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Michael Williams (Cage) is a drifter living out of his car after being discharged from the Marine Corps. After failing to get work at a construction job, Michael happens into a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming. The bartender (J.T. Walsh) mistakes him for a "Lyle from Dallas" that he was waiting on and, desperate for work, Michael decides to play along. Then it turns out the job is to [[ProfessionalKiller kill the bartender's wife]] (Boyle).

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Michael Williams (Cage) is a drifter living out of his car after being discharged from the Marine Corps. After failing to get work at a construction job, Michael happens into a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming. The bartender (J.T. Walsh) (Creator/JTWalsh) mistakes him for a "Lyle from Dallas" that he was waiting on and, desperate for work, Michael decides to play along. Then it turns out the job is to [[ProfessionalKiller kill the bartender's wife]] (Boyle).


--> '''Mike:''' Yy know I'm better than you.

to:

--> '''Mike:''' Yy You know I'm better than you.



** Wayne [[spoiler:Yells for Lyle not to shoot the deputy guarding him at the jail]] and also tells Lyle that [[spoiler:They should just let Mike and Suzanne go now that he's been exposed and they can leave town with the money anyway]].
** After he nearly runs over Mike, Lyle offers him a ride into town, givinving condolences about how he got hurt in Lebanon and offering to buy him a drink and drive him back to his car.
** Suzanne [[spoiler:Offers to let Michael just jump out the door to the train instead of murdering him when she has a gun on him, saying she kind of likes him, before he turns the tables]].
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Lyle is a bit on the short side but puts up a good fight against Michale and [[spoiler:Is able to pull himself off a statute where he was ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and stagger after Michael]].

to:

** Wayne [[spoiler:Yells for [[spoiler:yells at Lyle not to shoot the deputy guarding him at the jail]] and also tells Lyle that [[spoiler:They [[spoiler:they should just let Mike and Suzanne go now that he's been exposed and they can leave town with the money anyway]].
** After he nearly runs over Mike, Lyle offers him a ride into town, givinving offering condolences about how he got hurt in Lebanon and offering to buy him a drink and drive him back to his car.
** Suzanne [[spoiler:Offers [[spoiler:offers to let Michael just jump out the door to the train instead of murdering him when she has a gun on him, saying she kind of likes him, before he turns the tables]].
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Lyle is a bit on the short side but puts up a good fight against Michale and [[spoiler:Is [[spoiler:is able to pull himself off a statute where he was ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and stagger after Michael]].



* RailroadTracksOfDoom: After [[spoiler:The jailbreak]] Lyle forces Michael to ty and drive the car through a railroad crossing to beat a train. Unusually, Michael ''isn't'' fast enough to make it across ahead of the train.... which forces him to drive alongside the train for a bit and then swerve in font of it.

to:

* RailroadTracksOfDoom: After [[spoiler:The [[spoiler:the jailbreak]] Lyle forces Michael to ty and drive the car through a railroad crossing to beat a train. Unusually, Michael ''isn't'' fast enough to make it across ahead of the train.... which forces him to drive alongside the train for a bit and then swerve in font of it.


* StepfordSmiler: After not getting the il field job Mike thanks the friend who tried to get him the job and says he's not upset with him but as he drives off angrily punches the roof of his car.

to:

* StepfordSmiler: After not getting the il oil field job Mike thanks the friend who tried to get him the job and says he's not upset with him but as he drives off angrily punches the roof of his car.


Michael Williams is a drifter living out of his car after being discharged from the Marine Corps. After failing to get work at a construction job, Michael happens into a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming. The bartender mistakes him for a "Lyle from Dallas" that he was waiting on and, desperate for work, Michael decides to play along. Then it turns out the job is [[ProfessionalKiller to kill the bartender's wife.]]

Things go FromBadToWorse.

''Red Rock West'' stars Creator/NicolasCage in a 1993 mix between the NewOldWest and a FilmNoir. The film was well-received at festival screenings, but the rights holders deemed it [[ExecutiveMeddling not marketable for film release]] and released strictly on cable and DirectToVideo. Despite its poor release, it did surprisingly well in local art house circuits, gaining a small reputation as a CultClassic.

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[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_rock_west.jpeg]]

''Red Rock West'' is a 1993 crime thriller film directed by John Dahl (who also wrote the screenplay with his brother Rick), starring Creator/NicolasCage, Creator/LaraFlynnBoyle, and Creator/DennisHopper.

Michael Williams (Cage) is a drifter living out of his car after being discharged from the Marine Corps. After failing to get work at a construction job, Michael happens into a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming. The bartender (J.T. Walsh) mistakes him for a "Lyle from Dallas" that he was waiting on and, desperate for work, Michael decides to play along. Then it turns out the job is to [[ProfessionalKiller to kill the bartender's wife.]]

wife]] (Boyle).

Things go FromBadToWorse.

''Red Rock West'' stars Creator/NicolasCage in a 1993
FromBadToWorse when the real Lyle (Hopper) shows up.

A
mix between the NewOldWest and a FilmNoir. The neo-[[FilmNoir Noir]], the film was well-received at festival screenings, but the rights holders deemed it [[ExecutiveMeddling not marketable for film release]] and released strictly on cable and DirectToVideo. Despite its poor release, it did surprisingly well in local art house circuits, gaining a small reputation as a CultClassic.


* LeftForDead: [[spoiler:Suzanne shot Kurt twice in the stomach but he isn't dead, making it to the road and then being hit by Michale and taken to the hospital]].

to:

* LeftForDead: LeftForDead:
**
[[spoiler:Suzanne shot Kurt twice in the stomach but he isn't dead, making it to the road and then being hit by Michale and taken to the hospital]].hospital]].
** [[spoiler:Wayne is stabbed in the neck and left at the scene of the graveyard fight, although Suzanne sees he's still alvie and just this him in the head to knock him down. He's str alive and conscious when hie deputies arrive and pints them after the train, with it being unrevealed whether or not he ultimately survived]].

Added DiffLines:

* RightForTheWrongReasons: Matt is right about how [[spoiler:Kurt was shot as the result of a BlackmailBackfire]]. He's just wrong about who did it, suspecting [[spoiler:Wayne]] instead of [[spoiler:Suzanne]].


* BadassBoast: Mike, after his last fight with Lyle.
--> '''Mike:''' Yy know I'm better than you.



* BlackmailBackfire: [[spoiler:Kurt was shot for trying to blackmail the fugitive Suzanne, although unusually he survived]].



* FauxAffablyEvil: Lyle can put on a charming front but enjoys toying with his prisoners, kills an unarmed [[spoiler:deputy at the jail]] and can give across a SlasherSmile or two while talking about how people think their better than him.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: An example only obvious on a rewatch. [[spoiler:Suzanne is seen pouring herself a drink after her horseback ride before Michael shows himself to her. It's later revealed that she'd just shot Kurt]].



* LeftForDead: [[spoiler:Suzanne shot Kurt twice in the stomach but he isn't dead, making it to the road and then being hit by Michale and taken to the hospital]].
* MadeOfIron: [[spoiler:Kurt is moving around fine as he tries to wave don Michael despite two bullets in the stomach and also survives begin hit by Michael's car]].
* NotWhatItLooksLike: [[spoiler:The scene where Suzanne nervously meets a pleased looking Kurt in his trailer while Michael watches looks like them meeting for an affair when really he thinks she's there to pay off blackmail money and she's there to shoot him]].



* PoliceAreUseless: Played with. [[spoiler: Deputy Matt Greytack recognizes Michael has no reason to kill Kurt ''and'' try to save his life. He quickly discovers Wayne's embezzlement scam and he catches onto Lyle's distraction scheme just as fast. Unfortunately, he's just not fast enough to catch anyone until the chaos has already settled.]]

to:

* PetTheDog:
** Wayne [[spoiler:Yells for Lyle not to shoot the deputy guarding him at the jail]] and also tells Lyle that [[spoiler:They should just let Mike and Suzanne go now that he's been exposed and they can leave town with the money anyway]].
** After he nearly runs over Mike, Lyle offers him a ride into town, givinving condolences about how he got hurt in Lebanon and offering to buy him a drink and drive him back to his car.
** Suzanne [[spoiler:Offers to let Michael just jump out the door to the train instead of murdering him when she has a gun on him, saying she kind of likes him, before he turns the tables]].
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Lyle is a bit on the short side but puts up a good fight against Michale and [[spoiler:Is able to pull himself off a statute where he was ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and stagger after Michael]].
* PoliceAreUseless: Played with.Mostly subverted. [[spoiler: Deputy Matt Greytack recognizes Michael has no reason to kill Kurt ''and'' try to save his life. He quickly discovers Wayne's embezzlement scam and he catches onto Lyle's distraction scheme just as fast. Unfortunately, he's just not fast enough to catch anyone until the chaos has already settled.]]]]
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: After [[spoiler:The jailbreak]] Lyle forces Michael to ty and drive the car through a railroad crossing to beat a train. Unusually, Michael ''isn't'' fast enough to make it across ahead of the train.... which forces him to drive alongside the train for a bit and then swerve in font of it.
* RiddleForTheAges: Why was Lyle a week late arriving in town?
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: After taking Wayne's job, Michael instead warns Suzanne, mails a letter incriminating Wayne to his deputies then buys a bunch of food and tries to drive out of town. The only problem is that he (literally) runs into Kurt.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: The gas station owner who directs Michael to Red Rock is only on screen for about a minute but his suggestion kicks off the rest of the plot



* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Wayne's rather popular and apparently gave everyone in Red Rock a free drink in order to [[spoiler: get elected sheriff.]] That said, its suggested his star has already begun to fall by the time Michael arrives in town.

to:

* StepfordSmiler: After not getting the il field job Mike thanks the friend who tried to get him the job and says he's not upset with him but as he drives off angrily punches the roof of his car.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Wayne's rather popular and apparently gave everyone in Red Rock a free drink in order to [[spoiler: get elected sheriff.]] That said, its suggested his star has already begun to fall by the time Michael arrives in town.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Michael is introduced doing pushups shirtless on the road.
* WhamShot: When Lyle picks up Michael on the road the first sign of who he is comes form the close up of his Dallas license plate.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Michael repeatedly passes this test. He tells the truth about a disability he has on a job questionnaire. He doesn't take money sticking out of a cash register when he's alone in a room with it. And when he accidentally hits a man in the rain, he ultimately goes back to check on him and takes him back to the hospital in spite of how much danger is waiting for him back in
town.


* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: As it turns out, Wayne's the local sheriff.]]



* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: As it turns out, Wayne's the local sheriff.]]

Added DiffLines:

!!This film features examples of:


''Red Rock West'' stars Creator/NicolasCage in a 1993 mix between the NewOldWest and a FilmNoir. The film was well-received at festival screenings, but the rights holders deemed it [[ExecutiveMeddlings not marketable for film release]] and released strictly on cable and DirectToVideo. Despite its poor release, it did surprisingly well in local art house circuits, gaining a small reputation as a CultClassic.

to:

''Red Rock West'' stars Creator/NicolasCage in a 1993 mix between the NewOldWest and a FilmNoir. The film was well-received at festival screenings, but the rights holders deemed it [[ExecutiveMeddlings [[ExecutiveMeddling not marketable for film release]] and released strictly on cable and DirectToVideo. Despite its poor release, it did surprisingly well in local art house circuits, gaining a small reputation as a CultClassic.

Added DiffLines:

Michael Williams is a drifter living out of his car after being discharged from the Marine Corps. After failing to get work at a construction job, Michael happens into a bar in Red Rock, Wyoming. The bartender mistakes him for a "Lyle from Dallas" that he was waiting on and, desperate for work, Michael decides to play along. Then it turns out the job is [[ProfessionalKiller to kill the bartender's wife.]]

Things go FromBadToWorse.

''Red Rock West'' stars Creator/NicolasCage in a 1993 mix between the NewOldWest and a FilmNoir. The film was well-received at festival screenings, but the rights holders deemed it [[ExecutiveMeddlings not marketable for film release]] and released strictly on cable and DirectToVideo. Despite its poor release, it did surprisingly well in local art house circuits, gaining a small reputation as a CultClassic.

----
* AxCrazy: Lyle from Dallas initially seems composed, but his reckless actions and anger nearly get himself and others killed.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Michael's future is unclear and he's still strapped for cash... but everyone else is caught/killed for their crimes and he ''finally'' manages to escape Red Rock with just enough money to keep going.]]
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Michael remains honest about his injury when applying for a construction job and refuses to steal money from the gas station despite how much easier it would make his life. Finally lying in order to get work instantly drops Michael into a complete ''mess.''
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: [[spoiler: Suzanne just can't resist trying to swindle everyone to get the money for herself.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Wayne may be trying to get his wife killed but [[spoiler: he's horrified when Lyle from Dallas kills one of his deputies.]]
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: As it turns out, Wayne's the local sheriff.]]
* FemmeFatale: Suzanne Brown [[spoiler: or rather Ann McCord]] fills the mysterious role easily and her motivations are left up in the air for the majority of the film.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Everyone, in the end, get exactly what they gave out.
** Michael can't manage to leave Red Rock when he pretends to be someone else, making him a "thief" according to Lyle. [[spoiler: He finally escapes Red Rock when he abandons the stolen money, riding safely out of town.]]
** Wayne hires someone to kill his wife and works situations to avoid dirtying his own hands. [[spoiler: He ends up getting attacked by both Lyle and Suzanne in the climax and likely to die from his wounds.]]
** Lyle is a ProfessionalKiller who's ready to take down ''anyone'' for a paycheck. [[spoiler: Suzanne, the exact woman he was supposed to kill, is the one who offs him.]]
** Suzanne [[spoiler: kills and betrays anyone who knows her, in an attempt to keep all the money for herself. She ends up dumped on the side of the tracks with her precious money, as cops who know ''exactly'' who she is start pulling up.]]
* OhCrap: Michael barely manages to restrain his when he realizes he's just hitched a ride from the ''real'' Lyle from Dallas.
* PoliceAreUseless: Played with. [[spoiler: Deputy Matt Greytack recognizes Michael has no reason to kill Kurt ''and'' try to save his life. He quickly discovers Wayne's embezzlement scam and he catches onto Lyle's distraction scheme just as fast. Unfortunately, he's just not fast enough to catch anyone until the chaos has already settled.]]
* SpannerInTheWorks: Michael's chance arrival in Wayne's bar completely throws Wayne's murder plan off track.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Wayne's rather popular and apparently gave everyone in Red Rock a free drink in order to [[spoiler: get elected sheriff.]] That said, its suggested his star has already begun to fall by the time Michael arrives in town.

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