TV Cream

Films: B is for...

Big Town, The

We won’t stop asking until someone gives us a satisfactory answer – what *was* it with ’80s Hollywood and the ’50s? More speciaically, a sort of mythical, backlit, smoky, sub-sub-Guys-and-Dolls ’50s as evinced with textbook predictability here, wherein Matt Damon plays a professional crap artist (don’t even rise to it, Doris) who waltzes into a Chicago gambling scene controlled by one George Cole, alias Tommy Lee Jones, resulting in a big old barney over who gets custody of both turf and archetypal moll Diane ‘I’ve decided I’ll be putting out after all’ Lane? As Shake, Rattle ‘n’ Roll swells up on the soundtrack, we find ourselves no nearer an answer. Endless location problems dogged this shoot, resulting in that dreaded spectre of filmdom, the completion bond company, gallumphing in at the last minute to make sure something – anything – got to the cinemas. It did, but nobody turned up.

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