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Theatre / American Buffalo

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American Buffalo is a three-man play by David Mamet, adapted into a 1996 film starring Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson. The story follows Don, Teach, and Bobby, a trio of ne'er-do-wells who are plotting to steal another man's rare coin collection. As the time of the heist approaches, tensions rise, and the would-be robbers start to mistrust and turn on each other.

This work provides examples of:


  • Foreshadowing: The characters debate about whether it's going to rain later (it does).
  • The Ghost: Fletcher, Ruthie, and Grace are often discussed, but never appear. Neither does the guy with the coin collection.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Al Pacino originated the role of Teach on Broadway, which should tell you something about the character.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Teach has some major woman issues. He's also the only character in the play to use words like bitch, dyke, and cunt.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After trashing Don's shop in a rage, Teach advises Don to clean up the place.
  • Team Mom: Don spends a lot of time encouraging the others to eat more healthily and take naps.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The whole play is three low-lifes eating, discussing random minuitae, and talking about committing a crime.


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