''Maverick'' (1994) is a Western comedy {{film}} based on the [[Series/{{Maverick}} 1950s television series of the same name]], created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Creator/RichardDonner from a screenplay by William Goldman and features Creator/MelGibson, Creator/JodieFoster, and James Garner.

Bret Maverick is a wisecracking gambler who wants to win a TabletopGame/{{poker}} championship - only partly for the money, but mainly to prove once and for all that he's the best at poker. However, [[HilarityEnsues complications keep arising]]. First, he starts off $3,000 short of the $25,000 entry fee for the contest. His efforts to make up the difference spark off much of the plot, as well as diversions caused by, and in the company of, three people he encounters at Crystal River: an antagonist named Angel (Alfred Molina), a young con-artist calling herself Mrs Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster), and legendary lawman Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played Bret Maverick in the original TV series). The first two are also rival poker players.

The three share a stagecoach (whose driver dies at full gallop), agree to help a wagon train of migrant evangelist settlers who have been waylaid by ruffians (for a fee which Maverick in the end is too big-hearted to accept), and are headed-off by a troop of Indians (who, unbeknownst to his companions, are good friends with Maverick), who agree to help Maverick collect the rest of the fee (by swindling a Russian Grand Duke). After this, though, Maverick's adventures get a little crazy, especially since somebody has good reason to make sure Maverick never makes it to the poker game...

The film was nominated for an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Costume Design.


!! This movie contains examples of:

* AccidentalMisnaming: ''Bert'' ? '''Bret''', his name's Bret.
* AffectionatePickpocket: Annabelle Bransford does this to Maverick twice in the same scene. The first time he notices and makes her give his wallet back, the second time he's so overwhelmed he doesn't notice and has to track her down later.
* AlanSmithee: On the score album, the last track is a saloon song called "[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Tartine De Merde]]", whose singer is billed as "[[Film/ThreeAmigos S. Bush]]." Have a look at the music credit on the poster above there to see his real name.
* AmazingFreakingGrace: Last song on the soundtrack. The three main characters sing it when their coach driver dies, for lack of anything to say about him (as they barely knew him). Two of them getting the lyrics wrong the same way is a plot point.
* {{Anticlimax}}: [[spoiler:The film starts with Maverick on the back of a horse with a noose around his neck and some snakes left behind by his captors to spook the horse so he'll be hanged. The first half of the film is about the circumstances that led him to this point. And when the moment arrives and Maverick's horse is about to bolt... the branch the rope is tied around, breaks]].
* ArentYouGoingToRavishMe: After Annabelle steals his wallet, Maverick gets it back and starts undressing, saying she is going to do something for him. She protests that she wouldn't sleep with him in a million years, to which he replies that he wouldn't ever want to with her anyway. She immediately demands to know why not.
* AscendedExtra: An interesting take on this trope. Listen to the theme song of the series, and you'll hear a reference to "Annabelle"--presumably a former love Maverick left because "Luck is the lady that he loves the best". (There's also a reference to a riverboat....)
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Skewered during the encounter with the tribe of Indians. Maverick speaks their language just fine (and the Indians know English) and "translates" for the rest of the group, saying that they have trespassed on sacred ground, and the Indians' gods demand a sacrifice. Meanwhile, the subtitles relate the actual conversation: the chief just wants to know if Maverick has come for the money he owes him.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Maverick's a master of learning "tells".
* BankRobbery: Maverick is a bystander.
* BatmanGambit / IndyPloy: Bret is a master of both.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: The title character does this to some robbers. Doubles as a MythologyGag, as James Garner would frequently do this in the series.
* BondVillainStupidity: Angel's way of dealing with Bret once he captures and knocks him out is to set him up on horeseback with a noose around his neck tied to a tree and some very angry rattlesnakes to spook the horse. Angel doesn't even hang around to make sure it works, saying it might implicate him in Maverick's [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch "accidental"]] death.
* ByNoIMeanYes:
-->'''Coop:''' See, my feeling is that if there weren't any women none of us would be here. \\
'''Maverick:''' What kind of sense does that make? If there were no men, we wouldn't be here either. \\
'''Coop:''' Are you mocking me? \\
'''Maverick:''' Don't get ruffled. Let's just say I was agreeing with you in a totally unusual way.
* CardSharp: A few of the players at the game...but when they get caught, they're thrown overboard.
* CallBack: In the beginning Annabelle ruins Maverick's shirt by shrinking it in the wash after mending it. [[spoiler:At the end, she brings him a new shirt, as she robs him of half of his winnings.]]
* CheatersNeverProsper: The two cheaters at the big game in the film's climax are caught, and summarily and unceremoniously thrown off the boat into the river. The second one tries to keep his dignity and jump.
* ChekhovsGun:
** AmazingFreakingGrace sung by Bret, Annabelle, and Cooper. [[spoiler:Both Cooper and Bret sing the same wrong words to the song, which clues Annabell into the fact they are more than they seem]].
** Bret has a distinctive quick draw for his gun. [[spoiler:Cooper has a near identical method. Again, Annabelle takes notice of this fact]].
* ChekhovsGag: "Now, my pappy always used to say..."
* ChekhovsSkill
** Maverick's attempts to pull a specific card out of deck. Introduced in the beginning as something he practices regularly, but it never works.
** Another skill is revealed in the first poker-game, namely that Maverick observes EVERYTHING that goes on at the table, and nothing gets by him. "Now what do you think I was doing for that hour? I was learning your tells..."
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: '''EVERYONE'''. Save Maverick [[spoiler: and his father]]. It's odd when the ''con man'' is the one who is constantly having to deal with cheats who are his friends.
* ConMenHateGuns[=/=]DoesntLikeGuns: While Maverick is a Quickdraw with ImprobableAimingSkills, he doesn't use his gun to solve problems. He could have easily drawn and shot TheDragon and everyone else at the table in the initial poker game and saved himself a heck of a lot of hassle for the entire movie, but that's not the way Bret rolls. But when backed into a corner, Bret shows that he can easily handle six armed men, [[BlastingItOutOfTheirHands disarming them all with his gun]]. In the end, [[spoiler:the only people he kills are a few mooks who are [[KillingInSelfDefense about to kill him anyway]]. He doesn't even kill the BigBad or TheDragon]].
* DeadfootLeadfoot: Maverick, Annabelle, and Coop are riding a stagecoach, when the driver dies, and the horses, left without input keep running at full speed, straight toward a cliff. The others make Maverick climb up on top to stop the horses, which, since the reins are dragging on the ground, he has to do by jumping onto the team's lead pair and pull back on them.
* DeadpanSnarker: Maverick, Cooper, and Annabelle all love doing this.
* DeathTrap: After Angel captures Maverick, he leaves him with a noose around his neck tied to a tree, on the back of his horse, with his hands tied behind his back. He also leaves a bag full of rattlesnakes nearby to spook the horse so it will move away and leave Maverick to hang. Luckily the branch the rope is tied to breaks, allowing Maverick to avoid death.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Angel tracks Maverick down, catches him and tries to hang him... all because Maverick beat him at a poker game and fooled him into thinking he couldn't take him in a fight at the beginning of the film.
* TheDragon: Angel is this to [[spoiler: the Commodore]].
* EngineeredHeroics: Maverick beats several baddies in a fist fight to scare Angel. It turns out he promised them money for throwing the fight.
* {{Expy}}: Annabelle seems to be one for Samantha Crawford, a very similar character in the series who is also a SouthernBelle con artist and fulfills the same WorthyOpponent + DatingCatwoman role for Maverick.
* FakeUltimateHero: Marshal Zane Cooper.
* FastestGunInTheWest: Maverick shows off his quick-draw skills in a poker game. The man he faces off against is named "Johnny Hardin", AKA the RealLife outlaw John Wesley Hardin. Afterward, Hardin acknowledges that Maverick is fast.
* TheFilmOfTheSeries
* FriendsAllAlong:
** Maverick and the Indian tribe.
** Also, Maverick and the bank manager he pulls a gun on.
** [[spoiler:Maverick and Cooper]].
* GambitPileup: [[spoiler:Angel and the Commodore vs. the Commodore and Cooper vs. Cooper and Maverick.Ange.]]
* GamblingBrawl:
** Subverted twice during the first poker game, between Maverick, Angel, Annabelle and several others:
*** First, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley_Hardin John Wesley Hardin]] (a famous RealLife gunfighter) tells Maverick that a hand of poker Maverick won shouldn't count. Instead of starting a gunfight, Maverick backs down and lets Hardin take the pot. He then demonstrates his lightning fast quick draw skill, thus making it clear that if there had been a gunfight, he could have shot Hardin before his gun cleared his holster.
*** Angel accuses Maverick of cheating and wants to fight him, but a group of men suddenly appear and want to fight him too. They go outside and Maverick handily beats the men up, causing Angel to retract his accusation out of fear. Later it's revealed that Maverick arranged to have the men intervene and lose to him if anyone threatened to physically attack him.
** Played straight during the final poker game between the Commodore, Angel and Maverick. When Maverick pulls off a miracle play and wins the tournament, Angel accuses him of cheating again. Angel and his two henchmen draw their guns, but all three are shot and killed by Maverick and Marshall Zane Cooper.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Chief Joseph to Maverick after [[spoiler:Maverick was hunted by the Russian Duke with real bullets and not the bow and arrows agreed upon.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Annabelle standing at the feet of the bathtubs of [[spoiler: Maverick and Cooper]], and glancing into both as she walks between them, going, "''My'', [[BiggerIsBetter such splendid similarities!]]"
* GratuitousFrench: When Joseph goes to meet the Russian duke, he starts speaking in French, which was the second language of the Russian court.
-->'''Joseph:''' Ah bonjour bonjour monseigneur, comment allez-vous?\\
'''The Russian Duke:''' C'est la langue des missionnaires. Parle anglais.
* GroinAttack: While playing a game of poker, Maverick is accosted by five men who want to beat him up. They chase him outside and a fight starts. During the combat, Maverick kicks one of his opponents in the groin, disabling him.
* GunTwirling: Maverick uses his flashy gunplay largely as part of a double-bluff. The twirling makes him look capable, which he subverts by [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretending that he can't actually shoot]] when he's pretty good when it comes down to it. It doubles as {{foreshadowing}} as well; at the tournament, we see that Maverick and [[spoiler: Cooper's gun twirling is exactly the same]].
* HaHaHaNo: Maverick does this to intimidate Angel after winning a fight against five other men - previously Angel had called him a gutless cheat and after the fight, tried to tell Maverick he was only teasing.
-->'''Maverick:''' Teasing? Ah, hahahaha-''I don't like being teased''.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: The gunfighter at the first poker game in the movie is strongly implied to be John Wesley Hardin.
* HonorBeforeReason: When Maverick [[spoiler:realized they were playing with a fixed deck, he wanted a new shuffle, new deck, and new dealer. This is despite him understanding TheMagicPokerEquation and the fix could work in his favor]].
* HollywoodNatives[=/=]InjunCountry: Lampooned. Joseph, Maverick's Indian friend, and his tribe play the role to the hilt... and when Maverick asks what all the drums and other such nonsense are about, Joseph explains that they're bilking a wealthy Russian duke who came to America wanting a stereotypical "Wild West" experience. Also lampshaded when Jacob says if they get forced to move again he's going to find some godforsaken swampland that nobody wants in the hopes people will leave them the hell alone.
* HolyGround: Invoked by Maverick when Joseph's tribe shows up. Maverick communicates to them in their own language but makes it sound like they're angry because his party trespassed on sacred ground. He makes up the Indian Bravery Test as an excuse to go with them, which you pass by not making a sound as both your hands are chopped off.
* HowWeGotHere[=/=]InMediasRes: The movie opens with Maverick about to be hanged, at about halfway through the overall story, [[MythologyGag as the show always did]].
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: The Russian Grand Duke is swindled by offering him a "genuine Indian hunt", with Maverick playing the role of a sick old man that nobody will miss. When he "kills" Maverick, they blackmail him with the threat of exposure.
* IAmOneOfThoseToo: Bret Maverick wants to expose/embarrass the con woman "Mrs. Bransford".
-->'''Maverick:''' I can't quite place your accent. Where in the South are you from? \\
'''Mrs. Bransford:''' Ever been to Mobile? (pause) That's where I'm from. \\
'''Maverick:''' Mobile, Alabama? Hell, I've been there. I'll bet we know the same people. You start. \\
'''Mrs. Bransford:''' [''{{beat}}''] I've tried so hard to forget that place.
* ILetYouWin:
** In the first poker game at the beginning, Maverick promises to lose for the first hour after Angel tells him he doesn't want him in the game. Maverick is true to his word, and learns all the tells of the other players and beats them all once the hour is up.
** When [[spoiler: Annabelle steals half of Bret's winnings at the end of the film, he wonders why he left it in the satchel in the first place. His dad says he knows exactly why and Bret agrees - because getting it back will be fun and it's an excuse to see Annabelle again.]]
* ItsPersonal: After Angel learns that Maverick tricked him into backing down from a fight, he's enraged and is determined to get his revenge. He says "Maverick is mine, anyway. But this time it's personal."
* KissOfDistraction: This is a favorite technique of Annabelle, which she usually uses to steal things. Maverick is very GenreSavvy about it. An ArentYouGoingToRavishMe moment leds him to say, "Are you crazy? I'm not going to sleep with you! I'd wake up with all kinds of things missing!"
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Maverick, literally and figuratively.
* LegacyCharacter: Played with. [[spoiler: Cooper is actually Maverick's father, played by James Garner, who played the original Maverick on TV. So if the movie is a continuation of the show, it means the name "Maverick" is synonymous with conning and card-sharking.]]
* LicensedPinballTable: Yep, it exists, and it turned out to be the final game from Creator/DataEast. [[Pinball/MaverickTheMovie Click here for tropes.]]
* [[ItsLikeIAlwaysSay Like My Pappy Always Said...]]: Maverick enjoys saying things his Pappy told him when young. [[spoiler:Turns out he has changed most of them because they're so boring the way his Pappy said them. His Pappy is not amused by this]].
* TheMagicPokerEquation: This trope is played with throughout the film, as Bret Maverick is convinced that he can draw any card out of the deck at will. However, most of his attempts are completely unsuccessful [[spoiler:until the end of the film, when he manages to draw the Ace of Spades he needs to complete his Royal Flush and win the poker tournament]]. The final poker battle on the gambling ship at the end of the film is made of this trope. First, Maverick beats Annabelle by showing his cards, after she thought she won and already started collecting the winnings. Next, the final showdown between Maverick, Angel, and the Commodore. The Commodore shows his hand first: "Two small pair. Eights... and eights." Then Angel shows his hand, "See if you can beat my straight flush!" Maverick finally reveals his royal flush and wins it all, without saying a word. [[note]]Maverick noticed the dealer dealing from the bottom of a stacked deck.[[/note]] Also, a large part of the movie is of Annabelle trying to get Maverick to tell her his tells, and she ends up losing on the poker ship from the one tell he didn't let her know about.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Maverick refuses to confirm whether he cheated [[spoiler: drawing the Ace of Spades to complete the Royal Flush]] by saying it was "magic". His father smiles, and it's evident it doesn't really matter in the long run.
* MsFanservice: Jodie Foster as Annabelle. With or without being fully dressed.
* MundaneSolution: Annabelle spends the whole movie trying to con, cheat and pickpocket her way into big poker game and counts on her skill as a player to see her through. [[spoiler:She gets nowhere with these tricks and in the end she simply steals half of Maverick's winnings by pulling a gun on him. It's implied that he lets her get away with it so he can have fun trying to get it all back. However, where she lacked in conning, she is excellent at SherlockScan. She was able to deduce ''right from the start'' that Zane was Bret's father and went along with it]].
* MyFavoriteShirt:
** Maverick gets angry (or possibly pretends to) when his shirt is damaged during a fight.
** He is legitimately angry when Annabelle ruins that shirt later.
* NotNowWereTooBusyCryingOverYou: Happens after Brett is thought to have fallen to his death over a cliff.
* OhCrap: There's brief one seen on the face of the dealer during the final round of Poker. Why? [[spoiler: Because he was in charge of stacking the deck to set up the mathematically near-impossible hands of the Commodore, Angel, and Maverick, and Maverick just changed the dealers. He knows that. Maverick has worked out TheMagicPokerEquation.]]
* OneSteveLimit: Near the end, when someone calls out, [[spoiler:"Maverick?" both Brett and Coop answer "Yes?"]]
* OneWordTitle: Also a ProtagonistTitle, being named for the protagonist's last name.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Bret points out Annabelle's accent is a little muddy. She herself calls it her "southern".
* PlayingCardMotifs: Certainly expected in a movie based on TabletopGame/{{poker}}. During a scene where Maverick tries to choose which card he draws from a deck, he picks the Queen of Hearts - a foreshadowing of his romantic encounter with Annabelle Bransford.
* ProfessionalGambler: Several characters, including all of the travelers.
* ProtagonistTitle: Also a OneWordTitle, being named for the protagonist's last name.
* QuickDraw: Maverick can draw blindingly fast. He [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretends that he can't actually hit anything]] though when in reality he also has ImprobableAimingSkills.
* RealityHasNoSubtitles: When Chief Joseph first talks to the Russian duke, he speaks in GratuitousFrench that isn't translated for the audience.
* RemakeCameo: James Garner, the original Bret Maverick, plays Marshal Zane Cooper in the movie. [[spoiler: It doubles as both a RoleReprisal and a MythologyGag when it turns out that he's Bret's father, as Garner had also played Maverick's Pappy in an episode of the original TV series as well]].
* RewatchBonus: The complicated set of double-crosses and triple-crosses at the end of the film means that on a rewatch the viewer gets to see several characters in a new light, knowing their true agendas. In particular [[spoiler:it's interesting to re-evaluate Cooper's reactions to Brett's antics, and especially the pained expression he gets whenever Brett starts banging on about something his old Pappy always said]].
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Maverick uses this ability to track the fake Indians. Although most of it is parodied just to mess with Annabelle. Really he just follows the horseshoe prints.
* SherlockScan: [[spoiler: Annabelle knows Zane is Bret's father almost immediately. They both sing "Amazing Grace" the wrong way, for example, and they both have the same ... er, physical characteristics.]]
* ShoutOut
** Zane Cooper's name combines Zane Grey, famous author of Western novels, with Creator/GaryCooper, famous actor in Western films.
** Danny Glover plays a bank robber who mutters [[Film/LethalWeapon "I am too old for this..."]]. The scene is a CastingGag played as ActorAllusion; Mel Gibson, Glover's buddy cop in that franchise, recognises the voice of the bank robber and pulls down his mask, leading the two of them to share a moment (complete with Lethal Weapon musical leitmotif). They look at each other as though in recognition, but then shake their heads saying, "Naaah..." before shaking their heads and walking away. As Glover exits the bank, he murmurs, "[[CatchPhrase I'm getting too old for this shit]]!" [[RuleOfThree And,]] the guitar track at that moment becomes {{suspiciously|SimilarSong}} like the ''Film/LethalWeapon'' theme.
** Maverick rides a bicycle belonging to his friend Chief Joseph, who explains that he won it in a card game. This is a reference to another Western movie, ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid''[[note]]Also written by William Goldman[[/note]]. In that movie, Butch Cassidy owns (and rides) a bicycle, and is a rotten gambler - so Chief Joseph won his bicycle from Butch!
* SlapSlapKiss: Maverick's relationship with Annabell Bransford.
* SpiritedYoungLady: Annabelle is quite ladylike and classy, and fond of feminine dresses and the like. She is also an especially clever card player and con artist who regularly [[WorthyOpponent keeps Maverick on edge as to whether she's pulled one on him.]]
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: During the final hand of the tournament, the Commodore thinks he has an unbeatable hand and his cigar points upward from his mouth. When he realizes another player has him beat, his cigar sags downward.
* SoreLoser: Every time Maverick beats someone at poker, they accuse him of being a cheat and some of them immediately try to kill him.
* SwordOverHead: Coop does this (with a stick) to the Commodore.
* TakeMyHand: Maverick accidentally falls over the edge of a cliff but barely manages to hold onto the edge. Marshal Zane Cooper offers to help him, but Maverick refuses because he despises Cooper. Maverick almost falls to his death and changes his mind, begging for help, and is pulled to safety.
* TomatoSurprise: Maverick and Cooper are both fully aware that [[spoiler:they're actually father and son]].
* TontoTalk: Parodied. Joseph is fully fluent in both English and French, but the Russian duke insists that Joseph speak to him only in Tonto-speak, to Joseph's great exasperation.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: Cooper finally exasperated at Maverick's constant misquoting of his father - revealing Coop ''is'' his father.]]
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Maverick asks this of Annabelle.
* TheWildWest
* XanatosGambit
** [[spoiler:The Commodore's plan. If he or Angel won the tournament, the two of them would split the $500,000 with Cooper; if anyone else won, Cooper would steal the money and split it with them later. Duvall didn't tell the others that he was planning to kill them and keep the money for himself.]]
** [[spoiler:It backfires when Maverick interrupts the meeting between Duvall and Cooper and steals the money back. He and Cooper had been running a gambit of their own to get the prize, one way or another.]]