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Red Rock West (1993)

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, more...
Director: John Dahl
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Rating:
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Independent, Neo Noir, Neo Noir
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
John Dahl directed and co-wrote (along with his brother Rick Dahl) this quirky and energetic film noir that, after a well-received screening at the Toronto Film Festival, was consigned to oblivion before resurfacing on cable television. When the owner of a San Francisco movie theater, who was a big fan of the film, arranged for a theatrical release, the film clicked and toured the country as an art house hit. The film concerns eternal loser Michael (Nicolas Cage), down to his last five dollars and looking for work. He finds himself at a bar in the town of Red Rock. The bartender, Wayne (J.T. Walsh) eyes him suspiciously and asks him, "You must be Lyle, from Dallas." Michael, eager to earn some cash, agrees. It seems Wayne has a job for Michael, but what Michael doesn't realize until too late is that the job is to kill Wayne's wife for $10,000. Michael heads out to Wayne's farm with the cash to warn Wayne's wife, Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle). Suzanne responds by offering to double Michael's fee if he will kill her husband instead. Michael takes the money and tries to leave town, but when a thunderstorm comes up, he runs over a man who was trying to flag him down. The sheriff arrives on the scene to attend to matters -- who turns out to be Wayne. Wayne proceeds to drive Michael out of town for an execution, but Michael manages to elude him. Flagging down a driver on the road who is driving back into Red Rock, they return to the bar, where the driver offers to buy Michael a drink. As Michael accepts the offer of a drink, he realizes that he is drinking with the real "Lyle from Dallas" (Dennis Hopper) who is awaiting Wayne's return. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
The Last Seduction
More noir to adore from John Dahl put sultry Linda Fiorentino on the map

Joy Ride
More mindless, action-oriented noir from Dahl also uses the wide open Western expanses to great effect; tense and fun

Breakdown
Very suspenseful film is set around the desolate desert highways of Arizona




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GreenCine's 100 Most Valuable Indies
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"Indie, or Independent": [n] A film funded by non-studio sources and made outside the traditional Hollywood system (it could be distributed by a studio). This list emphasizes historical and/or artistic relevancy. In alphabetical order:
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