The Spanish Prisoner
1998, David Mamet, USA, 110 min.
With Campbell Scott, Rebecca Pidgeon, Steve Martin, Felicity Huffman
- Sat, Jun 15th 3:00pm
- Tue, Jun 18th 6:00pm
"Mamet's most consistently enjoyable film to date is a cool, typically clever con-trick drama packed with deliciously inventive twists that get ever more convoluted and unnerving as the plot proceeds."—Derek Adams, Time Out London
"This is Mamet's sleekest and most engaging film thus far. If you like a good cat-and-mouse game with a keen ear for language, then go."—Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
This ingenious, darkly humorous thriller is Mamet's richest film, combining the intricate chicanery of HOUSE OF GAMES with the cutthroat business practices of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. THE SPANISH PRISONER (the title refers to a classic confidence trick) opens on a Caribbean business junket, where corporate underling Joe Ross (Scott) unveils a top-secret formula that will "sell a million widgets." But the defensive, self-righteous Joe becomes increasingly fearful that his evasive boss (Ben Gazzara) is cutting him out of the deal. Feeding his insecurity are two enigmatic figures: a chatterbox secretary (Pidgeon) who is only too eager to serve, and an international wheeler-dealer (Martin) who pops up all too conveniently to advise Joe in his hour of panic. A hardboiled FBI woman (Huffman), a Boy Scout knife, and a cloak-and-dagger rendezvous at Central Park's carousel are the final ingredients in a devious trap that drives Joe (like many Mamet protagonists) into a desperate corner where he must fight for survival. 35mm. (MR)