settling the score

The Score (film)

The Score is a 2001 crime drama. The film's cast includes Robert De Niro as Nick Wells, a professional safe cracker from Montreal, who wants out of the criminal life for good because of his age and his girlfriend (Angela Bassett), Edward Norton as Jack Teller, the ambitious new kid who teams up with Wells for this "inside job", and Marlon Brando as Max, Wells' financial partner and good friend, who plans the caper and connects Wells with Teller. This is the only time Brando and De Niro ever appeared in a film together.

The film was directed by Frank Oz. It was based upon a story by Daniel E. Taylor and Emmy-winner Kario Salem.


In the film, a retiring thief, Wells, is persuaded to engage in one last heist with help from rookie thief Teller. The two men intend to steal a priceless French scepter, once thought lost but rediscovered as it was brought into Canada illegally. However the job requires getting the artifact out of the heavily-guarded Montreal Customs House, where Teller has taken a maintenance job. In order to avoid suspicion, Teller has played the part of Brian, who is mentally challenged.


During the production, Brando repeatedly argued with Oz and called him "Miss Piggy". Oz later blamed himself for the tension and cited his tendency to be confrontational rather than nurturing in response to Brando's acting style.

Most of the conversations between Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando are improvised. Edward Norton later admitted he wasn't very fond of the script and only did the film to work with De Niro and Brando.

This film was Marlon Brando's final completed film before his death in 2004. However two years after his death, he appeared in the film Superman Returns in archive footage as Jor-El, a role he played in the original 1978 film Superman and the 1980 sequel Superman II.


The film received a mix of positive and critical reviews, due to some critics expecting more from a film with such a celebrated cast. Peter Travers, a film critic for Rolling Stone, pointed out that when "two Don Corleones team up", he expected "the kind of movie that makes people say, 'I'd pay to see these guys just read from the phone book.' Instead, what he had to say about it was: "There's nothing you can't see coming in this flick, including the surprise ending. Quick, somebody get a phone book." However, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it three and a half stars out of four, calling it "the best pure heist movie in recent years.

Frank Oz on the DVD commentary defends the film as one in which he desired to take risks. Therefore, they started filming with an incomplete script and used several shooting methods that are usually frowned upon in the industry.

After a July 13, 2001 opening, the sixty-eight million dollar film earned a gross domestic box office take of $71,069,884.

Angela Bassett won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Wells' girlfriend, Diane.


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