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HEIST, THE

SYNOPSIS:
When expert thief Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) is ‘burned’ by a security camera during a typically daring jewellery robbery, his job security is severely jeopardised, and his partner Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo) advises him to quit. Retire. But their fence, Bergman (Danny DeVito) insists on one more – one more BIG – heist. And withholds Joe’s share of the latest job to pressure him into it. Joe, Bobby, their utility man Pinky (Ricky Jay) and his wife Fran, (Rebecca Pidgeon) reluctantly prepare for the heist – but their plans are unexpectedly threatened by the handsome young Bergman aide, Jimmy (Sam Rockwell).


Review by Andrew L. Urban:
In the tradition of ‘just one more heist’ caper movies, but with a noir sensibility – or is that just cool – Heist is engaging, dramatic and humorous in turn, and laced with enough deadly danger to make it stick. Writer/director David Mamet loves to manipulate his stories to keep us guessing and unsure, and Heist gives him the opportunity to duck and weave more than usual. The reason is his central character, Joe Moore, whose skills as a thief include chess-master like cunning. He can triple twist a set up in front of your eyes and you won’t see his hands move. To make the ‘jealous husband’ element play a stringent part of the plot (and characterisations) Mamet asks us to accept Hackman’s Moore being married to Pidgeon’s Fran, with an age difference some women will find objectionable. Fact is, the world is half full of such age-gap marriages, and I am never bothered about the fact per se. What would bother me is lousy acting. Here, we are given two terrific performances as Mr and Mrs Moore show more cool than you find on an ice pack. DeVito’s vicious little pug, Bergman, is nasty and entertaining all at once, while Delroy Lindo is a complete and complex sidekick. Other supports are also tops, with Sam Rockwell a satisfying young gun - with a gun in his pocket for Fran. Heist is full of terrific moments, including a smattering of great lines that crackle like water drops on a hotplate.

Review by Louise Keller:
Witty and edgy, The Heist is a stimulating film-noir caper movie with crisp dialogue and a plot that surprises at every turn. The script flows from the eloquent pen of David Mamet, who dazzles with diversity, irrespective of genre. But one thing is certain, in all of his many works (including The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, Hannibal, Ronin, The Edge, Wag The Dog and State & Main), the scripts are always intelligent and articulate, stretching and bending the English language like a pliable piece of plasticine. Needless to say, my expectations for Heist were high, and I was not disappointed. And what a cast! Gene Hackman is as credible as always, breathing such complexity and edginess into Joe, the thief who takes things right to the edge and tantalises us. Rebecca Pidgeon (Mamet's wife) is superb as Joe’s gum-chewing, go-getter wife; Joe and Fran's relationship explodes with question marks and we are fascinated. Delroy Lindo and Danny DeVito add class, and it's always a pleasure to see regular Ricky Jay. Sam Rockwell is convincing as the super-slimy smarmy nephew who tags along unwanted to the job, and look out for Patti LuPone in a memorable cameo. Heist keeps you on your toes to such an extent that you almost feel like dancing. But be prepared to springboard to any platform, as the mood swings from quirky wit to bleak violence and it's a very fine, but well judged line between. The laughs are plentiful and I caught myself laughing out loud quite a few times, as those jocular, playful Mamet lines kept coming. Lines like 'He's so cool, when he goes to bed the sheep count him,' and 'She can talk her way out of a sunburn'. Great stuff. In fact, there's so much to absorb, this is a film that probably deserves repeated viewing. 'Anyone can get the goods' says Joe, 'It's getting away that is the trick'. Don't let Heist get away – it's a steal, whatever it costs.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

HEIST (M)
(US)

CAST: Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sam Rockwell, Ricky Jay

PRODUCER: Art Linson, Elie Samaha, Andrew Stevens

DIRECTOR: David Mamet

SCRIPT: David Mamet

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Elswit

EDITOR: Barbara Tulliver

MUSIC: Theodore Shapiro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Wasco

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 14, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: September 4, 2002 (also available on DVD)







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