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Set in the quasi-Biblical splendor of the Mormon Dixie of central Utah, Sure Fire follows the trajectory of an American archetype, the small town entrepreneur seized by visions of fortune. Wes, eager to sell out the local grandeur to the wealthy hordes of Southern California, wheels and deals in real-estate, but more fundamentally he hones in directly to the get-rich-quick schemes for which America is famed. Sweeping up family and friends into his monomania, Wes' zealotry leads inevitably to tragedy.

1988-90 | 16mm blown-up to 35mm | Color | Sound | 86 minutes

Writer, director, editor cinematographer : Jon Jost

Producer: Jon Jost, co-producer Henry S. Rosenthal

Music: Erling Wold, Jon A. English

With: Tom Blair, Rober Ernst, Kristie Hager, Kate Dezina, Kaye Evans, & Dennis Brown

Received the Caligari Prize in Berlin, shared with All the Vermeers in New York.



"It's clearly an American masterpiece... Sure Fire burns slowly, then explodes."

- Georgia Brown, Village Voice

"Spare and disturbing, but with dark comic touches, Sure Fire, like the work of David Lynch, taps into the noxious underbelly of the picturesque American landscape."

- Variety

"Visually inventive and striking, as Jost's films always are, this is as good as his All the Vermeers in New York, and given the landscapes and manias on display here, perhaps even more authentic "

- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

" With David Lynch and Gus Van Sant, Jon Jost is one of the three great U.S. filmmakers currently working..."

- Dennis Grunes's review. Read more