One of my Top 10 movies of all times, The Usual Suspects is a cult mystery crime thriller released in 1995, written by Christopher McQuarrie, and directed by Bryan Singer. It doesn’t have to make sense, actually, because it is too catchy on the whole. Everything started with and from a police lineup. McQuarrie made all up while working for a lawyer. The movie was shown first at Cannes Film Festival in 1995, out of the competition. After that it had a very reduced distribution in America, but even so, it multiplied four times the budget in no time. Being shown in Los Angeles in time to be considered for the Oscars, it made a deserved surprise.
The Usual Suspects – Plot
Five criminals meet in a police lineup. One is Tod Hockney, the “guy good with explosives”, “mean as a snake when it mattered”. Another one is David Keaton, a former dirty cop who was busted, now posing as a respectable businessman. In fact he was very tough and very dangerous. His girlfriend was “a heavy-weight criminal lawyer from uptown”, Edie Finneran, who seems to genuinely love him. Another one is Fred Fenster, a “real tight-ass” “who got whatever you needed for next to nothing”. Yet another one is Michael McManus, a top notch crazy “entry man”, who always works with Fenster. At last, we meet Roger “Verbal” Kint, a cripple who has all the words with him. They discuss about this unusual lineup. It is usual to line the suspect with four dummies, homeless guys paid $10 by the police to participate, not five former convicts together. Klint, “the gimp”, was small fry near the other four.
Fenster and McManus, “got wind of a possible job”. To take revenge on the police or the Feds because they harassed them for something they allegedly didn’t do, they came with the idea of a heist job involving an emerald smuggler carried around by corrupt cops operating the New York Taxi service. The emeralds are £3 million worth and will be delivered to Redfoot the Fence, a guy McManus and Fenster know in California. “Verbal” Klint has a plan in which they need five guys and nobody would be killed.
From here on, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, I recommend you to do so, to find out what happens, and also what happened in the opening scenes..
Cast and Trivia
Gabriel Byrne is Dean Keaton. Stephen Baldwin is Michael McManus. Benicio Del Toro is Fred Fenster. Kevin Pollak is Tod Hockney. Kevin Spacey is Roger “Verbal” Kint, a cripple who speaks too much. Chazz Palminteri is Special Agent Dave Kujan, US Customs. Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father) is Mr. Kobayashi, a lawyer. Suzy Amis is Edie Finneran. Giancarlo Esposito is FBI Agent Jack Baer. Dan Hedaya is Jeff Rab, the sergeant assisting Kujan in interogating Kint. Peter Greene went uncredited in this movie. He is Redfoot the Fence, a setup tough guy from Los Angeles.
[source: the same, shortlist.com]
What’s interesting and maybe you don’t know yet is that the emeralds were real gems, they were loaned especially for the movie. Kevin Spacey was keen to work with Singer no matter what. It’s as he knew he would catch an Oscar and become a great star. He is tremendously talented, anyway. “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing man he didn’t exist”, the movie tagline, is from Baudelaire.
What you already know is The Usual Suspects has one of the best plot twists in movies, and it’s writer, Christopher McQuarrie won Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Trailer and Conclusion
I liked the trailer because is not spoiling the movie. This is for the moment at Number 25 in imdb Top 250 of Best Movies List, with 8.6 rating out of ten.
Strangely, Roger Ebert didn’t like it. No problem, I’m sure you’ll love it!
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