House of Games

House of Games

DVD - 2007
Average Rating:
9
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A therapist and best-selling author must confront her own demons when she meets a man who has gambling debts and she feels compelled to help him.
Publisher: Irvington, N.Y. : Criterion Collection, [2007]
Edition: Widescreen.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781934121719
1934121711
Branch Call Number: HOU
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (102 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (28 pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm)

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the film was as fine as i remembered it. i had issues with the commentary, from lead actor joe, and director, mamet: i like a commentary with lots of tidbits about the process of the making of the film. there was precious little of that, here. actually, joe might have made a silent appearance on the audio track because ricky jay, the master magician, was the other man speaking, along with the director. i think they mailed it in. mr. jay admitted he was being careful about revealing the secrets behind his friends' tricks, but what was mamet's excuse? the dude is a great writer, couldn't he have shared some of that process with us? i learned that when he shot in seattle , seattle was a poor town, now it's a rich town. and that he was married to lindsay crouse, when the film was shot. that depth of quality i expect from a teen slasher film, or a teen comedy. but...as i say, the film itself seemed to retain its shot by shot integrity. c'mon guys! your commentary was for a Criterion edition!

I'm a Mamet fan; but to be honest with you, I think this film, his directorial debut, is overrated. I saw it upon its theatrical release back in the 1980s. There was a lot of buzz around it. I was in college at the time. And my reaction to it was that it was sort of static, frigid. I found myself put off by the female lead, the psychoanalyst, played by Lindsay Crouse, and feeling sympathy for the grifter Mike, played by Joe Mantegna. Seeing the Criterion Collection edition the other night, my reaction has flipped. Now, 30 years later, I'm definitely on the lady psychoanalyst's side, and I find con man Mike detestable bordering on unbelievable. One interesting thing I picked up this go-round: the movie is shot in Seattle. Since Mamet has such a reputation for being a Chicagoan I assumed HOUSE OF GAMES was filmed there. Seattle isn't noticeable -- the shots are mostly medium to close -- but I believe the Pacific Medical Building makes an appearance as well as some of the waterfront.

m
marieloudavril
Feb 17, 2017

fascinating movie about brilliant con mind who play game in a very twisted way. Movie to see.

l
looper46
Dec 05, 2015

Just one of my favorite movies!
David Mamet is one of America's great writer and shows off his chops in this excellent flick. A case of of who is conning whom. Mantegna is very good, as is most of the cast. Love the ending. Watch this movie. Glad all you Seattle people liked the old parts of town.

t
ThomasJWhiting
Oct 29, 2015

I have seen the film before (and enjoyed it), but watched again last night to particularly scope the Seattle backdrop scenery.

I also used to almost daily (weekdays after school in the 60's before catching the 15 or 18 bus home on 1st Avenue) ride the alley elevator up to the 211 and play some pool. But we weren't allowed in the card room. I do seem to recall it was part of the police payoff scandal back in the day.

We also used to play pool at Pennyland down on 1st Avenue (but weren't allowed to browse the magazine section).

NewYorkViews May 19, 2015

Interesting non-scary thriller about a successful, but mediocre psychotherapist who finds herself/hostile self through hanging out with lowlifes. Not many surprises, but good acting, cast, and script.

btmslt Mar 02, 2012

Who's conning who? A very good story about con "men". A psychiatrist who thinks she can outwit the professional con man is in for more then she barginned in this well acted film. Mamet gives us some good twists and turns throughtout the film.

s
stradivaius1
Dec 18, 2011

Love the film, but watch it with nostalgia. Dang, I'm getting old.

I used to play pool in the original 2/11, (the Belltown location was not the orginal). I even recognize a few of the players when the camera pans around the room. Exactly as it was. Had a rickety elevator, never knew if it would stop midway. Now it's the northwest corner of Benaroya Hall.

Priceless move - literally - for these old shots of Seattle.

f
FlagrantMary
Oct 25, 2011

Great story and excellent views of old Seattle. My friends and I used to react scenes from this movie. Joe Mantegna at his best!

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