Mad Dog and Glory (1993) Poster

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A Real Gem
Kiwi-73 August 2001
A terrifically good little film with a slick and funny script, consummate actors allowed to strut their stuff, a tight edit, and a wonderful sort of black humour that had me laughing out loud. Yes, it's fairly predictable, but I didn't mind knowing where it was heading because it was so much fun getting there.

That said, it's not a film for everyone. It's sort of a "Pretty Woman" meets "Fargo". If that combination doesn't appeal, then this film probably won't either. But I thought it was a real gem. Two big thumbs up.
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Way to go, Mad Dog.
solidchuck1913 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is quite simply one of the most unique, uplifting, and relatable films I have ever or will ever see.

It is the story of Wayne, the Mad Dog (Robert DeNiro), who is an unfulfilled and lonely police officer. He is a timid but talented man who spends his free time yearning for love, but simultaneously unsure of who and where he can find it. Abrupt changes occur in his life upon inadvertently saving the life of a ruthless gangster, Milo (Bill Murray). The reward from Milo is Glory (Uma Thurman), to stay with Wayne for one week. Wayne and Glory fall in love and when the time comes to return Glory to the gangster, a classic struggle ensues.

There are so many layers to the movie, and it is showcased by both strong dialogue, including Wayne's partner, (David Caruso), very high quality acting from all characters involved, and a moving story with the theme of love - believable, poignant, and relatable. Relatable in the sense that the main character Wayne shares traits that normal everyday people can actually relate to, which is a testament to the acting by Robert DeNiro, who often plays a dominant and at times unbelievably intelligent "tough guy". Here, Wayne is so mild-mannered that his friends and colleagues at the station refer to him as Mad Dog, which is an ironic name until he really does become his true self... MAD DOG, empowered by Glory.

And then the same can be said of Bill Murray, who is very believable as a ruthless gangster where he is typically known as a goofball and comedian. He proved his dramatic range as a powerful, demoralizing, and overbearing protagonist to DeNiro, which is completely opposite of what one would expect, but it just works so well here that it's indescribable.

Add Uma Thurman (Glory) into the mix, and it's easy to understand that a man can only be pushed so far... There is one thing in this world truly worth fighting for, and as a last resort whenever possible.

I'd recommend this movie to anyone who's ever been lonely or unsure of the future and what they do with their lives. 8.5 out of 10.
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Surprising casting, great acting, ambiguous message (and that's a good thing).
freesharon18 July 2006
If you don't like movies that are adequately summarized in a 20 second spot, if you do like to see actors work against stereotypical expectations and do it well, if you don't believe people or endings are all good or all bad and you're OK with that, this might be a movie you will want to add to your collection. DeNiro is doing the expected only in that he is practicing his patented shape shifting technique -- I found his characterization both believable and involving. Murray gives his first great serious performance -- who knew he could be menacing? Uma is hard to figure, in the way conflicted people often really are. David Caruso gives the most out-there performance I have seen from him, and in this movie it works. (I didn't know him in his first TV cop series, but this character is nothing like the one he plays in CSI Miami.) You might even find yourself rethinking what really happened, and liking that, too.
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De Niro and Murray playing against type
smatysia5 February 2014
I suppose the best thing about this movie is Robert De Niro and Bill Murray both playing against type, and doing so very well. Uma Thurman was good also, looking very pretty even when also looking a bit mousy. I have never been a fan of David Caruso, but once you get past the fact that it is David Caruso, you can't help but enjoy the way he played his part. Long time character actor Mike Starr was sufficiently menacing while also showing a bit of a goofy side. Some people complained about this film being placed in the comedy genre, and that seems legitimate, but it is a film rather hard to characterize. You might call it a character study. It had amusing and wry moments, but it is hardly a comedy. Anyway it is an OK film, worth a look.
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Unusual and Outstanding
Clarke-29 January 1999
A rare film that is as unusual as the acting performances are strong! The movie is funny, exciting, and serious content all wrapped into one. This one is really worth renting or adding to your personal video collection. Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Uma Thurman, and David Caruso provide superb performances. The story is hard to pin down, but it seems to really be about friendship, love, and unspoken desire of all men to become brave heroes. You will need to watch this one a couple of times before you can figure out what happens. Does the main character overcome the villain, or is the villain purposely providing the means to make the main character's dreams come true out of friendship? You will have to be the judge.
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Surprising and beautiful
Promontorium16 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I love the 3 main actors in this movie. Not one of them plays their type-casted styles here.

Bill Murray is a deep yet fierce mafia type. He runs a tight racket and has no fear of the law. This is exceedingly out of character for a man who has an entire career of comedy. Even his stand-up in the film is more of an homage to his dark character than an allusion to his comic ability. He does it so well I believe him. Bill Murray actually scares me in this film.

Robert De Niro plays a unique role as a cop who ISN'T the hardest thing on the street. My brain almost exploded from the first scene on. He is so lonely and so innocent. He's just a guy living in a sheltered life. That is until Murray takes a shine to him. This is probably the only character De Niro has ever played that I could identify with. I don't fear life the same way he does, but the way he notices all the smallest details, to the point of photographing them.

I think this says it all:

Frank (Murray): That's life huh? F***ing Wayne, give him a hand, he takes the whole arm huh? Come on Wayne, bring her down.

Wayne (De Niro): I love her.

Frank: You love her? I OWN HER!

Uma Thurman plays a very lost and paranoid woman. Her first few scenes in this film she won't stop shaking. I can hardly believe it's her except she's so damn hot. Her spirit alone makes her lovable. As if there will be a day when she can put on a nice dress and walk on the beach with you.

I love this movie. It is reserved to the point of realistic. The supporting actors are deep and become story drivers in their own right, especially David Caruso who plays De Niro's cop friend "No guts, no glory right?" and Mike Starr who plays the world's only non-stereotypical goon "I get paid either way."

I think my ultimate appeal is that it gets the anti-hero, anti-journey concept right where so many bad independent films go wrong. It portrays real people with problems who aren't heroes, but will fight as a last resort. It does in a few seconds with a long stare what whole movies do with drawn out musical sequences and angry albeit meaningless conflicts.
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It just gets better and better.
poisonrock293 August 2003
I keep on watching this movie and i like it more every time i view it. I am very surprised with Bill Murray's character, it was something diffrent from his usual parts. This movie is a black comedy and it's very very funny in parts, some great performances here too especially from Bill Murray who i never expected to see working with Robert DeNiro. This ones a keeper.
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One of the great ones
t_brown_1721 October 2000
Time and time again I try to see movie comedy try to transcend its material to create some sort of comic lunacy. They take all their characters and exagerate them to the point of being caricatures instead. MAD DOG & GLORY could very well have done that to Milo, Glory and Wayne. But instead of making a mockery out of their world for simple laughs and guffaws, director McNaughton plays the comedy at human level, in turn making this little gem something different. Every project John McNaughton takes on seems to be effectively low-keyed. He made HENRY one of the most frightening and violent films of the 90's by playing down the glorification of violence. He did it this time with the comedic material in MAD DOG & GLORY, making us laugh with its characters, and not at them. As for the acting? Impeccable.
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Fascinating low-key comedy/drama.
choppy29 November 1998
First time I watched this film I was so perplexed by it that I had to watch it again, and on the second viewing I loved it. What had initially confused me about the film was the packaging that suggested a typical Hollywood romantic comedy. That's not what it is at all. What it IS, is a fascinating character driven drama with some very funny moments. It also features some of the best work of the three leads respective careers.

This is one of De Niro's best performances ever and definitely his most underrated. He has too often slipped into the thug for hire role (The Untouchables, Cape Fear, The Fan) but here he creates an extraordinarily well-rounded character that you can completely understand. He says more about Wayne with his facial expressions, the way he holds himself, and his pattern of speech then any of the dialogue in the movie.

Thurman matches him all the way. She perfectly captures Glory. There's really not much more you can say about her performance than that, it is faultless. She never reveals Glory's true intentions AT ALL during the film, make your own mind up. Does she really want to be with Wayne or is she just using him to get away from Frank Milo. Even right at the end, there's a hint that she is still just 'doing Wayne a favour'.

Bill Murray is the big surprise. He effectively balances the menace and humour of Milo. You feel his frustration in the life he leads , by the way he looks at his henchmen, the way he tries to befriend Wayne. It is a strong yet subtle performance and Murray proves he is far more than just a funny man.

David Caruso and Mike Starr are also excellent in their respective supporting roles.

Scenes to watch out for are a touching "bad sex" scene. How often do we see this, usually sex in the movies is either terrific for those involved or played for laughs but Mad Dog and Glory dares to be realistic. Also watch for Wayne singing along to the dukebox and the scene when Wayne refuses to give back Glory to Milo.

The film is always intellingent and never sinks to gimmicky resolutions. It's slow and low-key which may turn some people off. But if you like character driven movies then you'll love this. This film seems to get better every time I watch it. It's truly one of the hidden gems of 1993.

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One of those lost films that everybody would've hated had it not been for the cast but should still give a go regardless.
johnnyboyz3 May 2007
Most things in Mad Dog and Glory work. The film uses humour, a love story, cross casting and a scrape of suspense well and at various different intervals. What doesn't work are the overall frustrations that bog the film down. The premise is so simple, watching it might make you think you've seen it a hundred times before but that doesn't detract too much. De Niro plays a role that I hadn't seen him play before and must admit, I didn't think he had it in him following other such performances like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Ronin where he played various different roles with various different aims. Here he pulls off the nervous, shy photographer whom just goes about his business and although it takes some getting used to, it's a pleasant surprise.

He can be contrasted with Bill Murray's character of Frank Milo who is a criminal/mob boss that is saved by De Niro's character following a gun point robbery. What's clever about this fact is that Murray is playing the character De Niro normally plays and vice-versa. Throughout the film, the script is consistent. Mad Dog (De Niro) gets to confess some jokes to Milo since he also works as a stand up comic; something we're more familiar to Bill Murray doing, and the awkward exchanges between Mad Dog and Glory (Thurman) also evoke some emotions.

Uma Thurman is just about 'put-upable' in this film. Her character is right on that fine-line you get that separates 'likeable' and 'annoying' in a very distinct way. Once more, the overall treatment of the female characters also stands out in a rather obvious way. At the bars, it's all women who run around serving the men who sit there and enjoy themselves; the character of Glory, as I've said, has a dopey, annoying voice and is someone whom is to phone Milo on instructions. Glory isn't very smart either and when, nearer the end in a heated exchange between Mad Dog and Milo, Milo yells 'You love her? I OWN her!' it's really made to seem like the screenwriter has something against the female side of our species.

Although the film is pretty much consistent throughout in its subject matter with Mad Dog and Glory spending enough time with one another to begin to like each other, Frank Milo remaining a constant, background friend and foe alike; it falters towards the end when certain characters try to raise money and the ending is such a horrible, happy, un-realistic ending – it actually leaves a bad taste in the mouth when the feeling should be very different. Sure, I was happy for the characters involved but it was too generic. Reading up on it, I found that there were two endings meaning that even the makers were undecided.

Regarding Uma Thurman, this is a film of hers I feel I never would have seen had it not been for some dedicated searching and I was certainly very surprised when the sex scenes with De Niro came along since I'd always assumed she'd done Dangerous Liasons in 1988 and then nothing until 1994's Pulp Fiction which then, kick-started what was a series of successful, well known films. The reason for my surprise is that I never hear anyone mention this film as one of either Thurman's or De Niro's best. It's true that it's far from great but the sheer surprise at realising both had done this film in their careers is enough to realise and to respect the acting talent involved. From now on, when people speak of Uma Thurman or Robert De Niro, this is a film of their's I will bring up and probably recommend.
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Michael_Elliott25 June 2008
Mad Dog and Glory (1993)

**** (out of 4)

A lonely and wimpy cop (Robert DeNiro) saves the life of a mobster (Bill Murray) so as a thank you gift the mobster gives the cop a thank you present for a week in the form of Glory (Uma Thurman). The two eventually fall in love but since she's still the gangster girl there's going to be a problem with the cop trying to keep her. I still remember when this film was released as it got all sorts of very good reviews but it didn't really catch an audience, which is a real shame but the bigger shame is that it still hasn't become too well known even after fifteen years. To me this is one of the best comedies of the decade and a film that gets better with each new viewing. What makes this comedy so special is that we get two great actors changing their roles and playing the opposite of what we're use to seeing them do. I also think this is one of DeNiro's greatest performance just because of how fun he is here. We're use to seeing him play dark and tormented characters so it's great fun seeing him at the opposite end of the pole and playing a real wimp who really can't do anything right. Murray is downright wonderful in the role of the mobster who wants to be a comic. Murray's comic timing hits all the right notes and he even manages to come off threatening in the scenes where he has to try and rough up DeNiro. Thurman is easy on the eyes and comes off very well. Supporting players David Caruso, Mike Starr, Kathy Baker and Tom Towles also shine in their moments. Starr isn't very well known but he's always been one of my favorite character actors and his brand of comedy adds a lot of great scenes to the film. All of the comedy leads to a wonderful street fight at the end when DeNiro finally snaps and becomes the "Mad Dog", which is a hilarious sequence and in my opinion one of the best street fights in any movie. After seeing DeNiro's character being bullied the entire film, to finally see him snap was very exciting and funny.
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The gift
jotix10013 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
John McNaughton, the director of "Mad Dog and Glory", has been associated with other, more violent, pictures. In this film he shows a restraint no one would have predicted.

The story centers around Wayne, a shy detective in the Chicago Police, who is instrumental for saving the life of a mafioso, Frank Milo. To show his gratitude, Frank sends one of his body guards to invite Wayne to the stand club he owns. A comic mafioso? Well, Frank's humor is not for everyone, including Wayne, who seems ill at ease. It's obvious Wayne doesn't want to be thanked for his good deed.

To make matters worse, the following day he receives a visit from the young woman who almost burned him at the club with hot coffee. Glory, it turns out, owes Frank Milo big time. She is paying for her brother's debt and Frank makes her go do nice to Wayne. At the start, it's clear Wayne is a man that has been out of practice, not being with a woman in quite some time. Glory, a beautiful woman, makes Wayne get back on track as he begins falling in love.

Frank Milo has other thing in mind. His generosity has limits, and he comes to collect Glory. He realizes how much Wayne has fallen for the young woman so he names a figure for taking possession of Glory, but Wayne doesn't have the money. They end up in a fight, but peace is restored with a forgiving Frank.

Robert DeNiro makes a strange appearance underplaying Wayne's role. He looks different, not as tall as he normally looks. Bill Murray who plays Frank Milo, gives another of his effortless performances. Uma Thurman is Glory, the beautiful woman that catches Wayne's heart. Others in the cast include, among others, David Caruso and Kathy Baker.

"Mad Dog and Glory" is a different kind of gangster movie directed with sure hand by John McNaughton.
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quirky romance
SnoopyStyle24 July 2015
Wayne 'Mad Dog' Dobie (Robert De Niro) is a lonely crime scene investigator with his partner Mike (David Caruso). He likes his neighbor Lee (Kathy Baker) but she is abused by her police boyfriend. One night, he rescues Frank 'The Money Store' Milo (Bill Murray) from being held hostage in a convenience store robbery. Frank turns out to be a mob boss and sends barmaid Glory (Uma Thurman) to be his companion for a week. Frank also sends Harold (Mike Starr) to watch over them.

Bill Murray and Robert De Niro are switching roles in this. It's a bit quirky to have Murray as the mob boss while De Niro is the romantic lead. This is a lot light quirky but no big laughs. Uma Thurman is endearing. The relationship is charming. It has some darker tones but it never gets too dark. It's an odd rom-com but it does work on a certain level.
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Mad Dogs,but no sign of English Men at all!!.
morrison-dylan-fan29 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When renting out DVD's from my local library during the Christmas period, (due to them letting you keep them for 3 weeks,instead of the normal 1 week) I have always intensionally kept away from renting Mad Dog & Glory,due to the movie sounding extremely dry.

Taking a look recently at IMDb's list of movies that came out in 1993,due to deciding that I would take part in a poll being held on IMDb's Classic Film board for the best films of 1993,I was surprised to discover,that along with Groundhog Day being brought out in 1993,that Mad Dog and Glory had also been released in the same year.Pushing my doubts over the title being "dry",I decided to finally have a look at the movie,to discover how mad Mad Dog really is.

The plot:

Investigating a recent gang-land shooting with his close friend,and fellow Police Officer Mike,Officer Wayne "Mad Dog" Dobie decides to take a short break from the crime scene, (so that he can make sense of how he suspects the shooting took place) and go to a near by local shop to pick up a snack.

Entering the shop,Dobie discovers an armed robber,who after shooting the store's owner,is now holding a customer hostage.Nagoiating with the robber,Wayne allows for the thief to run free,as he drags the still alive costumer to safety.Expecting to get thanked for saving his life,Mad dog is instead left in a daze,when the customer kindly tells him that he is a disgrace to the police force.

The next day:

Reluctantly accepting an offer from his fellow officers to go to a Comedy club,Dobie is surprised to discover that the ungrateful customer who he saved,is actually a stand up comedian called Frank Milo,whose jokes cause Wayne's fellow officer's to row in the aisles.Meeting up with Milo after his performance,Frank tells Mad Dog that he is sorry for how nasty he had talked to him,mere minutes after his life had been saved,and that to make it up to Dobie,he is going to become his best friend,and give him a night on the town that he will never forget.

Enjoying every moment of Frank's generosity (which includes being introduced to a dizzy,but very cute girl called Glory")Mad Dog begins to fear that his new "best friend" may be up to something more darker than just delivering his Black Comedy punchlines,when the robber who held Milo hostage at the convenience store is finally located,dead in a dustbin.

View on the film:

Setting the movie literally alight in the first scene,by using the flicking of a cigarette lighter to take the movie from a black and white Film Noir appearance,to being a darkly-neon lit, Neo-Noir world.Director John McNaughton and cinematography Robby Muller prominently use a dusty yellow filter for a number of scenes,which helps to create a deeply murky atmosphere of Milo's back street ally gangster life blending in,and corrupting Dobie's straight-lace police force.Along with the terrific use of the yellow filter,McNaughton also shows a superb eye for complex camera moves,which McNaughton expertly uses to show the change in Glory's and "Mad Dog's" relationship,which goes from nervous and stilted to flamboyant and complex.

Taking on a different role to the one that the studio originally wanted him to take (Milo),Robert De Niro gives a strong,off-beat performance as Wayne "Mad Dog" Dobie,with De Niro always making sure that the situation that Wayne finds himself in is never joked upon,but instead allowing for the Black Comedy element to really enter the movie,by showing that no matter how "Mad" he tries to make himself look,Wayne is not able to get rid of the goofy smile that goes across his face,as he finds himself failing upwards in Dobie's attempt to not back down from the powerful Milo.

Contrasting De Niro's performance perfectly,Bill Murray unveils a wonderful sternness as Frank Milo,which along with giving his very good one-liners extra spikes,also makes Milo a surprisingly ruthless character,with Murray showing Frank to take people either as his "best friends",or as his enemies.Placed right in the middle of Milo and Dobie,the beautiful Uma Thurman (who also appears topless in the film) compliments Murray's seriousness and De Nero's goofiness by showing Glory's nerves to be torn up by the Neo-Noir world that she has been living in with Frank,with Thurman showing that Glory's main dream is to leave the darkness behind,and enter Frank's kooky and goofy world.

Being sadly changed by the studio, that led to the release of the movie being delayed for a year,the dark screenplay by Richard Price mixes a dark and vicious Neo-Noir with sharp and brittle Black Comedy one liners,that are disappointingly not allowed to show there full set of teeth due to the replacement ending being uncomfortably cheerful,and also due to Frank Milo weirdly disappearing for half the movie,which leads to this being a Neo-Noir whose bite is not worse than its bark.
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Love story
kenandraf18 July 2001
Good movie although lacking in directing quality.The movie looked rushed and if more passion was placed into it,the result could have been a classic.Good slice of life's thin line between logic and lunacy.Great performances by the actors.A revelation to Murray's hidden acting potentials as well.Not for people who are not fans of love stories.....
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Rupert Pumpkin gets laid
tieman6414 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"My wife thinks Cooking and F**king are places in China." – Bill Murray

"Mad Dog and Glory" finds actor Robert De Niro plays a lonely police photographer. Introverted and alienated, he spends his days photographing corpses, the poor guy having long abandoned the hope of romantic connection.

One night De Niro saves the life of a mafia boss, played by the wonderfully cast Bill Murray. To show his gratitude, Murray loans De Niro a young woman for one week. A couple dates, a little sex, some female companionship...surely a week with the girl will square off all debts. But no, De Niro falls in love with the girl and insists that Murray allow her to live with him permanently.

Of course, Murray won't allow this. He's a tough gangster! A macho man! He owns this woman! She's a symbol of his masculinity, of his power! How dare De Niro presume himself to be worthy of possessing such a precious object?!

The film then becomes a pretty slick feminist tract, director John McNaughton deliberate in his portrayal of both Murray and De Niro as snivelling wimps. Murray – a comedic actor who is possibly the last person one thinks of when casting an Italian gangster – goes to therapy, is sensitive, talks to his psychologist about his problems and spends more time doing stand up comedy for his mafia buddies, than taking care of mob business. He's an emasculated man, symbolic of a kind of decaying patriarchy that clings desperately to out dated codes of masculinity.

Meanwhile, De Niro – a tough guy actor renowned for his gangster roles - plays a shy photographer who relies on his buddies to fight for him, avoids confrontation, is awkward around women and is happiest when taking photographs. In other words, the gangster is a big softie who uses macho codes in order to hide his sensitivity and feign power, whilst the police photographer is a big softie who relies on the power and macho codes of the gangster to overcome his sensitivity and acquire the token woman.

The film ends with De Niro and Murray (both effeminate losers) literally having an old-fashioned fistfight, the winner of which will take possession of the girl. But when the fight is over, both men learn to back off and let her make her own decisions. Murray gives the girl away, no longer wishing to control her, and De Niro likewise sets her free. Of course she nevertheless chooses to live with De Niro, swayed by the sight of him battling bravely for her love. The film's message: patriarchal codes have consequences, and women like guys who fight for their rights, rather than those who fight to oppress them. They want both the sensitive artist (photographer/stand up comic) and the tough brute, which I guess means that women are downright greedy.

Beyond these musings, director John McNaughton has fun highlighting the conflicts and contradictions of macho posturing, but the whole idea of a lonely guy rescuing and falling in love with a hooker with a "heart of gold" is such a male fantasy that it subverts the whole thing (think Tarantino's "True Romance", or the countless childish stories in which heroes rescue big-breasted damsels in distress). It's like promoting female empowerment so that women can stay home and give you good sex.

7.9/10 – Regardless of how muddled its meterosexual message is, Bill Murray's deadpan performance makes this film special. Dinero would try his hand at comedy throughout his career, but aside from De Palma's "Hi, Mom!" he's always looked uncomfortable. By the late 90's he'd simply equate comedy with pulling silly faces.

Worth one viewing.
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Curious, sweet and enjoyable
Vomitron_G8 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Up to the point when I saw MAD DOG AND GLORY, I had only seen 4 John McNaughton-movies. WILD THINGS and NORMAL LIFE were two very decent crime/drama/thriller-movies which I both liked a lot. The ones which I probably enjoyed the most were the dark & obscure HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER and the fun horrorfest THE BORROWER. The last two, however, suffered a bit from lack of decent pacing, probably caused by a screenplay ignoring the conventional rules of writing. This clearly being symptoms of McNaughton's earlier work, MAD DOG AND GLORY also suffers a bit from it. But I will most certainly not hold it against him because it helps create that off-beat feeling you can find in his earlier work. That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with MAD DOG AND GLORY, except for one little disappointment (I'll come to that later).

The story is interesting and, considering the cast, sounds very promising. Robert De Niro plays Wayne'Mad Dog'Dobie, a rather timid cop/crime-photographer who isn't to keen on pulling his gun. One day, when walking into a nightshop he saves the life of gangster/stand-up comedian Frank Milo (Bill Murray). As a thank-you-gift Frank offers Glory (Uma Thurman) to Wayne. She can be his girlfriend for one week. As one might predict, the two will fall in love before the week is over.

Technically, you could describe this movie as a romantic comedy (with a touch of crime & drama). And though it's not my favorite genre, I can only appreciate a man like McNaughton giving a shot at it. And he pulls it off well, but not without giving it that touch of his. For instance, the opening-scene is very violent for this type of film, the sex-scene rather explicit (Uma Thurman goes surprisingly nude in that scene) and the dialogues are NOT too sugary or buttery. So, extra points for ignoring the romantic comedy-clichés as well as for casting De Niro and Murray against type.

The acting is, as you can expect, very good, but unfortunately real fireworks between the actors never happen (that's the little disappointment I mentioned). Nevertheless, it's always fun seeing De Niro and Murray do their thing and they certainly do have their moments in this movie. Especially Murray (just watch the introduction of his character). The ending is not your clearly defined 'happy-end' and the final confrontation between De Niro and Murray is different then you'd expect and over before you know it. That may not sound so good, but believe me, it works (as a result of the off-beat pacing of the screenplay). David Caruso's performance is also 'très naturel' and he seems comfortable as De Niro's helping friend. Caruso's fight with Mike Starr is one of the highlights of the movie.

So, in the end we have a well-acted enjoyable comedy/drama with touches of the sweet and the violent. Whether you like it or not, you can not ignore the fact that it dares to be different on some levels. For me it's clear: I'm off to see the other John McNaughton-movies I haven't seen yet.
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Not Appealing The Second Time Around
ccthemovieman-126 June 2006
Here again, here's a movie I liked the first time and discarded after the second viewing. It just lost its appeal. Part of that appeal was Uma Thurman, who can be awesome-looking at times (and the opposite at other times!). But, add Robert De Niro and Bill Murray and that's quite a threesome.

This story is a bit quirky thanks in large to Murray who plays a unique character: a very strange kind of mobster. The story was intriguing the first time but its bad points overwhelmed at me on the second viewing, enough that wouldn't watch this again.

What bad points? Well, I didn't like were three things:De Niro with the age-old-only-in Hollywood line "I love you" to Thurman even though he'd only known her for less than two days; a cheap shot against policeman where they show the cop next door as a cowardly wife-beater; and mainly just too much of a nasty meanness to this movie. Afterward, when I saw that Martin Scorcese co-directed and produced this film, that explained my last complaint. Sometimes ("Casino," for example, he overdoes the nasty stuff.)
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De Niro and Murray - could have been magic.
Alice Liddel26 February 2001
The main attraction of this film is the opportunity to watch two outstanding, idiosyncratic actors, originals with a host of inferior imitators, but from totally different traditions, and varying styles and histories, playing off each other. In this respect, its nearest relative is the 1964 comedy 'Bedtime Story', which pitted the anguished master of American Method, Marlon Brando, against suave British comedian, David Niven.

The attraction is less in the exercise of skill than the clash, the promise of sparks, of colliding visions of what it is to be an actor. This requires a thorough awareness of the actor's persona and a steady dismantling of it. 'Glory' would seem to be far removed from De Niro's normal territory - it is set in the criminal milieu, yes, but he is a cop. Not only that, but his habitual volatility is replaced by a shyness and reluctance that is not so far from cowardice.

On the other hand, like Travis Bickle, Mad Dog is an alienated loner in the big city, confronted in the course of his daily work with random horror. And although he seems quite sweet, there is a menace in those familiar mannerisms that bespeak a mortified pride that can only take so much, that will finally erupt in primal, la Motta-like violence. When this point comes, however, it's not quite what we expect. Well, I certainly didn't expect to see Bill Murray kicking De Niro in front of friends and gangsters like he was a pestering, rather than mad, dog. And Mad Dog's violence is only the last straw after his characteristic humiliating obsequiousness doesn't get the required result, and to which he is eager to return rather than face more kicking. It is a violence that has none of the warped grace of Bickle, being more the gallumphing ineptness of an inebriate. That de Niro manages to make this potentially ridiculous character sympathetic is a tribute to his talent. He can't make him very interesting though.

Although de Niro, like Brando, is the 'great' 'actor' in this concept, it is the frustratingly fleeting glimpses of Murray we crave. His stand-up comic/gangster loan shark/ slave trader is an extraordinary creation, a conception of pure evil on the level of Kurtz, flattened out by amiable amorality and style until it becomes nothing, neither friend nor foe, neurotic nor bosom buddy; a terrifying unpredictability normalised by unruffled banality.

it's a shame, therefore, that the film doesn't really work. One problem is the script, which doesn't really do anything, and subverts the old Hawksian narrative of childlike hero/coward and making him a man, without really putting anything in its place. The most serious gap, however, is the 'neutrality' effecting character, plot, direction - where 'Bedtime Story''s scientific equation created chemical sparks, driven by immorality; Murray and de NIro's conflict is neutered by amorality.

The role of Thurman suffers in this, and is almost irrelevant; similarly the frightening violence of the opening ten minutes is cancelled out by the following comedy-gangster tone which never hits the right note, although the scene where Mad Dog finally loses his virginity and plays along to Louis Prima at the scene of a murder is priceless. MacNaughton's usual themes of voyeurism and surveillance - Mad Dog is a police photographer who peeps at the lovers across the yard - are ineffectively developed. The whole thing feels like one of those synthetic neo-noirs made on the 'Fallen Angels' TV programme.
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Matija Trost13 November 2002
...but why?

My first guess would be...Uma Thurman. She's one of the most beautiful and talented actresses, that gives a special touch to a romantic movies.

Second guess? Always good Robert DeNiro, nice romantic story and some laughable moments.

All in all, this is one of the movies, which won't make a big change in the history of cinematography, but because of a special love story and Uma, will always have a special place in my heart. That's why a

7 out of 10
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Good script and performances, unimaginative direction
Jugu Abraham17 September 2004
Imagine three American cops all sleeping, some on the floor of the police station, when they are woken up by a telephone call about a homicide. For a change a Hollywood film appears to be real, unusually real.

A few minutes into the film and you see the cop-cum-photographer letting a murderer slip away just to save another man's life. You sit up. How many cops do that? This script is not the usual stuff.

Some minutes later, you are shown the cop picking up newspapers for his neighbors and placing them outside their doors. What's more, when a lonely female neighbour offers him a possible sexual tryst for free, he refuses. and he doesn't have a wife or a regular girlfriend. This is the same man, who obliged a cop's taunt for a group photograph of the crowd near the homicide spot. But the director never obliges the viewer who is wondering why the cop took that "group" photograph.

The character of Mad Dog is not the only one richly developed by the intelligent script. Those of Glory and Fran Milo also develop as the film progresses--only Thurman's Glory almost overshadows De Niro's Mad Dog. The script, Thurman and De Niro raise the level of the film above the ordinary, while you wonder why the director began with the senseless gory killings, why the director had the "group" photograph taken, and why sequence of De Niro dancing to a juke box was necessary.

The film attempts to flesh out several colorful characters and as character studies the film is definitely good entertainment and value for money--while the overall structure of the film will disappoint you. Now in Europe the film would be accepted but I will be surprised if the average American will love this inward looking film that leaves much to be desired on the technical front.
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Guts & Gory
sol31 March 2006
***SPOILERS*** Off-beat love story about a Chicago Police photographer getting involved with a mobsters woman who's life he just saved. Wayne "Mad Dog" Dobie, Robert De Niro, is on the scene of a double-murder when he decides to go to a nearby bodega to get a bite to eat. It's there that he notices that the counter boy, Derek Annuniation, is really a stick-up man with the bodega owner shot dead and a customer on the floor with a gun to his head.

Wayne the "Mad Dog" talking the hoodlum into just walking away, since there's dozens of cops swarming all around the neighborhood, takes takes his advice and scoots out of the place. Later at the local bar where Wayne is having a few drinks with his fellow police photographer Mike, David Caruso, he's approached by this big soft-spoken hood Harold, Mike Starr. Harold asks Wayne to go to the Comic-Cazie club, free of charge and even have a drink on the house,to see his boss who says he owes Wayne a favor.

Wayne not at first interested to go to the Comic-Cazie nightclub changes his mind and finds to his surprise that the star attraction there is stand-up comedian Frank Milo, Bill Murray, the person who's life he saved at the bodega! Not only that but that Frank is also the owner of the club and a big-time Chicago hoodlum who specializes in lone sharking. Frank is so appreciative of Wayne's cool-handedness that kept him from getting his brains blown out that he sends him this, the best word I can find to describe her, geisha girl who he calls Glory,Uma Thurman,to live at his apartment and fulfill his wildest fantasies for a week as a gift of his gratitude.

Glory just happened to be a bartender at the Comic-Cazie the night Wayne went there to see the show and accidentally burned him by spilling a pitcher of hot coffee on his hand which wasn't exactly the best way the meet his future "salve-girl". As Glory opens up about her involvement with Frank whom she's indebted to in order to save her brother, who owes Frank some $70,000.00, from ending up in the bottom of Lake Michigan Wayne starts to slowly fall in love with her. Wayne gets so hooked on Glory where he refuses to return her back to Frank after her weeks stay with him and even goes so far to try buy her back from him. Wayne also became very disturbed after he got to shack up with Glory when the robber/murderer of the bodega was later found shot and killed and dumped in a garbage can. Which had all the earmarks of a mob hit engineered by non-other then his new friend and benefactor Frank Milo.

Making up his mind not to return Glory back to Frank, and a life of slavery, leads to Wayne being marked for either a beating or even getting whacked by the Milo Mob. This brings the very best out of Wayne turning the meek and introverted "Mad Dog" into a fearless and unflinching tiger. Who not only takes on Frank Milo and his gang but inspires his fellow police friends, who he in the end Wayne really didn't need, to come to his aid.

The movie just grows on you even though you have trouble at first accepting it's premise "The Cop and the Salve Girl". The top-notch acting by all involved, especially Robert De Niro, makes you easily overlook all of the films "Mad Dog and Glory" faults and inconsistencies and just sit back and enjoy it.
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Very Enjoyable FILM!
whpratt15 February 2004
As many times as I see this picture, I am amazed at how fantastic all the actors performed. Robert DeNiro,(Wayne 'Mad Dog' Dobie),"Showtime",'02 was able to perform as a comedian and also a goof ball of a detective. Bill Murray(Frank Milo),"Lost in Translation",'03 took a back seat as a comedian and was great as a ruthless gangster. Uma Thurman(Glory),"Paycheck",'03 was very sexy and hot in her love scenes with Mad Dog, their kisses set the screen on fire! David Caruso,(Mike),"CSI Miami",02 TV Series, was in the prime of his life, with a full set of hair, too bad he did not stay with NYPDBLUE! This is a film you can enjoy seeing over and over again!
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Surprising Turns From De Niro And Murry
Desertman8418 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Mad Dog and Glory is a comedy/drama that features Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Bill Murray.This film directed by John McNaughton is about Wayne Dobie,a meek Chicago Police photographer that saves the life of an organized crime kingpin.He saved the life of an organized crime mob boss in Frank Milo,who shows his gratitude by allowing a beautiful employee named Glory to work with Wayne for one week.An unusual romance develops between them and things become complicated when the Frank demanded her return.

Despite the uneveness of the film in tone and its constant transition from being heavy to being lighthearted ,it was surprising to see De Niro and Murray in surprising turns as a meek fellow and a violent tempered gangster respectively.Their performances was one reason to see this film.Aside from that,it also provides a lot of delight and entertainment to the viewer.
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Odd love story.
halopes24 November 2003
Contrary to what you might expect from a picture from the director of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John MacNaughton), producer Martin Scorsese and Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, Mad Dog and Glory is not a violent movie neither a crime epic; in fact, it's an odd, strange, love story.

The `ruthless' mobster here is comic actor Bill Murray and De Niro plays the sweet, shy, repressed cop, uncomfortably dealing with in nature sensual Uma Thurman. I'm a huge De Niro fan and I also love the sarcastic Bill Murray. Mad Dog and Glory is sustained by this cold connection between the two actors, which appear to be playing reverse roles, but manage to be incredible believable and surprising as individual characters. Uma Thurman is charming as the girl in debt to the small-time crime boss and David Caruso delivers a solid, contained, performance.

There's a pacing problem in the script filled with wonderful dialogue, but if Mad Dog and Glory clearly fails to fit in the crime genre for its obvious reasons, it also does not totally success as a character driven comedy/drama because there's a lack of chemistry between the three main actors. I mean, De Niro plays a shy, introverted police photographer; Murray is sarcastic as always, funny but distant, and Thurman is in the middle of both, kind of lost.

I liked Mad Dog and Glory though it's not a magical movie; it's simply an odd love story, sometimes funny, always cold. It's a movie which has some common ingredients but manages to do something different.
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