The Score


The Score Information

The Score is a 2001 crime thriller directed by Frank Oz and starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando in his final film role.

It was the only time Brando and De Niro appeared in a film together"?although they had previously both won Academy Awards for portraying the same character, Vito Corleone, in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II respectively.

The screenplay was based upon a story by Daniel E. Taylor and Emmy-winner Kario Salem.

Plot

After nearly being caught on a routine burglary, master safe-cracker Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) decides the time has finally come to retire. Nick's flight attendant girlfriend, Diane (Angela Bassett), encourages this decision, promising to fully commit to their relationship if he does indeed go straight. Nick, however, is lured into taking one final score by his fence Max (Marlon Brando) The job, worth a $4 million pay off to Nick, is to steal a sceptre, which is discovered to be a French national treasure. It was hidden in the leg of an antique piano, smuggled illegally through Canada into the United States, but was accidentally uncovered, and stored in the ultra-secure basement of the Montréal Customs House.

Max introduces Nick to Jack Teller (Edward Norton), an ambitious thief who has infiltrated the Customs House and gained access to information regarding the security by pretending to be an intellectually disabled janitor named Brian. Nick hires his associate Steven (Jamie Harrold) to hack into the Custom House's security system to obtain the bypass codes allowing them to temporarily manipulate the alert protocols of the system during the heist. Steven is caught, however, by a corrupt systems administrator who extorts Nick for $50,000 for the information. More complications arise when they're forced to move up their time-table after the Customs House becomes aware of the true value of the sceptre and adds extra closed-circuit television cameras and infrared detectors to monitor the basement room while preparing to return it to its rightful owners.

Nick uses a sewer tunnel to enter the Customs House basement as Jack uses the bypass codes to rig the cameras to shut off when Nick enters the storage room. One of the janitors stumbles upon Jack, but Jack locks him in a closet. Meanwhile Nick fills the enormous in-floor safe containing the sceptre with water before inserting and detonating a depth charge to blow off the door. He quickly packs up the sceptre in a carrying case to depart, but Jack double crosses him and at gunpoint demands he hand over the sceptre. Nick reluctantly gives up the carrying case and seconds later the alarm, rigged by Jack, alerts the entire security staff to the heist. Nick darts for the sewer entrance he came in as Jack heads back upstairs, tucking the carrying case inside his janitor jumpsuit and slipping past the incoming police units responding to the burglary. Nick escapes the security guards chasing him through the sewer tunnels.

After making it to a bus station to flee the city, Jack calls Nick to gloat but is shocked to discover that Nick has anticipated Jack's actions. Jack opens the carrying case Nick gave him and find it contains a steel rod weighed down with various bushings. Brushing off Jack's threats of vengeance, Nick advises Jack to flee as "every cop in the city" will now be looking for him. Nick hangs up and boards a boat with the real sceptre as a shocked Jack broods over his situation. Later, Max smiles as he watches a news broadcast reporting a massive manhunt being organized to find Jack, the prime suspect, and an unidentified accomplice. Nick then meets Diane at the airport as she returns from work, and they embrace.

Cast

  • Robert De Niro as Nick Wells; a veteran thief tempted by one last score to comfortably retire.
  • Edward Norton as Jack Teller; the inside man seeking to establish himself as a respected criminal.
  • Marlon Brando as Max; the fence that puts together the job.
  • Angela Bassett as Diane; Nick's flight attendant girlfriend.
  • Gary Farmer as Burt; Nick's loyal associate who serves as security.
  • Jamie Harrold as Steven; a computer hacker that obtains the security codes for the score.
  • Richard Waugh as Sapperstien; the system's administrator for IronClad Security.
  • Jean-René Ouellet as André; head of security.
  • Paul Soles as Danny, the Montréal Customs Housejanitor.

Production

During the production, Brando repeatedly argued with Oz and called him "Miss Piggy". Oz later blamed himself for the tension and cited his tendency to be confrontational rather than nurturing in response to Brando's acting style.

Reception

Critical response

The film received generally positive reviews with a rating of 73% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 128 reviews with a rating average of 6.5/10. The critical consensus was summed up as, "Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, DeNiro, Norton, and Brando make the movie worth watching."

Peter Travers, a film critic for Rolling Stone, pointed out that when "two Don Corleones team up", he expected "the kind of movie that makes people say, 'I'd pay to see these guys just read from the phone book.'" Instead, what he had to say about it was: "There's nothing you can't see coming in this flick, including the surprise ending. Quick, somebody get a phone book", apparently in reference to Norton's comment in an earlier interview about working with his two idols. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it three and a half stars out of four, calling it "the best pure heist movie in recent years."

Frank Oz on the DVD commentary defends the film as one in which he desired to take risks. Therefore, they started filming with an incomplete script and used several shooting methods that are usually frowned upon in the industry.

Box office

In its first opening weekend, the film opened at #2 in the U.S. Box office raking in $19,018,807 USD, behind Legally Blonde.

After a July 13, 2001 opening, the $68 million dollar film earned a gross domestic box office take of $71,107,711. Combined with the international box office, the worldwide total is $113,579,918.

Accolades

Angela Bassett won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Wells' girlfriend, Diane.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Score_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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