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Albino Alligator (Widescreen)

Matt Dillon , Faye Dunaway , Kevin Spacey    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Product Description


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

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A chilling and entertaining movie Feb. 17 2001
By jao
Format:VHS Tape
"Albino Alligator" is a movie about three thieves that take a few people at a New Orleans bar hostage. The criminals don't really mean any of the hostages any harm, at least not until the police start to wait right outside the bar and the three criminals don't know what to do to get out with freedom still on their side.
"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."
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2.0 out of 5 stars I stayed awake, so what did I fail to see? Feb. 13 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The selection at Blockbuster seemed unusually dreary, so I focused on ALBINO ALLIGATOR for the simple reason that Faye Dunaway was in the cast, and I hadn't seen her in awhile. I admit to having a mild crush on her since the original THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, convoluted, and under-developed plot. Feb. 4 2000
When a new screenwriter is trying to get his script made, the best way to draw attention (nee money) is to attach a star, someone with visibility, someone bankable. Surprisingly, I don't think stars really read a lot of scripts, certainly not all the way through, certainly not with a mindset toward how to make this into a good, completed film.
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.
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By A Customer
It was always obvious that Kevin Spacey would only ever assemble a first rate cast for his first movie as director, and he was as discerning with his choice of script as director as he is with his acting jobs. This movie plays like a play and tellingly the best performances come from the stage actors. Gary Sinise delivers a controlled performance that demonstrates the humanity of his character, while William Fichtner manages to carry the bulk of the humour and the horror without going over the top. The script and Spacey's direction keep the tension high despite being confined to one room for much of the movie (think 12 Angry Men - Spacey actually consulted Sidney Lumet for advice).
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing chamber piece....
Great cast, good premise,(dimwitted crooks hole up in a bar and hold patrons hostage), but loses steam about halfway through. Read more
Published on May 20 2011 by aliya miller
2.0 out of 5 stars Say What....?
....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 more
Published on June 8 2004 by yygsgsdrassil
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong debuts from Kevin Spacey and Christian Forte
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 more
Published on Sept. 12 2002 by Brian Boyle
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
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 more
Published on Aug. 11 2002 by Erik Pack
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spaceman's Directorial Debut
I bought this DVD purely to hear the feature-length director's commentary by THE MAN himself, Kevin Spacey. I wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published on July 13 2002 by Ignacio Blade
5.0 out of 5 stars Spacey Turns Director With Tense Hostage Drama
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 more
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by larry
1.0 out of 5 stars Rank!
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 more
Published on June 4 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid
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
4.0 out of 5 stars TENNESSEE IN LOUISIANA
ALBINO ALLIGATOR, Kevin Spacey's first movie as a director, is clearly divided into two distinctive parts. Read more
Published on May 10 2000 by Daniel S.
4.0 out of 5 stars An intense flick with a hell of a bite
Unlike others, I did not find this movie, confusing or convoluted at all (Dr. Roberts from Austin needs to go back to med school). Read more
Published on March 8 2000
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