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Crackers 1984
Description: Garvey is a San Francisco pawnshop operator. His unemployed and criminal mates Dillard, Turtle, and Weslake, squad up with Boardwalk, a local pimp, to burgle Garvey's store while the owner is out of town. During the elaborate planning process, Dillard falls for a Hispanic woman, the sister of a friend. Also, Boardwalk is assigned to situation a local apartment, where he meets and falls for the maid. Amidst all these romantic hijinks, Weslake puts together a burglary plan, which is executed by the makeshift gang.
Released: 17 Feb 1984 Director: Louis Malle Writers: Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (screenplay) Actors: Donald Sutherland, Jack Warden, Sean Penn, Wallace Shawn Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
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Crackers Reviews:

"Crackers" falls into that genre of movies that have failed quite inexplicably - helmed by a nice director, starring a cast of assured veterans (Sutherland, Warden) and talented newcomers (Penn, Baranksi) and written by the screenwriter of one of the greatest movies of the eighties ("Cutter's Way"). Then why is it that no one talks about the movie anymore? Firstly, the movie has been made far more successfully on two another opportunities in the guise of "Big Deal on Madonna Street" and then recently "Welcome To Collinwood". Secondly, Malle gotta have been going through an eighties dance melody phase when he made the movie because it is effectively crashed by an utterly dated and abysmal soundtrack - with a proper movie score it would have been a far better film. Lastly, Sutherland gives what is probably his most broad and embarrassingly unfunny performance in the lead, subsequently hindering any sympathy for his character. There are another qualms (what exactly is the purpose of Baranski's character, lets throw in a slut for some wacky comedy?) but it is nevertheless still quite watchable. Shawn, who would collaborate with Malle on the acclaimed movies "My Dinner With Andre" and "Vanya on 42nd Street", is very funny as the forever-eating Turtle and Penn is amusing in a dumb hood role he would practically resume for "We're No Angels", other movie with a nice director, writer and cast that would be a critical and commercial failure. No movie made by Malle should be truly bad, and this isn't, but it is neither as quirky or funny as it wants to be.


Louis Malle lived in the USA during the last part of his life. If there was anyone with enough talent to bring "Crackers" to the screen, it was him. Unfortunately, sometimes, even with the greatest intentions, no doubt, a nice boy produces a movie that is well beneath himself. Of course, anyone is entitled to a mistake, but if there was anything wrong with this project it seems to be the Jeffrey Alan Fiskin's screen treatment of the classic Mario Monicelli movie "Big Deal at Madonna Street".The cast Mr. Malle assembled for the movie is a first rate one, just by looking at the names in it. Donald Sutherland, Jack Warden, Sean Penn, Christine Baranski and the rest have enough experience to present much better than what comes out on the screen.Let's just remember Mr. Malle for his greatness, and not by this misguided effort.


A motley band of desperate, unemployed, penny-less characters desire to rob Pawn Dealer Jack Warden's secure while he's off to visit his mother. Sutherland at first shrugs robbing his boss(for the time being;his job as Pawn store safety is threatened when Warden mentions a desire for an alarm system), but has motivation when he sees he'll later be unemployed again(..and losing his cable box only makes matters worse). Warden is the "bad guy" of the film, a penny-pincher who stiff those seeking a much larger sum than he's willing to pay for their valuables. The thing is though, as Warden tries to say the film's characters as they come in to sell stolen merchandise or valuables from their own homes, that business is business and turning a profit is essential. The flick clearly exposes the unemployment hike and immigration pressure in early 80's Reagan era.Sean Penn(..tries on a Southern accent to give his hero flavor and fails miserably) plays a wannabee musician, often seen blowing on his harmonica or clanging away on a guitar in Warden's pawn store he had to give away, who is Trinidad Silva's thieving partner as they often commit petty crimes such as stealing vehicle radios from BMWs only to receive close to nothing from Warden for them. Penn takes a private interest in Silva's sister Tasia Valenza, courting her when dear brother's back is turned(Silva is overprotective and wishes to pair Tasia with a bartender of his own selecting from Mexico). You have Wallace(MY DINNER WITH ANDRE)Shawn as an always-hungry pauper who is mates with Sutherland and hangs around the pawn store testing chess all day(it's rare you don't see Shawn eating something which is a gag the movie plays to the hilt). There's Larry Riley as a would-be pimp stuck with the baby of a former "employee". Following the cast of supposed secure crackers are Christine Baranski as a meter-lady who writes the tickets for those who stay parked too long on the side-walk who likes to moonlight as a slut and Charlayne Woodard as an always-unemployed maid who hooks up with Riley.All that said, this is a forgettable, minor movie from critically acclaimed director Louis Malle with a decent cast not having that much to do. It supposed to enjoy as a bumbling-thieves comedy, but seems to wish to take a detour into hero study. I'd tell unless you just want to see the movie for it's cast, this is a very skippable movie which ends with the characters looking quite silly at staging such an attempt towards cracking the safe. They still face what we saw them vs at the begin of the film. After watching the film, I just felt that this flick wastes our time.



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