Matt Dillon stars as a small-time gambler in 1950's Chicago. He moves from rural Illinois to Chicago to pursure his incredible luck at dice. While working for professional gamblers, he falls in love with both a stripper (D... more »iane Lane) and a pretty unwed mother (Suzy Amis). Starring: Diane Lane (2003 Academy AwardŽ Nominee Unfaithful, Under the Tuscan Sun), Matt Dillon (Drugstore Cowboy), Tommy Lee Jones (Academy Award Winner, 1994 The Fugitive, The Missing), Bruce Dern (Academy Award Nominee 1978 Coming Home), Lee Grant (Academy Award Winner, 1976 Shampoo).« less
"The luscious Diane Lane was the reason I rented this movie (and would buy it as well, should it become available). I was on my Diane Lane binge when I saw this, along with Lady Beware, Priceless Beauty, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. What can I say? I missed out on her movies as an adolescent. Seeing her in The Perfect Storm inspired me to seek out her earlier work.
The Big Town stands out as one of the better movies she was in, with an entertaining plot of a dice hustler played well by Matt Dillon. It seems they enjoyed acting together as well, having both been in Coppolla's Rumble Fish and The Outsiders.
There are a great collection of other character actors in this film as well, including Bruce Dern, Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Skerrit. Suzy Amis is sympathetic as Dillon's other love interest, but she doesn't hold a candle to the sex kitten Lane."
Worth a roll of the dice
Richard Bellush, Jr. | Brookside, NJ United States | 06/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The varied reactions to this movie by other reviewers are interesting, but nonetheless surprise me. De gustibus and all that, I suppose.
Released in 1987 but set in 1957, this is a well written and well acted drama with much of the feel of 40s and 50s noir. The look of the film, presumably deliberately, also has the style of an earlier era. The sound track, with Ivory Joe Hunter, Lincoln Chase, Big Joe Turner and others, couldn't be more suitable. The sleaze, of course, is much more advanced than would have been permissible thirty years earlier.
The hero, J.C. Cullen (Matt Dillon), is more complex than a pure country innocent corrupted by a wicked woman Lorry Dane (Diane Lane), a stripper at the Gem Club. A small town gambler trying to make it big in Chicago, he has his own dark, or at least not-so-light, side, which is why he takes up with Lorry so readily. Yet, he at least struggles with his conscience even if he doesn't always do the right thing. Tommy Lee Jones and Bruce Dern are in fine form as villains, Lee Grant has just the right touch, and Diane Lane has never been more stunning or more credible in a role. The Big Town is not a big movie, but it is a good one. "
The movie aint Citizen Kane, more like, Citizen (Diane) Lane
Richard Bellush, Jr. | 12/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give it a 5 star rating. why? Cause Diane Lane is such a hotty! I grew up with Dillion/Lane in the Outsiders and Rumble Fish, (two other great movies), and I always had a jones for Diane Lane (I guess so did Francis Ford Coppola). And to see her in this movie as a stripper, well, what can I say, it really floats my boat. This movie is my "guilty pleasure"....I dont care that everyone hates it, I love it! (Today's movie making is nothing to brag about, anyway)."
Dice players rejoyce
HorrorGuy | Riverside, CA United States | 06/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first stumbled across this movie on cable in the late 80's. I loved it then and still do today. Great story, great casting, great acting & great period film making. Diane Lane is not to shabby either as a strippin' diva with a taste for the fast life. Matt Dillon plays a complete craps stud who can win any dice game no matter the stakes or cash on the table. Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Skerrit, Bruce Dern & Lee Grant all contribute with awesome performances to this "Gem Club" of a movie. I sincerely hope we'll all be lucky enough for this title to be available soon on DVD. Heck, I'd love to have a DVD with tons of extras too if it was up to me but it it's not. I can always dream though..."
When things get hot, people get burned ... bet on it!
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 08/18/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the novel The Big Arm by Clark Howard with a screenplay by Robert Roy Pool, this drama directed by Ben Bolt feels like an adaptation of a large canvas novel with all the detail left in, so that everything reads as subsidiary. Set in the Chicago of the 1950's, Matt Dillon stars as a dice player from Indiana seeking the big time. However, when you're juggling at least 4 plots it's only natural that not all of them will come together for a satisfying conclusion. The most promising one concerns Dillon's Hustler-like competition with Tommy Lee Jones as the owner of a strip club, with Jones having the same spot between the eyebrows as Dillon. The problem with filming dice is that the actual game is monotonous, so the best Bolt could do is create tension by delaying the next roll or the raising of financial stakes, though he does provide an early montage of Dillon with David Marshall Grant on a winning spree and falling dice and money to the sounds of Shake, Rattle and Roll on the soundtrack. The only other visual trick is the sparks of an overhead train on it's tracks as Dillon and Diane Lane as Jones' stripper wife kiss to Fever. The best of the screenplay is a laugh line of sarcasm and forboding given to Meg Hogarth as Dillon's mother re his dice mentor's funeral "I nearly got crushed in the crowd", and Cherry Jones as a Patsy Cline-like singer who sneaks up behind Dillon, covering his eyes with a guess who? Dillon says her perfume gives her away and she replies " Aint nobody gonna give me away but my daddy". This use of eyes and the eyes of the dice are also parallel with Bruce Dern as the husband of Lee Grant, Dillon's employer. Dern is a former dice champ who has been blinded, but unfortunately this plot point gets no payoff. Dillon is also given two romantic partners in Lane and Suzy Amis as a mother of a child out of wedlock. The madonna/whore dichotomy is rather obvious, and the symbolism worse, with Amis' child scoring points for her and the way Lane is presented so unflatteringly scores points against her. Lane's fan dance doesn't help, since the focus on the scen is more Dillon's twisted attraction/repulsion. The 1950's period works for Dillon's razor etched beauty, the perfect locale for his photographer Bruce Weber appeal, and he even gives a Method touch to the way he hits his own face with a restaurant menu. Watch for Lolita Davidovich as another of Jones' strip club entertainers."