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Protection (2001)

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A mobster moves to a new town as a protected witness and tries to start over, only to find he can't escape his old ways.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sal
...
Ted
...
Lujak
...
Gina
...
Laura
...
Shimanski
Gary Fine ...
Mario
Brennan Delaney ...
Josh
Carlo Berardinucci ...
Joey
Amy Sobol ...
Jenny
...
Peter
Edward Yankie ...
Buzz (as Edward Yankee)
...
Vanessa
David L. McCallum ...
Bud Barstow
Ian Finlay ...
Maynard
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Storyline

A mobster moves to a new town as a protected witness and tries to start over, only to find he can't escape his old ways.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mobster | independent film | See All (2) »

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The greatest threat to his future was his past.

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Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 October 2001 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

A védelem bére  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film directed by John Flynn. See more »

Quotes

Sal: Open Your Eyes. I want you to look at me before I kill you.
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User Reviews

 
Men of Means would have been a more appropriate movie title
28 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

This movie's title Protection, was a poor title choice for the producers to decide upon. Although the movie plot surrounds an ambitious mobster named Sal, played to perfection by Stephen Baldwin, Sal is a ruthless killer that eventually turns states evidence against the mob to avoid doing any serious time in a state prison. After ratting out on the mob Sal is forced to move out of state, assume a new alias, and give up his choice of trade, which has been the only way of life that he knows and thrives upon. Like most people, we choose a path in life at an early age and very few of us can change who we are. Sal is no different, he loves to not only feel the thrill of getting in to some heavy action, no, Sal is THAT guy who thrives on controlling the action.

Sal is a no holds barred, kill or be killed, don't get in my face type of gangster. He has always been a womanizer but he has also been a good provider, a husband, and a father. There is one particular scene in the movie where Stephen Baldwin's bravado, his classic droopy eyes, his calm and smooth voice show us who Sal really is. The scene happens mid-way through the film when Sal comes home and catches his 12 year old son Mario, playing "gangster" with his next door neighbor's son and they are shown taking turns holding Sal's gun and playfully shooting each other as if they were real gangsters. Unfortunately Sal walks in on their little gun toting game and he tells the neighbour's kid very coolly to "go home", and the next door neighbor's kid darts out of Sal's bedroom. Fortunately the audience does not have to witness one of the kids accidentally shooting the other kid. Sal's son Mario knows he is in for one serious beating, but cool Sal takes the gun away from Mario and just softly places his open hand on his son's face and tells Mario. "You know I keep that gun to protect us don't you?" Mario responds fearfully, "yes". Then Sal asks Mario "and you will never touch the gun again, will you?" Again Mario responds "yes", and then very calmly Sal allows his son to leave the bedroom untouched. The scene is a turning point for Sal, as he realizes that Mario will grow up just like him, if he doesn't change his ways, and if he truly loves his son and wants him to survive past his 21st birthday he will need to provide a new influence for his son to follow.

The other main character in the film is Sal's new neighbor, his real estate agent named Ted, played by Peter Gallagher, who helps Sal and his wife Gina find their new dream home by the water. Ted is also a good family man, a hard working real estate agent who has big dreams of building a new family neighborhood with parks and pools and a new shopping plaza located on the building site. But poor Ted does not have the financial backing to make his dream come true. That is, until Sal hooks up with the local sleazy crime boss a tough guy named Lujak, played by Aron Tager, who agrees to front the seed money to start digging the massive development. And just like that Sal is back in the game. He loves the action, he starts cheating on his wife once again, and he has a banker financing the rest of the project based on an agreed upon time line to finish the development.

Well the local crime boss Lujac gets greedy and he wants to ensure his hand is greased with the local unions, heavy equipment and the excavation company. Ted, (Peter Gallagher) is outraged that his initial investor Lujac, the crime boss, thinks he can just muscle his way in and suck them dry. Ted informs the crime boss he would rather cease building his dream development, and go bankrupt before turning over the reigns to the greedy Lujac. Ted tells Lujac he would go to the District Attorney with a claim of extortion if Lujac doesn't back off.

Sal is impressed with Ted's continued pee and vinegar and he soon realizes that there are good men like Ted in his life that can be trusted and who carry good values that evolve around family, friends and community. Sal advises his new friend Ted, to let him handle the business of dealing with scum like Lujac. This is where the very well respected director John Flynn shows why he was selected to direct this film. The story is really about the two main characters, Sal the mobster with a dream of running a criminal empire, and Ted the real estate agent with a dream of building a beautiful family community in his own neighborhood.

Director John Flynn shows us how two men from very different backgrounds can influence one another and soon meld in to the best of each man. I think a more appropriate name for the film would have been something like "MEN OF MEANS", and I truly believe that film viewers in general pay too much attention to a film's title than to a films content. This was director John Flynn's last film before he sadly passed away. I believe the alternate title Men of Means would have proved to be a more meaningful title for the movies exposure but also a nice epitaph for the classy director John Flynn, better known for his other crime themed films such as The Outfit, Lockout, Bestsellers, or Out for Justice. If you don't know who director John Flynn is, then pick up a few of the aforementioned films and you won't be disappointed. I give Protection a solid 7 out of 10 rating. We miss you dearly John Flynn.


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