|THE BIG TOWN (director: Ben Bolt; screenwriters: Robert Roy Pool/ based on the novel ''The Arm'' by Clark Howard;; cinematographer: Ralf D. Bode; editor: Stuart Pappe; music: Michael Melvoin; cast: Matt Dillon (J.C. Cullen), Diane Lane (Lorry Dane), Tommy Lee Jones (George Cole), Bruce Dern (Mr. Edwards), Lee Grant (Ferguson Edwards), Tom Skerritt (Phil Carpenter), Suzy Amis (Aggie Donaldson), David Marshall Grant (Sonny Binkley), Don Francks (Carl Hooker); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Martin Ransohoff; Vestron; 1987)|
|"A disheartening formulaic story of
a crap-shooter trying to stay ahead of the
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
of the Screw") drearily directs a
disheartening formulaic story of a crap-shooter
trying to stay ahead of the game. Bolt
replaced dismissed director Harold Becker.
That was a bad move, as he made the pic look like
your ordinary TV crime drama.
The action is
set in Chicago, in 1957. It's based on
the novel ''The Arm'' by Clark Howard. The
script writer is Robert Roy Pool.
uninspired drama mumbles some vagaries about how the
young should learn from their elders the meaning of
life. But that all seems like so much gas, as the real
intent is to show how easy it is take a wrong turn in
a city with many temptations.
young farm boy J.C. Cullen (Matt
Dillon) leaves a small town in Iowa for Chicago, where
he hopes to make his mark as a crap-shooter. On the
recommendation of an Iowa gambler, Cullen is hired as
a dice player for the married professional gamblers,
Mr. and Mrs. Edwards (Bruce Dern & Lee Grant).
While on the job, Cullen falls for both the single mom
good girl girl club waitress Aggie (Suzy Amis) and the
scheming married bad girl stripper Lorry
Dane (Diane Lane). Her hubby is the evil vice
king strip-joint owner George Cole (Tommy Lee Jones).
kid, corrupted by the bright lights of the city, goes
on a hot streak playing craps with some of the Windy
City high-rollers. Then the kid bankrupts
the hateful and vengeful Cole, the city's notorious
crime figure, and suddenly finds his life is in
danger. But the kid has enough spunk to fight back
and thereby saves his ass while regaining his moral
REVIEWED ON 3/17/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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