Find That Film: Diggstown

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Is this episode 16 of season three? I think so. Wow, time, am I right? This week, in addition to being Flag Day, we’re featuring a special guest. ManWithPez is celebrating his brother’s birthday by making him join us (he has five brothers). Meet Wild Man.

Let’s talk about a summer ’92 flop from the Bad News Bears director Michael Ritchie: Diggstown. It’s based upon the novel The Diggstown Ringers by Leonard Wise and punched up for the film by Steven McCay. The script and the direction are pitch perfect but this movie shines because of the cast.

We have con man and prisoner Gabriel Caine (James Woods) convinceĀ his friends Fitz (Oliver Platt) and Honey Roy Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.) to help him fleece a sleazy town boss named John Gillon (Bruce Dern). How? Boxing of course. They plan on betting money they don’t have on Honey Roy’s ability to box ten men in one day and stay standing. There are small cons, long cons, backup cons; Caine goes out of his way to make sure he takes Gillon for everything.

The script makes sure each and every boxer and town sycophant gets his chance to shine. We know the backstory of every person in that ring. The supporting cast here is brimming with soon to be stars, former fighters, and character actors galore. Of note is Heather Graham as the sister of Caine’s informant, Duane Davis as a contender, and Thomas Wilson Brown as Gillon’s son Robby–not as big a jerkĀ as he could have been.

You know the drill by now. Sit back on a Saturday afternoon and find that film Diggstown.

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