Prizzi's Honor (1985)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  14 June 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 17,751 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 39 critic

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eduardo Prizzi
Angelo 'Pop' Partanna
Don Corrado Prizzi
Lee Richardson ...
Michael Lombard ...
Rosario Filargi 'Finlay'
George Santopietro ...
Lt. Hanley
Peaches Altamont (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Ann Selepegno ...
Amalia Prizzi
Phil Vittimizzare
Sully Boyar ...
Casco Vascone


Charley Partanna is a hit-man who works for the Prizzis, one of the richest crime syndicate families in the country. Unbeknownst to Charley,the Prizzis just hired Irene Walker, a free-lance killer, to eliminate someone who double-crossed them. When Irene and Charley fall in love their jobs become complicated. Their jobs become impossible when each is given a contract that neither can go through with. Written by Tiff Banks

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hired killers by day. Devoted lovers by night. Until they found their next assignment was each other.


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El honor de los Prizzi  »

Box Office


$26,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


There are reports that John Huston's continual advice to Jack Nicholson before takes was, "Remember, he's stupid." See more »


When Charley and Irene are in her convertible, the shadow from the camera rig becomes visible on the road. See more »


Maerose Prizzi: So let's do it.
Charley Partanna: With all the lights on?
Maerose Prizzi: Yeah. Right here. On the Oriental. With all the lights on.
See more »


Referenced in Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) See more »


Overture to 'La Gazza ladra'
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

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User Reviews

Family, Honor, Pride and Loyality overtake Love, Lust, Passion and Pleasure!
10 February 2008 | by (Petersburg, Virginia) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt in my opinion one of the best and most underrated films of all time has to be 1985's "Prizzi's Honor". The film to some may seem like a black hearted comedy and somewhat of a "Godfather" ripoff, yet for me I found enough drama, intrigue, and chemistry between the characters to go along with a well written script that made it an instant classic. The performance from Jack Nicholson is great and along with the veteran cast the support is the backbone of the film.

Directed by legendary John Huston in one of his last works, "Prizzi's Honor" is a wickedly sly and well crafted mob tale of romance, family conflict and defending pride and honor that comes with family. Set in Brooklyn, New York the Prizzi family the oldest and richest well known crime family starts off with the wedding of head Don Prizzi(William Hickey's) granddaughters wedding. As the relaxing theme and face shots of the characters gets the viewer attached early to the drama from start to finish. Enter Charley Partanna(played to perfection by Jack) the head hit-man of the Prizzi family who's tough and gritty and direct and to the point with a high temper. Yet upon Charley's meeting of an elegant and attractive sexy blond an out of town lady named Irene(Kathleen Turner)and after Charley visits Irene on the west coast at her California home, it doesn't take long before the two develop a hot and steamy passionate romance affair based on sex which both mistake it for blind love.

As the film develops the viewer quickly sees that the Irene Walker character has a dark and hidden past with a closet full of secrets, yet Charley soon accepts her hand in marriage once some things are ironed out. Now family conflict and displeasure arrives when the Prizzi's tell about the real identity of Irene and her real job and mission shocks Charley. This also hurts an ex flame of Charley's that being Prizzi granddaughter Maerose(Anjelica Huston)and Anjelica was wickedly fantastic in her performance her character is so intelligently cunning with advice.

The drama heightens as with all mob dramas when watching you have to figure out what's next and think about who's gonna double cross who next and the plot has many subplots that you must pay attention to. As one can see that both Irene and the Prizzi's are sly and greedy as they will look out for their own self interest and wealth. The support of the family members of the Prizzi's like Eduardo(Robert Loggia)Angelo Pop Partanna(John Randolph)Dominic(Lee Richardson)and last but not least legendary Don Corrado(William Hickey) finally wear on Charley making him choose between family and love, proving that blood is thicker than water and that honor and being loyal is most important with family.

As in the films ending as the viewer can see the final scene between Charley and Irene proves that love hurts and it cuts like a knife! It may be amoral yet some relationships weren't meant to last. Overall "Prizzi's Honor" is a classy film that's one of my best to watch numerous times the performances and story just works so well with the characters chemistry. As the supporting performances from Loggia, Randolph, and Richardson are good backbone, and William Hickey's performance is old and crafty yet beautifully stunning and at ease. As for the females Anjelica was marvelous and sly and cunning, yet you feel sorry for her depressed Maerose character, and Kathleen Turner is fabulously sexy and super erotic as the sneaky and deceptive and stunning Irene Walker. Last but not least the legend and all time greatest actor Jack Nicholson puts the icing on the cake with one of his better and more underrated performances as tough and gritty mob hit-man Charley Partanna who's walk, talk, and dress along with actions made him seem so real and believable. John Huston really had a winner here proving that the most important thing is family honor them and respect them and that's all that matters. Remember family is the most important thing and it should be special.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Horrendously dull... an appalling film! EddieLarge
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