"Thereís a Cypriot over at that table who owns a lot of chips. And Iím
going over to relieve him of some of them. Itís the same table where Nick
the Greek had his finest hour."
Not bad lines from Eric Roth, the screenwriter. The words get your
attention, add a little intrigue and finish with some poker history. They
were spoken by Robert Duvall in the scene filmed at Binion's in Lucky You.
But you will never hear it in the movie. However, Duvall gave his usual
dependable and likable performance. We all like Robert.
In fact, about half the scene where those lines were to appear was cut.
I'm the old man who draws out on Eric Bana by coaxing a nine ("Come on,
nine") on the river. (Blue shirt in the pictures to the right.) I found half my lines from the scene had disappeared
by the time the film was released.
Only Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana kept most of their lines. And thatís the
way it should be.
Much more than footage was lost in editing. The theatrical version of
Lucky You has a love story that we donít believe. There was no time to
develop a believable relationship between Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana and
we wind up wondering why they laid awake at night thinking of each other.
Because the love story has so little substance, Drew is reduced to what
amounts to a supporting role to the more mainstream story of the father/son
relationship. (Hey, cut the attempt at a love story and make room for more
of my lines!)
Curtis Hanson, one of the finest directors today, had too much footage
and too little movie time (2 hrs. 4 min.) to fit it all in. We know this
happens often and we know that when it happens, some element of the film
Still, itís a shock to see how much footage is severed in the cutting
room. Much of the tournament scene is gone. And poor Debra Messing saw all
her mermaid fin-flipping efforts splash to the cutting room floor.
Lucky You is not a chick flick. Itís about Las Vegas streets and some of
the colorful people who live there. It has some great poker scenes directed
by Curtis Hanson who knows how to pay attention to detail and how to get the
best from his supporting cast. Horatio Sanz offers a fine performance. A
cameo appearance from Robert Downey, Jr. adds almost nothing to the story
but captures the essence of the film as he masters a scene in a way that
could never allow any director to cut it in the interest of time.
The poker scenes are painstakingly real and very effective. Most of the
famous poker players are there and Curtis Hanson gets the best from them.
See the movie for the poker fun. And cheer for me to get my nine Ė Drew
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