Twenty Bucks (1993)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
This fascinating chronicle of the life and times of a twenty dollar bill was originally written by Endre Boehm in 1935 and languished forgotten on the shelf until his son Leslie resurrected it after his father's death, and updated the script. (Both received screenwriter credit for the released version). The scrap of currency's journey begins after it is spit out of a downtown Minneapolis ATM machine into the hands of a busy young mother. It's a windy day, and the crisp bill is blown out of her hands into those of a bag lady who uses it on the lottery because she believes the serial numbers are lucky. Unfortunately, the bill is plucked from her hands by a light-fingered skate boarder who uses the money at a local bakery. From there the bill's odyssey takes it to a wide variety of places including a wedding, a stripper's g-string, a con artist's scam, and a robbery. It ends up used as a note pad, a birthday present, a coaster, and a fishing contest trophy. Interestingly, every one who encounters the bill changes in some way. … More
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Critic Reviews for Twenty Bucks
There's no deep point to be made; the device is simply an excuse to tell half a dozen short stories. But the very lightness of the premise gives the film a kind of freedom.
Audience Reviews for Twenty Bucks
As a twenty-dollar bill circulates, various classes of people assign it differing values.
American class differences reveal themselves in this fine but didactic film. The conceit is interesting enough, and the stories and characters are all engaging, from the thieves to the engaged couple, but when it all comes together, in a haphazard Altman imitation, it's hard to discern that we've seen anything new or remarkable.
Overall, this is a good concept, well-executed, but not as "important" as it might think.
This was originally written in 1935, but put aside and forgotten about for almost 6 decades. After the screenwriter's death, his son found this forgotten work, read and fell in love with it, and, after updating it for contemporary times, decided to finally have a film made out of it.
What we get here is a glimpse into the surprising life and times of a twenty dollar bill and the people that directly and indirectly come into contact with it. It's not a truly unique idea in general, but the use of such a ubiquitous object is. Having it solely focus on the bill would be boring, so what we really get presented with is a look at the lives of the people the bill comes in and out of contact with. They come from all walks of life and economic social classes, so, in effect, this is a clever little film that shows almost the full make up of the denizens of an anonymous American city.
Some of the many types of people that get followed include a lottery obsessed homeless woman, an aspiring writer working as a waitress, a veteran thief trying to train an unpredictable new partner, and a groom to be whose not too sure about his father-in-law to be.
The characters are made up of an impressive ensemble cast that includes names like Linda Hunt, Christopher Lloyd, Steve Buscemi, Elisabeth Shue, Brendan Fraser, among several others. They all do a pretty decent job, but my favorites are the first three people I mentioned. The film is presented as interwoven vignettes, and, while they're not uniformly great quality-wise, none of them are really terrible.
All in all this is a really fun and enjoyable film that's sadly underrated. Do yourself a favor and look it up.
Good actors, interesting idea but sloppy execution
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