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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

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Blood and Money (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Two kindred souls find each other at an AA meeting in an American Legion Hall in the remote Allagash of Northern Maine. George Thibault (Jimmy LeBlanc) did two tours as infantry in the “sand army” leaving him torn up inside from the things he'd done and seen. Alcohol is his only solace. He takes it out on his wife Debbie and wishes he could leave to spare her. Jimmy Reed (Tom Berenger) saw and did things he too wishes he hadn't in the Marines in Nam. His drunk driving was responsible for his daughter's death and now he's a lonely old man. Debbie Thibault who's a waitress serving him at Jack's Diner reminds him of his daughter Katy. These two men trek off into the woods to bag their buck, one with a death wish and the other racked with guilt.

Five armed robbers hit the nearby Franklin Casino and make off with $1.2 million in cash, which they attempt to cache in the woods. Jimmy recovers it. He had earlier bagged a doe and given it to a friend's kid who had a doe tag—Jimmy didn't—so we take him for a practical man of an independent mind. There's a whole series of news stories on his RV radio about govern­ment waste and corruption. It's doubtful Jimmy is all that concerned about letting the insurance company recover the money, not when he's sympathetic to Debbie's sick daughter requiring hospital­ization. Further­more, the crooks want it back and have raided Jimmy's RV and gotten contact info for his son whom they threaten to kill if Jimmy doesn't cooperate. It's doubtful he will flee the woods with­out taking care of business so as not to endanger his son. Some­body is going to pay.


royal flushOne of Kenny Rogers's songs concerned a chance encounter with “The Gambler” on a train bound for nowhere, who offered the passenger the sage advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

waste basketWe have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie the friend's kid kept the doe that he had a tag for but hadn't shot (“We could use the meat.”) In that culture of independence it would have been no big deal. The question is, does Debbie keep the dough given her or does she throw it out? The big insurance company wouldn't have got it anyway.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. The only way for the unarmed, aging ex-Marine to get close enough to the gang leader to neutralize him is to give him­self up counting on him letting down his guard once he sees how “pathetic” he is (“You're a joke.”)

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” When the night guard (Bates Wilder) at the Golden Road check­point was asking Jimmy too many questions about being out late at night, he'd best be moseying along.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When the crooks spot the two hunters in the woods, one of them carrying their sack of cash, Jimmy tells George to, “Run!” for his life.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Don't take your eyes off the screen until the very end.

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by Kyle Moore. It was written by John Barr, Alan Petherick, and Mike McGrale. It stars Tom Berenger, Kristen Hager, Jimmy LeBlanc, and Paul Ben-Victor. The three leads Berenger, Hager, and LeBlanc did just fine. Some of the secondary parts seemed unable to rise to the quality script. Well cast was a black man doing scut work and gratuitous messenger service. This particular movie avoided what might be called the officious Negro, the independent community having not got the memo from the inept government.

The movie is unrated having gone directly to disc. Aside from an old man removing his shirt there's no nudity, and there's no sex. There is some violence, though, and drinking and smoking. A news report announces that a shoot­out left three dead security guards and twelve injured civilians. The clever plot has the gang leader mistaking an oppor­tun­istic deer hunter for an aging civilian when in fact he was a Marine who'd been around the block a time or two. The photog­raphy and cinema­tog­raphy are of the order of pointing the camera in any direction and it's bound to look good. The editing is abrupt when going from one scene to the next, but since there wasn't any action in either scene it wasn't jarring. A stunt double was inserted seam­lessly as needed. The movie seemed to develop sympathy for a far northern culture and for disturbed vets more than for any individual in particular.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

When a massive manhunt fails to locate five extremely dangerous armed robbers, the plot turns to sending in the Marines. Or to be more precise, the Marine. True, his health is deteriorating, but there's only five of them. I just love this stuff. Semper fi. This class B film has its limitations, but it's worth the viewing.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action scenes. Suitability for children: Not rated, but not for young viewers. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. WEB.