Things Change (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Things Change
Things Change film poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Mamet
Produced byMichael Hausman
Written byDavid Mamet
Shel Silverstein
Music byAlaric Jans
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 21, 1988 (1988-10-21)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,527,886[1]

Things Change is a 1988 comedy and drama film directed by David Mamet and starring Joe Mantegna and Don Ameche. It was co-written by Mamet and Shel Silverstein.


Gino, a humble shoe-shiner in Chicago, is approached by a Mafia don who offers him a large sum of money to take the blame for a murder committed by another gangster. When he refuses, the don starts to order what may be a hit on him. Gino then agrees, planning to buy a fishing boat with the money he will earn after a three-year sentence. He signs a confession and allows his fingerprints to be put on the murder weapon.

While preparing for his court confession, Gino is watched over by Jerry, a bottom-rung gangster who has recently gotten into trouble for failing to follow orders. Facing a boring stay at a local hotel and faced with Gino's inability to suggest recreations he would like for his last few days of freedom, Jerry decides to give Gino a weekend to remember in Lake Tahoe before he goes to prison.

Arriving at the resort and casino, Jerry's tall tales and Gino's quiet dignity immediately get Gino mistaken for a powerful mafioso, resulting in them being treated as VIPs. However, they are then summoned to the Nevada home of crime boss Vincenzo, where a frantic Jerry is certain that their lowly status will be found out. However, Vincenzo takes a liking to Gino and the two elderly Sicilians bond.

Narrowly escaping after the Chicago don turns up at Vincenzo's home as part of a mafia meeting, a relieved Jerry manages to get Gino back to Chicago safely. Jerry, who has become sympathetic to Gino, now urges Gino to flee but he refuses to break his word. However, on the day Gino is to confess in court, Jerry discovers that his superiors were merely stalling for time. Gino is to be killed, and Jerry is to be the one who does the killing.


Film connections[edit]

Things Change was Mamet's directorial follow-up to House of Games and also takes place in the world of crime. The two films share many cast members, including Joe Mantegna, Ricky Jay, Mike Nussbaum, William H. Macy, and J. T. Walsh, as well as many production staff members.


Co-stars Mantegna and Ameche received Volpi Cups at the Venice Film Festival for their performances in the film.

Release and reception[edit]

Things Change was released on October 21, 1988 in 99 U.S. theaters, grossing US$3.5 million.[1] The film carries an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 6.9/10.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Box office information for Things Change". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Reviews for Things Change". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 12, 2017.

External links[edit]