Diggstown/Triumph of the Spirit [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Diggstown
In this comedy, a charming con man teams up with a boxer fallen on hard times in hopes of making some quick money. After doing time for selling art that turned out to be forged, Gabriel Caine (James Woods) and his partner Fitz (Oliver Platt) set their sights on a village called Diggstown; Fitz arrives first and takes several well-heeled locals in a high-stakes poker game, and then Gabriel follows to make a sporting proposition to John Gillon (Bruce Dern), the city's wealthiest citizen. Gabriel tells Gillon he has a boxer that can beat any ten opponents Gillon can line up, in the same day. Gillon takes the challenge and places a big enough wager to make matters even more interesting, but now Gabriel has to convince Honey Ray Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.), a middle-aged former boxer who has been taken for a ride by Gabriel in the past, to go along with this scheme. In the meantime, Gabriel works out a deal with gangster Victor Corsini (Orestes Matacena) to back his bets while romancing Emily (Heather Graham), the sister of a large and ill-tempered fighter Gabriel met while behind bars. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Triumph of the Spirit
Triumph of the Spirit is the true story of Salamo Arouch, a Greek-Jewish boxer imprisoned in Auschwitz during World War II. Arrested while attempting to help his family and friends escape the Nazi juggernaut, Arouch (Dafoe) is slated for extermination. He manages to survive--and to serve as an inspiration for his fellow inmates--by literally boxing for his life. He does this at the orders of his SS captors, who gamble on the outcome of Arouch's bouts. With each victory, Arouch is rewarded with extra bread rations, which he passes on to his family. Counterpointing the main story is the seemingly foredoomed romantic relationship between Arouch and female inmate Allegra (Wendy Gazelle). An uplifting coda rounds out this grim factual account. Triumph of the Spirit was filmed on location at Auschwitz--the first film of its kind to be lensed in that infamous locale. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • James Woods
    James Woods - Gabriel Caine
  • Bruce Dern
    Bruce Dern - John Gillon
  • Oliver Platt
    Oliver Platt - Fitz
  • Heather Graham
    Heather Graham - Emily Forrester
  • Randall "Tex" Cobb
    Randall "Tex" Cobb - Wolf Forrester
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