🎥 Maverick – 1994
The Story …
In the American Old West, gambler Bret Maverick is on his way to a major five-card draw poker tournament being held on the paddle steamer Lauren Belle, intending to prove he is the best card player alive.
Short $3,000 of the $25,000 tournament entry fee, Maverick travels to the town of Crystal River, to collect on debts and accrue poker winnings.
During one game, he encounters the ill-tempered gambler Angel and young con artist Annabelle Bransford.
He wins a massive pot from Angel, but is forced to flee without his winnings …
Maverick and Bransford share a stagecoach with Marshal Zane Cooper, and together the three set out of Crystal River. They narrowly escape a fatal plunge into a ravine after their elderly driver suddenly dies, and later aid a group of missionary settlers who have been robbed by bandits disguised as Indians.
The settlers offer Maverick a percentage of the recovered money they desperately need to start their mission, while one spinster missionary suggests marriage to Cooper, but both men turn down their offers. The trio and the settlers are then suddenly cornered by a large band of real Indians whose leader, Joseph, is an old friend of Maverick; however, no one else in the group is aware of this fact.
Maverick feigns sacrificing himself to allow the others to escape, then tries to collect the $1,000 that Joseph owes him. The two swindle a Russian Archduke out of the needed amount with a scheme that “allows” him to hunt and kill an Indian (Maverick, in disguise).
Still seething over his loss in the Crystal River game, Angel receives a telegram instructing him to stop Maverick. Angel and his mercenaries catch Maverick and try to hang him, but he escapes after they have departed. Still $2,000 short, he makes his way to the Lauren Belle and finds Bransford, who is still $4,000 short herself.
Spotting the Archduke aboard, Maverick poses as a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent investigating the shooting of Indians for game, conning the Archduke out of $6,000 to cover his and Bransford’s entry.
Commodore Duvall welcomes the competitors to the tournament, with Cooper overseeing the security of the game and the $500,000 prize money and watching for any cheaters, who are summarily thrown overboard when discovered. Maverick, Angel, Bransford, and Duvall advance to the winner-take-all final. Prior to this game, Maverick and Bransford have a tryst in his quarters.
After Bransford leaves, Maverick finds he has been locked in to attempt to make him forfeit the game, but manages to climb outside the steamer to reach the table on time. After Bransford has been eliminated, Maverick notices that the dealer is engaging in bottom dealing and has Angel give him the top card from the deck in order to prevent further cheating.
All three men bet their remaining chips; Angel and Duvall reveal strong hands, but Maverick has received the one card he needs to complete a royal flush. Angel and his men draw their weapons, but Cooper and Maverick shoot first, killing them.
During the closing ceremony, Cooper steals the prize money and escapes. Later that night, Cooper secretly meets with Duvall, revealing that the two had struck a deal to steal the money for themselves and that Angel was working for Duvall.
As Duvall draws a gun and tries to break the deal, Maverick appears and takes back the money, having tracked them down. Some time later, Cooper corners Maverick while the latter is enjoying a hot bath; the two are father and son and had planned this scheme long in advance.
As both men relax in the baths, Bransford arrives, having discerned their relationship from their similar physiques and mannerisms. She takes the satchel containing the prize money and departs, after which Maverick reveals to Cooper that he had followed the latter’s advice and hidden half of it in his boots. He muses that retrieving the stolen $250,000 will be fun.
- Directed by Richard Donner
- Written by William Goldman
- Based on Maverick by Roy Huggins
- Produced by Bruce Davey and Richard Donner
- Cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond
- Edited by Stuart Baird and Mike Kelly
- Music by Randy Newman
- Production Companies : Icon Productions and Donner/Shuler-Donner Productions
- Distributed by Warner Bros.
- Release Date : May 20, 1994
- Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick
- Jodie Foster as Annabelle Bransford
- James Garner as Zane Cooper
- Graham Greene as Joseph
- Alfred Molina as Angel
- James Coburn as Commodore Duvall
- Dub Taylor as Room Clerk
- Dan Hedaya as Twitchy
- Paul L. Smith as Archduke
- Geoffrey Lewis as Matthew Wicker / Eugene (bank manager)
- Max Perlich as John Wesley Hardin
Film Information Source :
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