Wes AndersonUSA91 minutes1996ColourEnglish
Cited by Martin Scorsese as one of his favourite movies of the 1990s, Wes Anderson's charming debut feature — a cracked crime comedy shot in the director's native Texas — sets the filmmaker's terminally twee template while also being refreshingly looser and sillier than Anderson's later outings. Mild-mannered Anthony Adams (Luke Wilson) is "sprung" from a voluntary psychiatric home by his friend Dignan (co-writer Owen Wilson), who has an ambitious plan to embark on a statewide crime spree. After knocking over a bookstore, the duo holes up in a motel, where Anthony romances maid Inez (Lumi Cavazos) while Dignan endeavours to get them hooked up with a local "crime boss" (James Caan) who spends most of his time as a landscaper. "The movie really took me by surprise. Here was a picture without a trace of cynicism, that obviously grew out of its director's affection for his characters in particular and for people in general…. Leo McCarey comes to mind, and so does Jean Renoir" (Martin Scorsese).