Albino Alligator (Widescreen)
Actor Kevin Spacey made his directorial debut in this uneven crime thriller that has the claustrophobic feel of a play. Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise, and William Fichtner play a trio of robbers who have just pulled a job gone wrong. On the run from the cops, they hide out in a basement bar, where they try to figure out their next move. There's a certain amount of urgency, however, because Sinise, the brains of the outfit, is badly wounded--which means that Fichtner, the group psycho, is allowed to run wild, terrorizing the barflies unlucky enough to be their hostages. As the cops swarm outside the bar--thinking these three are major criminals rather than small potatoes--tensions mount, mostly through misunderstanding. But it's all a lot of talk, not nearly enough of it interesting, that pushes the movie slowly to its inevitable conclusion. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Albino Alligator" is a pretty good movie, especially when you consider that it was the first movie that Kevin Spacey directed. It's not the best movie of its kind, but it's not bad either. It all happens inside a bar in the basement of a building and the plot doesn't change much the whole movie, but it does have a few interesting twists that keep the movie from being boring. All three of the criminals do a great job in the acting department, especially Matt Dillon. The hostages, led by Faye Dunaway, also do a good job of acting. This movie is both chilling and entertaining, and I recommend anybody who likes movies that center around criminals and hostages to get "Albino Alligator."
Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise and William Fichtner star as three small-time, New Orleans crooks who bungle a warehouse heist, and then take refuge in a basement bar after being involved in an auto accident during the getaway, at which time the Sinise character is injured going through the windshield. And, by the way, during the getaway they mash into the pavement a cop involved in an unrelated Federal stakeout. At any rate, once in the bar, which has no rear entrance, they're surrounded by the local SWAT team and assorted TV news vans. However, they do have five hostages: the bar's owner, the bartender (Dunaway), and three wee hour customers.
ALBINO ALLIGATOR is the directorial debut of Kevin Spacey, an actor of considerable talent. While I won't go so far as to say that this first effort was badly directed, the script wasn't worth his time and energy. Unless he's more selective, Kevin should stay with his bread-and-butter job. Curiously, the film just didn't have that "movie" feel. It reminded me more of a filmed stage production. Furthermore, the "albino alligator" reference, ostensibly a ruse by which alligators send out an albino to flush out foes, had absolutely no application in the storyline. At least, none that I discerned even after thinking about it for several minutes. I was even watching with my glasses on. To be evenhanded, the Fichtner character, a real psycho, was chillingly done. And Faye is still a Babe, even at this late date.Read more ›
At the time this film was made, Kevin Spacey was hot, very hot. His performances in Seven, Swimming with Sharks, and The Usual Suspects had brought him not only rave reviews, but an Academy Award. His want to direct, this inherent heat, plus his ability to attract additional star power, namely Faye Dunaway, Matt Dillon, and Gary Sinise, and a spec script from a first time writer had the financial backing it needed.
Maybe Albino Alligator would have been a weak film in even the most accomplished hands, it certainly is a weak film in this first time director's. The premise is sketchy, the through line distorted and vague. Some of the characterizations seem forced, or contrived, as if, for example, Faye Dunaway (or Gary Sinise)'s part were quickly created or expanded to accommodate their agreeing to particpate.
Many good young film makers are making daring, exciting, edgy films right now. This is not one of them.
Where the film falls down is in the weak performances of two of the most important characters, played by Matt Dillon and Faye Dunaway. Both performances are one-dimensional and affected (and Dunaway has the complexion of a Barbie doll - plastic). The rest of the cast has little to do but make the most of what they have (especially M. Emmett Walsh).
See this movie. There are a lot of worse and more successful movies out there than this one. Quality's very rare these days. So make the most of it.
Most recent customer reviews
Great cast, good premise,(dimwitted crooks hole up in a bar and hold patrons hostage), but loses steam about halfway through. Read morePublished on May 20 2011 by Ms. Smith
....the ultimo movie about a bungled heist job and the crooks are holed out somewheres is....Reservior Dogs. This has great actors in it... Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by yygsgsdrassil
Strong, strong debuts from Kevin Spacey as director and Christian Forte as writer. Strong cast, except for Faye Dunaway, who is apparently still channeling Joan Crawford, or maybe... Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2002 by Brian Boyle
Director Kevin Spacey leads a superb cast who do reasonably well considering the material. Don't get me wrong, the film's idea is a good one. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2002 by Erik Pack
I bought this DVD purely to hear the feature-length director's commentary by THE MAN himself, Kevin Spacey. I wasn't disappointed. Read morePublished on July 13 2002 by Ignacio Blade
Barely a year after rocketing to stardom as an actor, Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey debuts as director with a quirky, tense film about bungling hoodlums holding five hostages in a... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2002 by larry
This movie is convoluted and so hard to follow. It is not worth the effort. These characters are all fine one on one, but they do not come together well for a coherent story. Read morePublished on June 4 2001
DO NOT BUY THIS MOVIE. Sounds good on paper but throughout the whole film, NOTHING HAPPENS. Unfortunately, I kept waiting for the payoff. Believe me, there isn't one.Published on Dec 5 2000 by The Orange Duke
ALBINO ALLIGATOR, Kevin Spacey's first movie as a director, is clearly divided into two distinctive parts. Read morePublished on May 10 2000 by Daniel S.
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