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Diggstown

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Neglected during its theatrical run, this two-fisted con caper is a pleasant video surprise. Chief among its pleasures is the sight of so many old pros, all working at the top of their games. James Woods stars as a sleazy-smooth hustler who talks his old partner (Louis Gossett Jr.) into pulling a major scam on a crooked small-town boss (Bruce Dern). The plan puts Gossett in the boxing ring with 10 local studs, while Woods and Dern work the sidelines, trying to outfox each other in a winner-take-all wager. Faintly echoing such films as The Sting and Hard Times, Diggstown is a tad too familiar to deliver any knockout punches. But under Michael Ritchie’s lean, mean direction, the cast throws enough jabs and feints to keep things entertaining until the final bell. B+

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