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Confidence trick

Confidence trick

A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, hustle, scam, scheme, swindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, confidence trickster, or con artist, and any accomplices are known as shills. Confidence men or women exploit human characteristics such as greed and dishonesty, and have victimized individuals from all walks of life.


[edit] History

The first known usage of the term "confidence man" in English was in 1849; it was used by American press during the United States trial of William Thompson. Thompson chatted with strangers until he asked if they had the confidence to lend him their watches, whereupon he would walk off with the watch; he was captured when a victim recognized him on the street.[1]

[edit] Vulnerability to confidence tricks

Confidence tricks exploit typical human qualities such as greed, dishonesty, vanity, honesty, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility and naïveté. The common factor is that the mark relies on the good faith of the con artist.

Just as there is no typical profile for swindlers, neither is there one for their victims. Virtually anyone can fall prey to fraudulent crimes. ... Certainly victims of high-yield investment frauds may possess a level of greed which exceeds their caution as well as a willingness to believe what they want to believe. However, not all fraud victims are greedy, risk-taking, self-deceptive individuals looking to make a quick dollar. Nor are all fraud victims naïve, uneducated, or elderly.[2]

A greedy or dishonest mark may attempt to out-cheat the con artist, only to discover that he or she has been manipulated into losing from the very beginning. This is such a general principle in confidence tricks that there is a saying among con men that "you can't cheat an honest man."[3]

Shills, also known as accomplices, help manipulate the mark into accepting the con man's plan. In a traditional confidence trick, the mark is led to believe that he will be able to win money or some other prize by doing some task. The accomplices may pretend to be strangers who have benefited from performing the task in the past.

[edit] Real-life confidence men

[edit] Fictional con artists

See Category:Fictional con artists

[edit] Popular culture

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women, p 6 ISBN 0-300-02835-0
  2. ^ Fraud Victim Advice / Assistance for Consumer Scams and Investment Frauds
  3. ^ A Conversation with James Swain online

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links


Revolver (film)


This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page. (April 2008)



Theatrical release poster

Directed by

Guy Ritchie

Produced by

Luc Besson
Virginie Silla
Marty Katz

Written by

Guy Ritchie


Ray Liotta
Jason Statham
André Benjamin
Vincent Pastore
Mark Strong
Terrence Maynard
Francesca Annis

Music by

Nathaniel Mechaly


Tim Maurice Jones

Editing by

James Herbert
Ian Differ
Romesh Aluwihare

Distributed by

United States:
Samuel Goldwyn Films (theatrical)
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (all media)

Release date(s)

United States:
December 7, 2007

Running time

110 minutes





Gross revenue

$6,735,963 [1]

Revolver is a 2005 film, written and directed by Guy Ritchie.

The film stars Jason Statham as Jake Green, Ray Liotta as Dorothy Macha, and André Benjamin (a.k.a. "André 3000") as Avi. It centers on a revenge-seeking confidence trickster whose weapon is a universal formula that guarantees victory to its user, when applied to any game or confidence trick. This is the third feature film by Ritchie which is centered on crime and professional criminals. It was released in UK theaters on September 22, 2005, but performed poorly at the box office. A reworked version[2] was released to a limited number of US theaters on December 7, 2007.[3]

[edit] Plot

After spending seven years in solitary confinement and having his sister-in-law murdered, confidence trickster Jake Green (Jason Statham) is out to get revenge on Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta).

Jake Green is a hotshot con artist who has acquired a specific strategy (referred to as "the Formula"), that is supposed to lead its user to win every game, during his seven-year stint imprisoned in solitary confinement. While the reasons for his sentence are unspecified, it's implied that he was incarcerated due to the efforts of Dorothy Macha, a corrupt casino owner. The Formula itself was discovered by two unnamed men in adjacent cells either side of Jake's own. During the first five years of his seven-year sentence, the three men communicated their thoughts on confidence tricks and chess moves via messages hidden inside provisional books, such as 'The Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics'. They plan to leave their cells simultaneously, but end up leaving Jake behind, who ends up serving the remaining two years. He finds that all of his possessions and money have been taken by the two men with whom he had shared everything but, having the two men's Formula, he goes about making a lot of money at various casinos. Two years later, Jake has garnered a reputation that leads many casinos to fear his freakishly good 'luck'. The Formula is seen to apply to any game, and is often exemplified by his apparent mastery of chess. The story revolves around Jake's epiphanic awakening, as he learns how to apply the Formula to the 'game' of life.

Approximately two years after his prison release, Jake, Billy and their other brother Joe walk into one of Macha's casinos. "All the tables are closed" to Jake and company, and they are promptly called up to a private area of Macha's casino where a high rollers' game is currently taking place. Jake bets Macha a fortune on a chip toss, and wins. This hurts Macha. As Jake says "nothing hurts more than humiliation and a little money loss". Macha suspects that Jake, who seems unafraid of him, will be out for more revenge. As Jake and his brothers leave the casino, Jake collapses down the stairs unexpectedly and is rushed to the hospital. The doctors report he is very ill but do not disclose why he had the blackout. Macha puts out the order for a hit on Jake. Jake arrives home, without Billy, to be welcomed by one of Macha's hits. Jake is the only one who survives, being rescued by a mysterious individual called Zach (Vincent Pastore). Zach introduces him to his partner, Avi (André Benjamin). Jake finds out that the blackout occurred due to a blood disease which will cause his death within three days, and that Macha is after him. Avi says that only he and Zach can protect him and that, in return, Jake must give them his money to fund their loan shark enterprise.

Sam Gold is seen to be the 'king' in this chess game of gang warfare. He is the ultimate figure that all men are supposedly aspiring to be. Sam Gold is revealed to be an ultimately powerless cipher, whose power is granted only by those who invest in him. He represents ego and self-investment. He is the personification of greed. It is revealed that Avi and Zach were Jake's "neighbours" during his years of incarceration. They have forced Jake to "induce head pain to engage the enemy" by making him give his money away under the principle that "nothing hurts more than humiliation and a little money loss". They are inflicting this form of 'premature enlightenment' upon Jake because, according to them, he was not ready to hear how hard this process of liberation was going to be while in prison. It was because of this that they left without him.

Avi attempts to get Jake to understand the nature of the ego. He tells Jake "the greatest con that [the ego] ever pulled was making you believe that he is you." This is seen to be the 'ultimate con', in that no-one wants to sever their connection with their ego, because they refuse to challenge their own life-long investment in it. In the end, Jake also steps off the proverbial chess board by making a conscious effort to reverse everything his ego tells him to do. This is seen to be the truest and most fundamental application of the Formula. The characters of Jake, Zach, Avi and Sorter (Mark Strong) are seen to ultimately reject the ego's 'rules'. The character of Dorothy Macha is seen to succumb to them.

[edit] Themes

Guy Ritchie was, during the time of conceiving and executing the film, known to be involved in the philosophy and practice of a form of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah.[4] The film itself is laced with references to Kabbalic ideas, symbols and numerological references.[5]

The trinity of Zach, Jake and Avi are representative of Kabbalic right, center and left pillar energies, respectively. Avi is a Black man who is somewhat effeminate in his physical appearance, clothing and mannerisms. The 'left pillar' or 'left column' in Kabbalic traditions is often associated with 'the feminine' and with the colour black. Jake's surname is "Green", and the colour green is associated with the central column or pillar in Kabbalic traditions[citation needed]. Zach is a hefty, gargantuan, white man who 'dresses down' in a very archetypically 'masculine' way. Both masculinity and the colour white are associated with right column or right pillar energies in Kabbalic traditions.[6][7]

The trinity of characters are named after the Patriarchs. Avi [short for Abraham], Zach [short for Isaac] and Jake [short for Jacob].

The number 32 comes up repeatedly. "The chess game has many mystical meanings. The Temple of Solomon was chequered like a chess board, which has 64 squares and 32 pieces."[8] The elevator that Jake enters near the end of the movie has buttons for 32 floors.[9] In Jewish mysticism the number 13 represents the year where a child becomes a man and thus Jake was stuck on the 13 floor when he finally understood.

[edit] Soundtrack

Revolver: Original Soundtrack

Soundtrack by various artists


October 17, 2005 (2005-10-17)


Film score
Acid jazz
Electronic music
Contemporary classical music




Recall Music For Films

Guy Ritchie film soundtracks chronology

Swept Away



According to director Guy Ritchie, the music for the film was initially intended to follow in a similar vein to his previous crime movies, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, in that it was to be primarily source-based (i.e. using non-original music). Those source tracks would all have been classical in nature. However, during the production process, Ritchie changed his mind and decided to score a majority of the film with original music, leaving only some small sections to non-original music tracks (such as the restaurant shoot-out during Lord John's attempted assassination of Dorothy Maccha). Ritchie selected Nathaniel Mechaly to compose the score.[10]

The music itself works as an experimental fusion piece, melding acid jazz, electronic music and contemporary classical music.

The score was performed by Mechaly on Mini Moog and keyboards and drummer Maxime Garoute.[11]

[edit] Track listing

All tracks composed by Nathaniel Mechaly and Maxime Garoute except where otherwise noted.

  1. "Revolver" - 03:58
  2. "Later That Night" - 02:02
  3. "Atom's Tomb" (Electrelane) - 02:11
  4. "The Heist" - 02:52
  5. "Fear Me" - 03:42
  6. "Mucchio Selvaggio" (Ennio Morricone, performed by 2raumwohnung) - 05:06
  7. "Chess Room" - 02:03
  8. "Sorter Shoot Out" - 01:56
  9. "Purple Requiem" - 04:00
  10. "3 Eddie Story" - 02:40
  11. "End Casino" - 02:50
  12. "Opera" (from Antonio Vivaldi's Nisi Dominus, performed by Emmanuel Santarromana) - 04:03
  13. "Casino" - 01:54
  14. "Jack Accident" - 02:02
  15. "The Mental Traveler" - 04:08
  16. "To Never Miss" - 01:18
  17. "Ask Yourself" (Plastikman) - 08:51
  18. "Gnossienne No. 1" (from Erik Satie performed by Alessandra Celletti) - 04:18
  19. "Metropolitan" (Emmanuel Santarromana) - 3:18
  20. "Sonata No.14" (Ludwig Van Beethoven) - 5:32

[edit] Home media

Extra features

  • Feature length audio commentary between Lance Lochner and director Guy Ritchie.
  • The Concept: an interview with director Guy Ritchie and editor James Herbert on the subject of the film's conceptual and editorial development.
  • The Game: The Making Of Revolver
  • Stills gallery (over 100 stills against film soundtrack).
  • 7 deleted scenes with director's commentary.
  • Outtakes
  • Music Trailer


  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • DTS Digital Surround 5.1

Aspect ratio

  • 2.35 Widescreen / Color

Regional format

  • Revolver is currently available in both Regions 1 & 2 on DVD.
    • Region 2 is the original theatrical release, while Region 1 was edited in some parts that alter the storyline.[citation needed]

[edit] Reception

[edit] Critics

The film was generally panned by critics: for example, it has been criticised on grounds of pretension and having an over-complicated plot by critics such as Mark Kermode. Reviews were so poor in the UK that The Guardian ran a story on how the distributor was able to attribute a quotation to The Sun saying that the director was "back to his best". The quotation came from a section of the Sun Online website created by a PR agency on behalf of the film's distributors.[12]

There were, however, some positive reviews as well. Mark R. Leeper conceded that it was "a film for a narrow audience", but said that he personally rather "liked it" and gave it a score of 7/10.[13] According to Brian Orndorf, Revolver "is the perfect movie for those who like to crack things open and dig around the innards", saying that it "reminded [him] quite a bit of Richard Kelly's film, Donnie Darko". He goes on to explain that "both films have a taste for the deliberately confusing, sharing scripts that take the viewer on a ride that requires much more than one simple viewing."[14]

[edit] Box office

The film has grossed as of December 20, 2005 $84,738 at the domestic box office and $6,651,225 making a total of $6,735,963 worldwide.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Revolver at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-10-09.
  2. ^ "Madonna and Richie push Revolver in US, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 November 2007
  3. ^ Revolver showtimes and locations
  4. ^
  5. ^ "As early as 2003 Ritchie encountered trouble finding a studio to support Revolver. References to Kabbalah in the script made studios like Sony back off. Kabbalah has a reputation as a cult, they feared. .." - Mark Webster [1]
  6. ^ Kabbalah
  7. ^ "Blood is red, and blood belongs next to black. So, there's three columns: green is central column, white is right column, black is left column. Everything manifests in processes of three, so you've got: proton, neutron, electron; Sun, Earth, Moon; masculine, feminine, child. Wherever you're going to go, you're going to see a manifestation of '3'. So you've got Zach (or "Isaac"), Avi and Jake: a process of three. They represent positive, negative and fillament, where Jake is the central column. Blood is red, which belongs to the left column, black is extreme left column. So it's the idea that white blood cells are 'mercy', and red blood cells are 'judgement'. Right is positive and left is negative." - Guy Ritchie, Revolver DVD commentary.
  8. ^ Guy Ritchie, Revolver DVD Commentary
  9. ^ "32 floors: 32 vertabrae in your back, 32 teeth in your mouth, 32 chess pieces on a chess board. On the same elevator the floor seems to be stuck between the 12 and the 14 floor placing Jake on the 13 floor." - Guy Ritchie, Revolver DVD commentary.
  10. ^ See Revolver: Making The Music by Jesse Salto.
  11. ^ SoundtrackCollector: Soundtrack details: Revolver
  12. ^ Silver, James (October 3, 2005). "How to flog a turkey". London: Guardian Unlimited.,14173,1583256,00.html. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ Rotten Tomatoes: Revolver comes off like Jim Thompson crossed with Philip K. I liked it, because of the audacious solution, but I suspect that not many other people will agree
  14. ^ - Reviews - Revolver

[edit] External links

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