ByBJ Hall, writer at Creators.co
I write Comedy, Do Stand-up, Travel Through Time, and enjoy the FUCK out of a good movie! Twitter: @InitiallyDirty FB: https://www.facebook.
BJ Hall

In 1992 the world was going through a rough time. Although, it was the year the Atri 2600 was released. In 1992 it was Americas first dip into the Bush gene pool, but on the upside he did pass out in the Boris Yeltsin’s lap (voices of the devil inside your head can be a burden it seems). His rich nose brushing against the crotch of the red army seemed to be enough for Russia to take their radioactive sites off of major us cities though (I like to think of it like it was a bet: “I’ll take ze sites off if you rub that secret society nose on zis russian hammer, куст.”, “Well, ha ha, only if you say I passed out... No new taxes!”{Nose dive}). Hell, that was all in one month, the first month of the worlds slip into the grunge years - and onto the first glimpses of the gulf war; and when the most senior of Bushes shook himself sexily in front of the UN in order to get even deeper into the sands of the middle east America needed something to hold onto in my opinion, something that spoke to that deeper self ideology, and I believe that Hollywood gave them that film in the form of a Boxing driven flick led by none other than Louis Gosset Jr. and James “Jelly Beans” Woods. The name of that classicly inspirational “I’ll take you through wartime” flick? Diggstown (formerly called: Midnight Sting)

Look at that very young and funny Oliver Platt in the middle of a powerhouse
Look at that very young and funny Oliver Platt in the middle of a powerhouse

Diggstown is soaked in hustling, history, and southern sensibilities. I adore this film for many reasons because its filmmaking and overall flow is spot on with Woods’ slicked back character novelized by Leonard Wise, and aptly named Gabriel Caine, taking on the con of his lifetime. Gabriel for the gold an Caine for the rock of a hustle he is about to lay on a small town snake named John Gillon. It is so very badass.

"Remember.... have some fun"
"Remember.... have some fun"

I know I know, its a classic sports movie. Good guy vs Bad guy, small confident ballsy con man, with a head bigger than the last guy Cheech saw take acid VS a small town kingpin who betrayed the town champion to gain nothing more than property, and the illusion of power over the common folk. Well put that negative baby to bed, because I am telling you, this Michael Ritchie directed piece of cinema has much more to offer than the run of the mill - hero always wins - type of story. It may be the bones, but the heart of this film is what gives it life. What I mean to say is - yes, of course, the hero wins - but half the fun of the movie is watching as our possible anti-hero as he moves from one scene to the next on the edge of a knife, the entire world falling out from under him, and the way the acting defined personality holds it all together.

"Want some popcorn?" "Fuck you, I want some popcorn"
"Want some popcorn?" "Fuck you, I want some popcorn"

On the other end too is Louis Gossett Jr. as middle aged “Honey” Roy Palmer who on the word of Caine agrees to be apart of his scheme. The scheme though consists of Palmer knocking the shit out of 10 men in one day. Thats 10 random men from anywhere within Diggstown at the time of the bet in a string of consecutive bouts where “Honey” Roy has to put the sting to each one of them before another is called. The thing is though of course the whole set up for this match is a fix, a hustle, a tap dance to bait John Gillon, a man who believes he is the kingpin of a small Georgia boxing town in the 90’s - and it is executed so poetically that it pulls you along and begs you to ask the question, “how in the wild fuck is Caine gonna pull this off?!?” constantly.

"Dear Lord, please give us the strength and courage to tear this man from limb to limb."
"Dear Lord, please give us the strength and courage to tear this man from limb to limb."

Yeah, you may know - like I said previously - that Gosset’s Palmer will end up doing as the victor. Sure, I have no problem with you going into it like that. Think it and let it shuffle around the floor of the ring that is your mind and watch it get knocked the fuck out by the story - a story we all deep down want to believe in - concerning human perseverance and redemption. The cynical may call it soapy and predictable to think of it that way, but I challenge the worst of them to take a minute and watch this classic - then after tell me they thought it was boring. The cleverness of Gabriel just won't let that happen, Palmer’s chemistry with Wood’s character is so warm it won't let that happen, and watching Bruce Dern’s smug villain character get got - - won’t let that happen - and it is just magical. The ending is wrapped in a bow and shining in the lights of a boxing ring, given to you the viewer as a gift. All ends tightened, all plot holes covered - I really do not know what more I can say, just go watch it before the world forgets, because films of this quality - in this genre specifically - like an open jaw to a professional fighter, do not show themselves often....or some other boxing metaphor, I dunno, who watches boxing anymore?

Okay, okay... you're right, boxing is pretty great.
Okay, okay... you're right, boxing is pretty great.

BY THE WAY: THIS MOVIE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON "HBO|GO"

THANKS FOR READING

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