Tom Reagan (played by Gabriel Byrne) is the right-hand man, and chief adviser, to a mob boss, Leo (Albert Finney). Trouble is brewing between Leo and another mob boss, Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito), over the activities of a bookie, Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) and Leo and Tom are at odds on how to deal with it. Meanwhile, Tom is in a secret relationship with Leo's girlfriend, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), who happens to be the sister of Bernie. In trying to resolve the issue, Tom is cast out from Leo's camp and ultimately finds himself stuck in the middle between several deadly, unforgiving parties. Written by
In the script, the film takes place in 1929. See more »
Verna dials 911 when Tom Regan comes to her apartment, on the night of the hit on Leo's house. In those days, you had to dial 0 and ask for the police if you wanted them quickly, but then again, there were operators by the hundreds available at the spin of a rotary dial. See more »
There are many new movies that have been released on DVD this year. Forget them, and pick up a copy of this movie. It has only recently become available on DVD. The unavailability of this movie on DVD for so many years has been a sin. I own this movie on laser disc and it is one of the reasons that I still have a laser disc player.
I cannot do a better job than the other reviewers have in pointing out what make this film so outstanding. Just let me repeat the usual: The casting is flawless; the dialogue is on the mark, with dozens of juicy bon mots; the humor is sublime; the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous; and the plot, while complex, is still comprehensible enough not to detract from the action.
This movie is as close to flawless as a movie can be.
And one more thing, this movie has nothing in common with either "Yojimbo" (which was itself a rip-off of Dashiel Hammett's "Red Harvest") or "Fistful of Dollars". Well, OK, I'll grant that they both take place in towns dominated by two strong gangs of criminals (as if that's never been the case in any other movie,) but the other plot elements and the dialogue are completely original.
**** out of ****
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