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Wise Guys
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Wise Guys (1986) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
Wise Guys -- Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they fail to rob a mafioso, they are set up to kill each other.
Wise Guys -- Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose $250,000, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City and comedy follows.


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Release Date:
18 April 1986 (USA) See more »
What kind of guys gamble with the boss's money, swipe a killer's Cadillac, and party on the mob's credit card?
Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose $250,000, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City and comedy follows. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
within its narrow ambitions, it's does alright, but only for what it is See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Danny DeVito ... Harry Valentini

Joe Piscopo ... Moe Dickstein

Harvey Keitel ... Bobby DiLea
Ray Sharkey ... Marco

Dan Hedaya ... Anthony Castelo
Lou Albano ... Frank 'The Fixer' Acavano (as Captain Lou Albano)

Julie Bovasso ... Lil Dickstein

Patti LuPone ... Wanda Valentini
Antonia Rey ... Aunt Sadie
Mimi Cecchini ... Grandma Valentini
Matthew Kaye ... Harry Jr.
Tony Munafo ... Santo Ravallo
Tony Rizzoli ... Joey 'New Shoes' Siclione

Frank Vincent ... Louie Fontucci
Rick Petrucelli ... Al the Bookie
Anthony Holland ... Karl the Desk Clerk
Marcelino Rivera ... Bellhop
Joseph Cipriano ... Parking Valet
Julius Cristinzio ... Roulette Operator
Dan Resin ... Maitre d'
Alessandro Falcini ... Priest (as Father Alessandro Falcini)

Jill Larson ... Mrs. Fixer

Maria Pitillo ... Massuese
Christine Poor ... Massuese
Stephanie Quinn ... Massuese
Cecilia I. Battaglini ... Luggage Salesperson
Frank D. Formica ... Pit Boss
Deborah Groen ... Roulette Dealer
Bradley Neilson ... Clothing Salesman
Maryellen Nugent ... Jewelry Saleswoman

Frank Ferrara ... Thug
Gaetano Lisi ... Hood
Vince Pacimeo ... Hood
Henry Stewart ... Tailor
Carol Cass ... Birthday Guest
Mary Engel ... Birthday Guest

Bruce Katzman ... Birthday Guest
Dayna Lee ... Birthday Guest
Louisiana ... Birthday Guest
Myles O'Connor ... Birthday Guest (as Myles O'Conner)
Don R. Richardson ... Birthday Guest
Johnny George Sarno ... Birthday Guest
Reuben Schafer ... Birthday Guest

Catherine Scorsese ... Birthday Guest

Charles Scorsese ... Birthday Guest
Gary Cookson ... Race Track Bettor
Kiya Ann Joyce ... Race Track Bettor

Willow Hale ... Race Track Bettor (as Debra MacHale)

Bob O'Connell ... Race Track Bettor
Joe Schmieg ... Race Track Bettor
Richardson Taylor ... Race Track Bettor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kim Delgado ... FBI Agent (uncredited)
Larry Guardino ... Race Track Bettor (uncredited)
Joseph Marzano ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Brian De Palma 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
George Gallo 
Norman Steinberg 

Produced by
Patrick McCormick .... associate producer
Aaron Russo .... producer
Irwin Russo .... executive producer
Original Music by
Ira Newborn 
Cinematography by
Fred Schuler 
Film Editing by
Gerald B. Greenberg 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Production Design by
Edward Pisoni 
Art Direction by
Paul Eads  (as Paul Bryan Eads)
Set Decoration by
Leslie Bloom 
Costume Design by
Richard Bruno 
Makeup Department
Richard Dean .... makeup artist
Kevin Haney .... makeup artist
Lyndell Quiyou .... hair stylist
Production Management
Patrick McCormick .... unit production manager
Roger Paradiso .... unit production manager
Lenny Vullo .... assistant unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ronald M. Bozman .... assistant director: second unit (as Ron Bozman)
Sally Brim .... additional second assistant director
David H Dreyfuss .... second unit director (as David Hans Dreyfuss)
Lewis Gould .... second assistant director
Joe Napolitano .... first assistant director
Art Department
Michael Bird .... property master
Frank Didio .... head carpenter
Arne Olsen .... construction crew
Ron Petagna .... construction crew
James Sorice .... construction crew
Dave Weinman .... leadman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Michael Kirchberger .... sound editor
Les Lazarowitz .... sound mixer
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer: Sound One Corporation
Barbara Minor .... assistant sound editor
Dan Sable .... sound editor: Hastings Sound Editorial
Lynn Sable .... assistant sound editor
Special Effects by
Connie Brink .... special effects
Harold McConnell Jr. .... special effects
Bill Traynor .... special effects
Gilbert B. Combs .... stunt coordinator (as Gil Combs)
Steve Dash .... stunts
Frank Ferrara .... stunt coordinator
Anne Senelly Kyle .... stunt player (as Anne Senelly)
Camera and Electrical Department
Norman Buck .... key grip
Jack Coffen .... electrician
Chaim Kantor .... second assistant camera
Bruce MacCallum .... first assistant camera
Michael Stone .... camera operator
William Ward .... chief lighting technician (as Bill Ward)
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
William Loger .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Bill Pankow .... associate editor
Tara Timpone .... assistant editor
Location Management
Steve Schottenfeld .... location manager (as Steven Schottenfeld)
Susan Zwerman .... location manager
Music Department
Jeff Carson .... music editor
Alf Clausen .... orchestrator
Gary Ladinsky .... music scoring mixer
David Newman .... orchestrator
Other crew
Bill Carraro .... assistant: Mr. Russo (as William C. Carraro)
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
Tani Cohen .... assistant: Mr. DePalma
Rick Dallago .... first location manager
Karen Day .... location accountant
Eileen Eichenstein .... production office coordinator
Raphaella Giugliano .... post-production accountant
Monica Goldstein .... assistant: Mr. De Palma
Larry Kaplan .... unit publicist
Don Orlando .... location auditor (as Donald Orlando)
Dan Perri .... title designer: main title sequence
Richard Spector .... production assistant
Camilla Turnbull .... assistant: Mr. DePalma
Joseph Marzano .... stand-in (uncredited)
Paul Rahmes .... personal assistant to director (uncredited)
Anthony M. Alonso .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of: paintings and prints courtesy of

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min | 91 min (DVD)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1987) | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

The customized New Jersey Garden State license plate on the pink cadillac car in the film read "FIXER".See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Moe accidentally hangs himself from the light fitting, the metal loop on the back of his concealed safety harness is clearly visible for a split second when the camera looks down at him from above.See more »
Frank "The Fixer" Acavano:You're exactly what I'm looking for, Dickface!
Moe Dickstein:Please Frank, it's Dickstein.
Frank "The Fixer" Acavano:I'll pick you up this afternoon, Dickhead!
See more »
Pink CadillacSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
within its narrow ambitions, it's does alright, but only for what it is, 13 April 2010
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Let's just say it up front: Brian De Palma doesn't direct comedies, at least not as a major part of his career. When he's done so it's usually in the realm of black comedies or satires, like his early films (Greetings/Hi Mom) or the rightfully maligned Bonfire of the Vanities. His sense of comedy is BIG (note the caps) and broad, but his farce is nowhere near the kind of genius of Mel Brooks. His slapstick is so large and spread out in scenes that it makes Looney Tunes look subtle (having Captain Lou Albino as one of the main bad-guys, the "Fixer" as he's called, is part of it). And the story is fairly idiotic too.

Yet I found myself enjoying Wise Guys, but for the little it aimed for. This isn't a grand vision like De Palma would immediately after go for in The Untouchables and Casualties of War. It was a trifle, a way to test himself in a low budget with actors he hadn't worked with before- chiefly stars Danny De Vito and (yes, star) Joe Piscapo. They play grunts whose job is to serve at the behest of mob boss Castelo (Dan Hedaya, hamming it up like it's nobody's business). When the two dopes lay a bet on a horse that isn't the one Castelo bet on and loses, they're each given a charge: each must kill the other to prove loyalty.

This, of course, is another set-up for a series of missteps in the two knuckleheads running away from the Castelo bosses, all the way down in Atlantic City as Harry tries to find his Uncle Mike, very much dead. The subtitle for the film could be called 'Wackiness Ensues', and De Palma doesn't let anything go past as being unnoticeable. Particularly is one scene, perhaps De Palma's most daring (or just recognizably 'De Palma) cinematographic-ally when Harry has to go turn on 'the car' that might explode any moment (the shot speeds up and does a 360 as everyone runs away from the scene, a hoot-take on his usual style). And in the script, some lines of dialog and set-ups are so blunt you can feel the force at the back of your head.

But somehow, against all of the odds of the 'ho-hum' quality of the set-up, it's fun because of the acting. Joe Piscapo is mentioned today, just his name, as a punch-line, but there was a time when he was at least halfway amusing (mostly in skits with Eddie Murphy on SNL), and here he's let loose with the a character like Moe who, I guess compared to Harry, is the straight guy depending on the scene. Harry, meanwhile, gives Danny De Vito a real chance to chomp at the bit: he's so over the top, but he's also a believable luck-believer (he goes for it the way Bible-thumpers go for God), and in those moments when Piscapo falls totally flat, somehow De Vito comes back in to make things fun in the delirious way. Others like Lou Albino and, on a more subtle-menacing scale, Harvey Keitel, do a competent job in their roles.

So, going in and expecting a really great comedy or just an interesting piece of art will mean some disappointment. As a juicy diversion that ask for nothing except a few chuckles by way of the New Jersey Turnpike, it does its job reasonably well; De Palma fans who find themselves going through his thrillers and blockbusters first will come across this, possibly, last in his catalog. But it's far from his worst.

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