Mamet's minimalistic works often come with a heavy-handed message. American Buffalo speaks volumes about Mamet's interpretation of capitalism: It's a dog-eat-dog world and you can trust no one. Junk-shop owner Don (Franz) regrets having sold a rare buffalo-head nickel for $90; he thinks he could have done much better. He enlists his gofer, Bobby (Nelson), the only person to whom Don shows any interest or concern, to steal back the coin. Don's friend Teach (Hoffman), a greaseball wannabe criminal who evokes Hoffman's Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy, gets wind of the scheme and wants in. He convinces Don that Bobby is too inexperienced for the job. The deceit and backstabbing continue when Bobby appears with a buffalo-head coin and no explanation of where he got it. An intense, revealing character study.
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
More on American Buffalo from Infoplease: