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"As I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish, I wish he’d go away.”

Identity was James Mangold’s first opportunity to direct a film based on a script he didn’t write. The screenplay, written by Michael Cooney, was inspired by Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” but adds some twists to the story that take it in a new direction. Mangold was immediately attracted to the material because he relished the opportunity to tell what is essentially a closed room mystery. The film is taut and a thrill of a ride, but it certainly became a love it or hate it type of movie because of the big twists it takes. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our brief ‘Spoiled. Rotten? Twist Endings’ series with Mangold’s 2003 film Identity.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

The twists in this film work for us, but why don’t they work for so many others? Do you just have to buy into the bonkers made-up science presented here for it to succeed? The cast is great, but why does Pete have such an issue with Clea Duvall’s and William Lee Scott’s characters? We totally forget to talk about Pruitt Taylor Vince’s fantastically creepy eyes. Turns out it’s a condition called nystagmus and he’s used it as often as he can to be cast or to enhance his roles. Do the plot threads with no payoffs create problems for us, particularly when the story begins pointing at the supernatural? This film’s a great reminder as to why we love John Hawkes so much. And the fact that it’s a fun film Mangold provides for us that doesn’t take itself seriously and really goes all-in on the crazy world set up.

We have a great time talking about it as our season wrap-up. Check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.
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