Making the Grades
When convicted bank robber Henry (Paul Newman), suffers a severe stroke while in prison, he is transferred to a long term care facility. Although his past is a novelty to Carol (Linda Fiorentino) his nurse, there is nothing new about patients in wheelchairs who are only capable of staring into space. So Carol carries on as usual -- especially with her husband who convinces her to have sex in Henry's room, while he sits facing in the opposite direction. But Carol begins to suspect Henry is more animal than vegetable when she notices a mirror has moved that would allow Henry to view the action behind him.
Attempting to arouse him as much as her suspicions, she sensually sits on his lap. When this fails to solicit a reaction, she takes him on an outing and pushes him (wheelchair and all) off a pier. This incredulous action forces Henry to admit his "stroke" was a ploy to escape prison. Now that the gig is up, neither Carol or Henry are quite sure what to do with each other. Meanwhile Carol's husband Wayne (Dermont Mulroney) is alarmed by the strange attraction he perceives between them. And he is completely unprepared for Carol's suggestion that they should stage a heist with the seasoned thief.
In a role reminiscent of the many criminal heros made famous by Paul Newman, the audience is conned into rooting for the gunslingers while despising police or anyone else who might get in the way of injustice.
Beside teaching "crime pays", the movie also provides valuable tips on how to hijack an armored truck, and demonstrates how to have sex while driving a speeding convertible. Most of these actions are pulled off without a hitch (the car does go off the road, but everyone laughs about it afterwards).
While some viewers may find comedy in this perfect reversal of morals, all I could think about was the night a desperado looking for thrills held a gun to my father's head during a robbery at a local supermarket. That certainly shot down my romantic notions of a life of crime.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Where The Money Is.
What techniques do movies like this one use to fool us into cheering for criminals?