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The Music of Chance is a 1993 American drama film directed by Philip Haas.[1] It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.[2] It is based on the book of the same name.

The Music of Chance
Poster of The Music of Chance (film).jpg
Film poster
Directed byPhilip Haas
Produced byPaul Colichman
Topher Dunne
Written byPaul Auster
Belinda Haas
Philip Haas
Music byPhillip Johnston
CinematographyBernard Zitzermann
Edited byBelinda Haas
Trans Atlantic Entertainment
Distributed byIRS Media
Release date
  • March 20, 1993 (1993-03-20)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States



Jim Nashe worked as a fireman, but a large inheritance and a divorce from his wife has left him free to buy a new car and see the country at his leisure.

He picks up a hitchhiker, Jack Pozzi, who turns out to be a professional gambler. Pozzi tells how he just lost his net worth when the poker game he was playing at was robbed and he was beaten after the others suspected him of orchestrating the robbery. Now he cannot afford the minimum $10,000 buy-in to play a poker game with a pair of eccentric old millionaires whom he had previously beaten handily. With money and time to spare, the intrigued Nashe offers to back Pozzi with $10,000 for a rematch.

The wealthy men, Flower and Stone, live together on a huge estate. They willingly agree to another game, but are not the suckers Pozzi takes them for. They win again. Nashe puts up his car as collateral against the cash if Flower and Stone will cut cards, winner take all. Nashe loses.

No clear alternative exists except to work off the debt. The quirky Flower and Stone have a pile of 10,000 heavy stones, said to be from a 15th-century castle originally. They would like to build a wall on their property, so they tell Nashe and Pozzi that if they devote the next 50 days to erecting the wall, their debt will be paid in full.

A foreman named Calvin Murks keeps an eye on the two men. Nashe methodically goes about his task, carrying the stone, but Pozzi becomes increasingly unhinged, feeling like a slave. Pozzi takes offense at a snide remark by Murks and assaults him, whereupon Murks begins coming to work armed with a gun.

Pozzi attempts to escape. His badly beaten body is found. Nashe can't be sure who did this, although Murks seems a likely suspect. Pozzi eventually disappears and Nashe fears that he's dead. He privately decides to get even, the best way he knows how.



  1. ^ Maslin, Janet (March 19, 1993). "The Music of Chance (1993) Review/Film Festival; In a Weird City, Games Turn Serious". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Music of Chance". Retrieved March 29, 2016.

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