“There’s no such thing as honor among thieves. It’s a myth.” More than 25 years after they collaborated on the classic Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson hit paydirt once again (on a much lower scale, of course!) with this offbeat, film-noirish thriller filmed in South Florida and the Florida Keys (okay so The King of Marvin Gardens was pretty damn good too!). Nicholson stars as sleazy wine merchant “Alex Gates,” who is heavily in debt and treats both his long-suffering, alcoholic wife “Suzanne” (Judy Davis) and stepson “Jason” (Stephen Dorff) with casual indifference. Together with his sexy mistress “Gabriela” (Jennifer Lopez) and pathetic wheezing safecracking partner “Victor Spansky” (Michael Caine), Gates plots to steal a very expensive diamond necklace from one of his wealthy clients. To complicate things even more, Jason and Gabriela become attracted to one another. As you can probably expect, everything turns to shit fairly rapidly as greed and the fear of betrayal rear their ugly head. No masterpiece here but Blood and Wine features some solid performances and a decent plot. Just add a bottle of cheap wine to the mix and you’re all set!
Useless Trivia: Several scenes from the movie were filmed in Key Largo at the legendary Caribbean Club (Mile Marker 104), which first opened in 1938 as a “poor-man’s fishing retreat.” The bar was reportedly used for exterior shots in the classic 1948 film Key Largo, which starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.