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House of Games Movie Review

crouse mamet david mantegna

Writer David Mamet made his directorial debut with House of Games starring his then-wife Lindsay Crouse. The sequences with Crouse in action as a psychiatrist really do not work, but once she starts investigating the world of con artists, the plot really starts to hum. Screenwriter Mamet seems more interested in the psychiatrist's dark side than he is in her professional veneer. Crouse is ideally cast opposite Joe Mantegna as the weirdly paired couple who need each other like a coffin needs nails. Both are cool customers who know how to turn on the heat when it serves their purposes. There's rarely been a film with such a perfect middle and such unsatisfactory opening and closing scenes. Still, from the moment Crouse enters the House of Games until she leaves Charlie's Tavern for the last time, you may find yourself as hypnotized by sleaze as she is.

1987 (R) 102m/C Joe Mantegna, Lindsay Crouse, Lilia Skala, J.T. Walsh, Meshach Taylor, Ricky Jay, Mike Nussbaum, Willo Hausman; D: David Mamet; W: David Mamet; C: Juan Ruiz-Anchia; M: Alaric Jans. VHS, LV

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