Not totally sure about this...but around minute 3 into the film (set in 1960) Joe and buddies are driving over a bridge. We are shown several views of NYC from this bridge...in one shot, I believe we see the Twin Towers in the background. If I'm right, this would not be possible since the Twin Towers were being built/completed in the early 1970s. See more »
"What do these Hollywood types know about gangsters?" (Crazy Joe, when he encounters a film crew on the street)
Ironically, a good point. (Or was the irony intentional? I doubt it...) Hollywood types have generally proved to know very little about the mob (or almost anything else for that matter), or at least often present aspects of that culture in a misleading or somewhat romanticized manner. However, there isn't too much silliness or idolatry going on here, i.e. CJ's mobsters are to the most part portrayed accurately/realistically, in other words as the uncontrollable sociopaths that they are and always will be. Thankfully, this isn't a Sydney Lumet picture in which the viewer is required/asked to sympathize with criminals by taking an irrational, liberal, childishly anti-establishment attitude. (See "Find Me Guilty", a fantasy mobster court-room drama in which a "happy ending" constitutes a dozen mobster defendants being acquitted of crimes they did commit...)
The radiant 70s look, a brisk plot development, and the generally good cast make up for some occasional flaws.
Fonz as a gangster?? He is about a head shorter than all the (fe)male cast members - and that includes Harve Villachaize. Truly threatening-looking. Not to mention his perpetual "mild-mannered accountant's" facial expression, which he cannot get rid off even if a team of top plastic surgeons tried to help him in that fantastic feat. That was a major casting blunder. What's next... Kate Hudson as head of NASA? Casey Affleck as Superman?
Another casting error, though far less dramatic than the Fonz fiasco, was picking Charles Cioffi to play a rising mob star. An actor's Italian name alone does not necessarily a suitable mafiosi make. He too lacks the aura of psychopathy that even the least violent mobster (which isn't saying much) has, lurking below the surface.
Why do mobsters' wives and girfriends, i.e. harlots, nearly always get portrayed favourably in movies? It doesn't take a brilliant deductive mind or world-class detective skills to figure out that such women can't be morally much more impressive than the scum they they date. Admittedly, Paula Prentiss's character is underdeveloped, but whatever little we see of her seems to be far too flattering for that kind of woman.
On one or two occasions the jumps from one scene to the next are too quick, making the flow of the movie somewhat shaky. It's as though the initial running time of CJ had been 30 minutes longer, and a commercially-driven butchering job had been implemented at the last minute in the editor's room.
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?