CINEMA

Hard-Luck Guy: THE GRIFTERS Directed by Stephen Frears

THE GRIFTERS

Directed by Stephen Frears

Screenplay by Donald E. Westlake

When Jim Thompson died in 1977, he was broken and damn near broke. Not one of his 29 novels -- tough stuff with titles like Savage Night and A Swell- Looking Babe -- was in print. He had fiddled on the fringes of Hollywood, helping to write Stanley Kubrick's The Killing and Paths of Glory, but found no steady work. His one solace was booze, in punishing quantities. No wonder the typical Thompson antihero was a smart guy who got outsmarted by fate, fast company or himself.

In his final...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!