Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

City of Industry


Here is a nice heist film. Harvey Keitel and Timothy Hutton and some others plan and pull off a theft of about $3,000,000 in diamonds. Then, as so often happens, there are problems afterward. About halfway through there is a huge surprise, something I never expected to happen. After that it gets pretty brutal. I thought it was damn good. The only thing that really bothered me is something that really has nothing to do with the story. The City of Industry appears nowhere in the film. Believe me, I’ve been in the City of Industry, and nothing in this film looks like it. It is perfectly named, because though there are 80,000 jobs there, it has only 219 residents. It’s a small detail, I guess, but it bugged me.

Can’t let it go without a personal note. At the end a woman has a lot of money and has to get out of L.A. So she decides to go to the tropical paradise of … Port Arthur, Texas. Now, my friends, I grew up within five miles of Port Arthur, I spent a lot of my youth there, and what we see in this film—a perfect beach at the bottom of a towering bluff—is pure California. There’s no hill as tall as that within an hour’s drive of Port Arthur, nor any of the Texas Gulf Coast, for that matter. Obviously the screenwriter had never been there, because Port Arthur was a pit when I lived there, and the only time I’ve been back it had gotten much, much worse. You could fire a cannon down the main street at any time of day or night and have little chance of hitting anything. Just sayin’, why not find a flat stretch of beach around L.A. and film it there?