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Buffalo Bull

In the end, even the frog-faced, beaten-up Teach, barely running on the fumes of illusion, must conclude: "We all live like cavemen...there is nothing out there." This nihilistic cry in the wilderness is the kind of thing Mamet would wrap in an even heavier blanket of words in later plays, but it's the essence of all his work. In a world bereft of trust and brought low by materialism, we are cavemen.

Talkative, actorish cavemen, to be sure--cavemen in love with the torrents of dialogue that have been provided them. But cavemen all the same.

American Buffalo. Screenplay by David Mamet, from his play. Directed by Michael Corrente. With Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz and Sean Nelson.

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