Erik has his features "Overrated Films" and "Bad Movies I Love" and he has suggested I do my own Overrated Films thing, but I don't want to copy the man outright. So instead, I'm going to do my own, Obscure Movies I Love. This is the first in said series. The great movie, Diggstown:
Diggstown is a classic con-man movie. It features some fantastic actors: James Woods, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt, and Louis Gossett Jr.
The movie focuses on con-man Gabriel Caine (Woods), just out of prison, who sets up a complicated con involving a small town addicted to boxing, and his old boxer friend "Honey" Roy Palmer (Gossett).
So I will get my main criticism of the movie out of the way first: it is hard to believe Gossett, at his age, could fight and win against some of the boxers he goes up against. The movie stretches the bounds of Suspension of Disbelief here and there.
Other than that, it's a great flick. The writing is funny. The pace is slow enough to tell the story, but quick enough to keep you interested. Woods, Platt, Gossett, and Dern play off each other expertly. While the Woods/Gossett scenes are good, the best ones are between rivals Woods and Dern. Both are amazing character actors, and yet both can ham it up...these are both traits this script called for, and these two acquit themselves well.
So why am I calling this movie "obscure"? After production was all done, the studio decided to undersell it. No hype, no promotional tours, no talk shows. The trailers came out about two weeks before the movie. As a result, when the movie released, hardly anyone had heard of it and it bombed at the box office. With poor ticket sales, it only lasted a few weeks in the theaters. A shame in my opinion.
Speaking of trailers, there was a line in the trailer that got cut from the movie that frankly I thought was quite funny. When "Hammerhead Hagan" comes out Gossett looks at Woods and asks, "Did you tell him he's black, too?"
If you haven't seen the movie it makes no sense. But if you've seen it, or if you go watch it now that I've told you about it, you'll know why that's funny.
If you haven't seen this one, rent it, Netflix it, whatever. If you have seen it, feel free to share your opinions here.
5 months ago