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City of Industry

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The mean streets of LA are Harvey Keitel’s domain in this compelling thriller. Lee Egan (Timothy Hutton) plots a robbery, with the help of his brother Roy (Keitel), driver Skip (Stephen Dorff) and friend Jorge (Wade Dominguez).

The job is executed swiftly, as are Lee and Jorge, killed by Skip as he keeps the money and flees with Roy in hot pursuit. In Los Angeles Roy tracks down Skip’s girlfriend, who gives him the clues that set him on the trail again but now he finds himself joined by Rachel (Famke Janssen), Jorge’s widow. Finally, Roy targets his man, unaware that Skip knows of his intentions, and planning his own fatal surprise…

The revenge heist movie is a difficult one to perfect – Rififi and Reservoir Dogs are among the few genre triumphs – but City of Industry gains power through innovation. There are no cops (“I’m my own police,” insists Roy) and each scene is edited like a metronome, producing a rhythm and balance distinct from the fast-cut sledgehammer edits of similar stories. Inspirations appear to include Michael Mann – with whom writer Ken Solarz worked on Miami Vice – through to classic James Cagney.

production details
USA | 97 minutes | 1997

Director: John Irvin
Script: Ken Solarz,

cast
Harvey Keitel as Roy Egan
Timothy Hutton as Lee Egan
Stephen Dorff as Skip Kovich
Famke Janssen as Rachel Montana
Wade Dominguez as Jorge Montana
Michael Jai White as Odell Williams
Lucy Liu as Cathi Rose
Reno Wilson as Keshaun Brown
Dana Barron as Gena
Tamara Clatterbuck as Sunny
Brian Brophy as Backus
François Chau as Uncle Luke
Flex Alexander as A Roc
Brian Shen as Pai-Gow Dealer
Ai Wan as Gwen
Cyrus Farmer as Steady
Tim Rigby as Bodyguard #3

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