Notes on “Skin Game”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


“Skin Game” has the modest charm of a joshing tall tale or a comic folk ballad. Given its premise, which involves a bi-racial duo of con men who repeatedly allow the black partner to be sold into slavery so the white one can bust him out a few hours later, it seems reasonable to assume it was a major source for Tarantino during the writing of “Django Unchained.” The movie is perfunctory looking, like a made-for-TV production, and director Paul Bogart lacks either the skill or the temperament needed to bring out the mischievousness built into the situations (there is a Lubitsch-y quality to parts of Peter Stone’s screenplay), but each scene has its own tempo and punch line, and the performances are consistently enjoyable. As Quincy, James Garner looks healthy and self-pleased; he’s doing “Maverick” as facetious mastah. And Louis Gossett, Jr., who plays his partner Jason, is an appealing straight man, one whose routine gains edge through the high-stakes nature of the game being played. (Jason has everything to lose.) As a team Garner and Gossett sometimes call to mind the chummy-combative male pairings common to Warner Brothers pictures of the ’30s and ’40s. They’re a hoot. Rounding out the main cast is Susan Clark, who manages to make the flintiness of her Ginger seem like an accessory to flirtation. The three of them appear to be enjoying their time together.


About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
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2 Responses to Notes on “Skin Game”

  1. Fenster says:

    From Skin Game to Django . . . progress, of a sort.


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