Mild mannered Jack Dawn has been secretly working as an accountant for the mob. He, his Puerto Rican wife Jeri, his teen-aged daughter Joan and his mother-in-law, all who were planning on ... See full summary »
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Mild mannered Jack Dawn has been secretly working as an accountant for the mob. He, his Puerto Rican wife Jeri, his teen-aged daughter Joan and his mother-in-law, all who were planning on going on the run, are murdered by the mob because Jack was going to inform on them to the FBI. Before they're killed, Jack and Jeri are able to send their six-year old son Phil to Jeri's friend and their neighbor, Gloria Swenson, for safe keeping. Also with Phil is the book which contains all the information Jack was going to turn over. Gloria and Phil have an antagonistic relationship, not so much for who they are but what they are, Phil a kid, and Gloria a strange white woman who hates kids. As an ex-mistress of a mobster, Gloria learns that the people that killed the Dawns are old friends of hers. As Gloria and Phil go on the run both from the mob and from the authorities (who believe she kidnapped Phil) throughout New York City, Gloria has to come up with a plan on how best to save themselves, ... Written by
According to the book Cassavetes on Cassavetes, John Cassavetes originally only wanted to sell the screenplay to Columbia pictures, which he finished early in 1979. However, once Barbra Streisand turned down the offer to play the lead role and it was offered to Gena Rowlands, Columbia offered him the chance to direct. See more »
You're my mother. You're my father. You're my mother. You're my whole family. You're even my friend, Gloria. You're my girlfriend too.
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I caught this on TV once and was blown away by its energy and spontaneity. Gena Rowlands is as good in it as everyone says, with some real surprises. The point about the kid coming out with "grown up" mock-heroic phrases at some points is that he's picked all that stuff up from the movies and listening to his parents' gangster friends. It's supposed to be funny - he keeps shouting "I'm the Man" when he patently isn't.
The movie takes action/gangster movie genre conventions by the scruff of the neck and shakes them till interesting stuff falls out. The editing and cinematography are great. New York looks gritty but beautiful.
True the film is kind of rough round the edges, I guess down to Cassavetes' improvisatory style, however it's a lot more accessible than most of his work and you should see it if you get the chance.
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