is clear!!

 

Also, as the essay on the inside booklet points out, it's hard to understate the impact the movie had back in 1987, even if a lot of the elements have been done to death by other movies since then. But, yeah, I remember how unique and refreshing the movie was shortly after it came out, before Mamet's other works were brought to the screen.

 

Oh, you're a bad pony, and I'm not gonna bet on you! -- you gotta love lines like that! B-)

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Film Fatale -- I've never seen House of Games but it's a film that my brother likes. My guess is that he will get the Criterion DVD in time and I'll make sure to borrow it.

 

I did watch State and Main for the first time this past weekend. A very different kind of Mamet film. I now have a mild crush on Rebecca Pidgeon, David's wife.

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I worked in Brooklyn's Plaza Cinema on 7th Avenue on Park Slope. I worked at the candy stand (the real money-maker of a movie theatre) when "House of Games" was released. I don't remember all the ins and outs of the plot (good reason to now revisit the film) but I remember it was a GREAT story told. Isn't (wasn't) Lindsay Crouse married to Joe Mantegna???

 

I remember her in the remake of "Desperate Hours" and she's another sad example of "Hollywood" not knowing what to do with a good competent actress.

 

Yeah...I gotta see that one again.

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> Lindsay Crouse was married to David Mamet.

 

There's an interesting anecdote about that in the audio commentary of the new DVD. Let's just say that Mamet's hands make an uncredited cameo in the movie during the scene that's set in the hotel room.

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  • 1 year later...

I've always enjoyed this film, and often get it confused with the also-excellent THE SPANISH PRISONER (Steve Martin, Campbell Scott) for some reason. They have similar feels - never knowing who or what to trust - although their stories and characters are certain very different. The menace, however, is not. I've had HOUSE on DVD for a while, but we'll probably get the Criterion 'upgrade' ASAP.

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