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State of Grace (1990)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 13,886 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 21 critic

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pat Nicholson, Frankie's Lieutenant
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Borelli
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Stevie McGuire
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Irene
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Jimmy Cavello
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Frankie's Man
Michael Cambridge ...
Frankie's Man (as Brian Burke)
Michael Cumpsty ...
Frankie's Man
Mick Cunningham ...
Frankie's Man (as Michael Cunningham)
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Storyline

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry also rekindles an old flame with Jackie's sister Kathleen. Soon, however, Terry is torn between his loyalty to his friends and his loyalties to others. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A family ripped apart by violence. A love corrupted by betrayal. A friendship stained by blood. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Vorhof der Hölle  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,911,542 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ed O'Neill auditioned for the role ultimately taken by Ed Harris. See more »

Goofs

When Terry and Jackie are shooting at beer bottles on the roof at the start of the film, Terry's bottle is noticeably delayed in shattering after he fires his pistol at it. See more »

Quotes

Jackie Flannery: Yuppies got to be thicker than the rats and the roaches. Assholes can't live without their dogs. Got dog shit all over the sidewalk. And it didn't use to be that way, it used to be, you dropped a cone, you could lift it up and finish it. People are roaming the streets homeless because of these assholes!
Terry: So we're like Robin Hood in this instance.
Jackie Flannery: Yeah. And I'm Friar Fuck.
See more »

Connections

Version of Footpath (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

I Loved You Yesterday
Written and performed by Lyle Lovett
Published by Michael H. Goldsen, Inc. / Lyle Lovett (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Curb Records / MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Oldman's best
16 November 2000 | by (York) – See all my reviews

You don't need to be a film genius to realise the gangster thriller is as old as cinema itself, although by the Seventies, it was looking a little ragged around the edges.

The Godfather revitalised the genre and then things grew quiet again in the land of wise talking hoods and their molls.

Hollywood has always been a place where trends mean a host of movies with the same theme all opening within a few months of each other. After body swap comedies and underwater thrillers in the late Eighties, the turn of the Nineties saw the turn of the post modern gangster drama.

So we had a third helping of The Godfather, Goodfellas, Billy Bathgate, Mobsters, the sublime Miller's Crossing and one of the best of the bunch - State of Grace.

The drama centres on a band of low-level Irish-American hoods who operate in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City. Rising rents are forcing them out of the neighbourhood, so needless to say, yuppies are not their favourite breed.

Sean Penn is Terry Noonan, a New York cop who used to live in the area, and has been on the road for a few years.

Now he's back and glad to see his old mate Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldman). But inflitrating his band of ne'er do wells soon leads to unbearable dramatic tension and a finale which will leave you hooked.

While Sean has always been an okay actor, Gary blows him off the screen as Flannery, the Irish American gangster who keeps severed hands in his fridge so he can use the fingerprints on his firearms.

Yes, really.

Before Oldman started making big budget confections such as Lost in Space, The Fifth Element and Air Force One, he really proved himself in roles such as this.

A self-confessed alcoholic, he never let the booze get in the way of delivering a knockout performance - although by the time he made the dreadful Scarlet Letter, Gary decided to give the sauce a rest and concentrate on his acting.

One of the reasons that Oldman is one of the most sought after actors in the world is his utterly manic style mixed with a conviction that can chill you to the bone.

Although his performance here isn't quite as focused as corrupt DEA officer, Norman Stansfield in Leon, there's still enough menace in Flannery to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.

For example: There's a scene in which Flannery takes Noonan along one night when he burns down a construction office on a site that will soon be a yuppie apartment building. Oldman's character decides to make arson fun by pouring the petrol between himself and the door - and then see if he can run through it without killing himself.

Yes, Noonan really is that unhinged but while some actors would have used such pyrotechnics as a dramatic crutch, Gary makes you believe the scene was shot for real.

The supporting cast is also pretty good. Ed Harris has always been excellent value for money in The Abyss and The Rock. Here he is on fine form as the mob leader, and Jackie's brother, Frankie, who attempts to reign in his errant sibling. While the only woman in the film, Robin Wright, is wasted as the love interest, don't worry girls. This is not just a film for the lads.

Ennio Morricone's haunting score perfectly accentuates Phil Joanou's direction and as the title suggests, there is a state of grace to the drama which makes it one of the most under rated big screen gems of the last decade.

Written by Dennis McIntyre (his only screenplay sadly) and photographed by the legendary Jordan Cronenweth of Blade Runner fame, this dark fairytale of New York will haunt many for weeks to come.


29 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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