Taglines: What goes around, comes around. Even… Twenty Bucks.
An armored truck brings money to load an ATM. A woman withdraws $20 but the bill slips away. A homeless woman, Angeline (Linda Hunt), grabs the bill and reads the serial number, proclaiming that it is her destiny to win the lottery with those numbers. As she holds the bill, a boy grabs the bill from her and uses it at a bakery.
The baker sells an expensive pair of figurines for a wedding cake to Jack Holiday (George Morfogen) and gives him the bill as change. At the rehearsal dinner for the upcoming wedding of Sam Mastrewski (Brendan Fraser) to Anna Holiday (Sam Jenkins), Jack reminisces about exchanging his foreign money for American currency when he first came to America, and he presents Sam with the $20 bill as a wedding present.
Sam is taken aback by the perceived cheapness of his father-in-law-to-be, but is quickly “kidnapped” for his bachelor party, where he uses the bill to pay the stripper (Melora Walters). Anna shows up to explain that the $20 is not the entire present and suggests they frame it to show that they understand its significance. Sam is unable to explain the absence of the bill, when the stripper comes in from the fire escape to offer it back to him. Anna apparently breaks the engagement.
The stripper uses the $20 bill to buy a herbal remedy from Mrs. McCormac (Gladys Knight). Mrs. McCormac mails the bill to her grandson Bobby (Willie Marlett) as a birthday present. Bobby goes to a convenience store where Frank (Steve Buscemi) and Jimmy (Christopher Lloyd) are engaged in a string of robberies. (During their spree, they prevent Angeline from buying a lottery ticket at a liquor store.) Not knowing he’s a robber, the underage Bobby gives Jimmy the $20 bill to buy him wine.
Jimmy goes into the store to find that Frank has botched the robbery. Jimmy and Frank leave, giving Bobby and his girlfriend Peggy champagne. The police chase the robbers, who hide in a used car lot. After the police pass by, Jimmy and Frank split up the money, but when Frank sees the $20 Jimmy got from the kid, he assumes that Jimmy is holding out on him. Jimmy tries to explain but Frank pulls a shotgun on him. Jimmy shoots Frank and takes all the money they’ve stolen, but leaves the $20 bill. The bill, now dripped with Frank’s blood, winds up in the police evidence locker but falls into the wrong box.
Waitress and aspiring writer Emily Adams (Elisabeth Shue) shows up at the police precinct with boyfriend Neil (David Schwimmer) to claim some items the police recovered. The police officer (William H. Macy) unwittingly includes the $20 bill. After flying out of the box from the back seat of Emily’s convertible, the bill floats around town, and is picked up by a homeless man who uses it to buy groceries. (In this scene, Angeline is again unable to buy a lottery ticket.) The bill is given as change to a wealthy woman who uses it to snort cocaine off the back of her stretch limousine, although she leaves it on her car, where it is picked up by the drug dealer (Edward Blatchford).
Twenty Bucks is a 1993 film that follows the travels of a $20 bill from its delivery via armored car in an unnamed American city through various transactions and incidents from person to person. The star of the movie is a $20 bill, series 1988A, serial number L33425849D. Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Gladys Knight, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy, David Schwimmer, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Spalding Gray all appeared in the film.
Twenty Bucks (1993)
Directed by: Keva Rosenfeld
Starring: Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, Diane Baker, Spalding Gray, Rosemary Murphy, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Melora Walters
Screenplay by: Leslie Bohem, Endre Bohem
Production Design by: Joseph T. Garrity
Cinematography by: Emmanuel Lubezki
Film Editing by: Michael Ruscio
Costume Design by: Susie DeSanto
Set Decoration by: Linda Allen
Art Direction by: Rando Schmook
Music by: David Robbins
MPAA Rating: R for language and a scene of sexuality.
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 22, 1993