The Departed (2006) Poster



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The scene where Frank Costello throws cocaine on hookers was one of many bizarre ideas contributed by Jack Nicholson, who also suggested wearing a strap-on for the scene with Matt Damon in the porn theater.
Mark Wahlberg based his performance on the police officers who'd arrested him about two dozen times in his youth, and the reactions of his parents who had to come bail him out with their grocery money.
A possible reason why Leonardo DiCaprio did not receive an Oscar nomination for his performance in this movie was because the Warner Bros. Studios initially did not want to favor DiCaprio over his co-stars and place him in the leading actor category. The studio favored DiCaprio's leading performance in Blood Diamond (2006) (which eventually got him a nomination). DiCaprio himself refused to campaign against his male co-stars in the supporting actor category, so Warner bought no supporting actor ads for DiCaprio, and he did not receive a nomination.
Originally, Jack Nicholson turned down his role in the movie, but after a meeting with Martin Scorsese, William Monahan and Leonardo DiCaprio, he was finally convinced to play the role of Frank Costello. The main reason he joined the production was because he had previously done a few comedies, and wanted to play a villain again, and he considered the character of Costello to be the ultimate incarnation of evil.
When receiving the top award from the Director's Guild of America for this film, Martin Scorsese said that this "is the first movie I have ever done with a plot."
Leonardo DiCaprio was cast in the title role in The Good Shepherd (2006), but he dropped out to play Billy Costigan in this movie. Matt Damon then took the role. Robert De Niro turned down the role of Queenan to appear in The Good Shepherd.
This marks the third time that Martin Scorsese has used The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" in one of his films. It also appears in Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995).
Originally Brad Pitt was cast as Colin Sullivan, but later dropped out to work with Alejandro G. Iñárritu in Babel (2006). He continued to produce the film under his (and his then wife Jennifer Aniston's) production company, Plan B.
The only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Martin Scorsese did not realize this was a remake of a Hong Kong movie until after he had agreed to direct it.
When the main characters are shown in a police academy ballistics lecture at the beginning, the large flip chart illustrations seen in the background are Warren Commission exhibits of President John F. Kennedy's head wounds, prepared by medical illustrator H.A. Rydberg under the direction of Dr. James Humes, the chief examiner of Kennedy's autopsy.
Because Martin Scorsese was so pleased with technical advisor Thomas B. Duffy, he let him appear on-screen as the Governor of Massachusetts swearing in the new Police Academy graduates.
According to Ray Winstone, he and Jack Nicholson did not get along with each other while filming.
The third most commercially successful film of Martin Scorsese's career.
Martin Scorsese put the finishing touches on this film a week before its theatrical release.
Martin Scorsese wanted to shoot the film in Boston, where the story is set. But due to concerns on setting up production and politics, the producers chose New York City to double for Boston because of the state's 15% tax credit. The bulk of the movie was shot in New York City while a six-week shooting schedule was split in two for Boston, shooting the first half in June and the second half in August. After the success of this film, Massachusetts created a 25% tax credit for filmmaking.
Jack Nicholson refused to wear a Boston Red Sox hat during filming and instead wore his New York Yankees hat.
Originally, this remake was planned with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the leads.
Ray Liotta was the original choice for the role of Dignam but had to reluctantly decline due to other commitments.
The first teaming of Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese.
As research for his character's occupation, Matt Damon worked with a Massachusetts State Police unit out of Boston. He accompanied them on routine patrols, participated in a drug raid and was taught proper police procedures like how to pat down a suspect.
The real mob boss Frank Costello was a contemporary of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, in New York City.
When Sullivan asks trooper Barrigan, "Do you have any suits at home or do you like going to work looking like you're going to invade Poland," it is actually a remark about the Massachusetts state trooper uniform. The nazis modeled their own uniform after that of the troopers.
Martin Scorsese deliberately chose not to watch Infernal Affairs (2002) until after he'd completed The Departed (2006).
After completing The Aviator (2004), Martin Scorsese kept Alec Baldwin in mind for future collaboration and ultimately decided to cast him in the role of Ellerby, which was offered to Mel Gibson first, but Gibson was unable to accept the part because he was starting production on Apocalypto (2006) at the time.
According to Martin Scorsese, the film was envisioned as a low-budget production, but the budget increased as more stars became attached.
Director Trademark (reference): When Sullivan turns on the shower before Madolyn starts to listen to Costigan's tape, the shots are the same exact three shots in Psycho (1960)'s infamous shower scene.
Warner Bros. bought the remake rights to the film for US$1.75 million in 2003.
Colin Sullivan's (Matt Damon) apartment does not exist. The view of the Massachusetts State House was an effect shot from the roof of Suffolk University, which is the law school where Sullivan says he is taking night classes. Michael Ballhaus, the film's cinematographer, evaluated the shot during preproduction.
Screenwriter William Monahan envisioned a sequel to the film, citing that it would've focused on overlooked aspects of the first film, such as political corruption. Monahan had watched the sequels to the original film on which "The Departed" was based, but felt that a potential sequel would've gone in a different direction set by this film. Mark Wahlberg also indicated that Dignam would've been the main character in this film. To date, plans for the sequel haven't materialized.
The film's technical advisor, Thomas B. Duffy, was a retired Massachusetts State Police major who worked out of Boston for nearly thirty years and specialized in organized crime. He was particularly involved in the case against notorious South Boston mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger, whom Frank Costello is partly based on. Duffy appears as the Governor who delivers a speech to the graduating police cadets. There was an unconfirmed sighting of Bulger, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, at a theater showing the film by a deputy sheriff in San Diego, California. Bulger would be captured in Santa Monica, California on June 22, 2011; he'd been living in an apartment complex just a few blocks away from the production offices of 'GK Films [us]', who produced Edge of Darkness (2010) which Duffy also appeared in.
Martin Scorsese had originally wanted to cast a known actress, either Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, Hilary Swank or Jennifer Aniston, for the part of Madolyn. He later decided to go with someone new instead (Vera Farmiga).
This was one of Martin Scorsese's "present day" films as most of his films take place in the past.
In the dinner scene with Madolyn, Colin states that "what Freud said about the Irish is we're the only people impervious to psychoanalysis." Despite what you may find on a Google search or the Boston Globe, Sigmund Freud didn't actually ever say that. In a clever act of investigative journalism, a man named Dr. Charles wrote to the director of research at the Freud Museum in London, and asked him about the legitimacy of the quote's attribution. His response (which is also stated on the FAQ section of the museum's Website): "There is no evidence Freud said [the quote]. The only documentation seems to be Anthony Burgess, in his introduction to a book of Irish short stories: 'One of [Freud's] followers split up human psychology into two categories - Irish and non-Irish.'"
On the DVD commentary for Gone Baby Gone (2007) (shot in Boston the year after this movie), Ben Affleck says that Jay Giannone, who has small roles in both films, was also the Boston accent coach for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed (2006).
Kevin Corrigan's character makes a disparaging comment about Puerto Ricans. In real-life, Corrigan is of Puerto Rican descent.
Vera Farmiga's character is actually a composite of two from the Hong Kong original.
Martin Sheen was one of the last actors cast. The reason why he agreed to appear in the film was because he wanted to work with Martin Scorsese.
The CD that Costigan mails to Colin is mailed in the cover for The Rolling Stones' album "Exile on Main St.". Earlier in the film, when Costello beats Costigan's hand with his own shoe, a song from the album, "Let It Loose," plays over the scene.
When Queenan and Dignam are interviewing Costigan, Costigan says "Families are always rising and falling in America." Queenan wants to know who said that, and it turns out to be Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dignam quips, "What's the matter smart ass, don't know any fuckin' Shakespeare?" Later, as Queenan hands the clipboard to Sullivan, it is Queenan who quotes William Shakespeare with "the readiness is all," from Hamlet's "Fall of a sparrow speech," Act V, scene ii.
Martin Scorsese said that he made this film to honor crime genre directors such as Robert Aldrich, Samuel Fuller and Don Siegel.
The first Best Picture Oscar-winner of the 21st century that wasn't released on VHS in the United States, and the first to be released on the short-lived HD-DVD format. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment had already phased out VHS by 2006, therefore, the film was initially released on DVD, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD the following year.
50 minutes longer than its Infernal Affairs (2002) original.
There are two phone numbers used in the film. The first is Billy's phone number is 617-869-1469 (It appears when Colin Sullivan answers the phone). This is actually a real Boston number used by Sprint Spectrum. If someone calls it, you will get a generic voice mail box which is full. The other number is 311-555-2368, which was actually a phone number used in telephone-company publications.
Composer Howard Shore said Martin Scorsese wanted the music score to be a tango to portray the nature of the deadly game being played by the characters.
When The Departed won the Oscar for best picture Martin Scorsese said that he was surprised the film had won. Scorsese said that because the film is such a tough, nasty, and violent film he never thought about the idea of awards while he was filming it.
It was Jack Nicholson's idea to film the scene when Frank Costello attends the opera. It was also Nicholson's idea to have one black woman and one white woman in the scene with him.
Denis Leary was offered the role of Dignam in this film, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with his television show, Rescue Me (2004).
This marks the second Martin Scorsese film in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young Irish man who infiltrates the ranks of a menacing gangster. The first is Gangs of New York (2002).
The comic book that Frank Costello gives young Collin Sullivan in the beginning of the movie is Issue #11 of the "Wolverine" series, which was published in September 1989.
According to his file, Billy Costigan's birthday is November 7, 1984. Although a second shot of the same screen then labels his date of birth as November 7, 1980 (See "Goofs" section).
RZA was offered Anthony Anderson's role, but turned it down because of scheduling conflicts.
Ethan Hawke was considered for the role of Sgt. Dignam.
The newscaster seen reporting the news story detailing the dumped body by Costello's gang was a real Boston area newscaster at the time of filming. He reported for Boston's Warner Bros. affiliate station WB56.
While shooting on location in Boston, Massachusetts, Martin Scorsese viewed the film's dailies at Emerson College.
Martin Scorsese directed Mark Wahlberg to his first Oscar nomination, for his role of Dignam. He was later nominated for The Fighter (2010) for Best Picture.
Tom Kemp and Zachary Pauliks appeared in a flashback scene in which Frank talks to Billy's father as young Billy looks on. Although the scene was deleted, the actors appear in the picture that Billy gives to his aunt and the actors are still listed in the closing credits.
The movie playing in the background at Sullivan's house is Audition (1999).
The year 1997 was a significant year for the four main actors of this film. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Titanic (1997), which would go on to become the highest grossing movie of all time and win 11 Academy Awards. Matt Damon won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and got a Best Actor nod for Good Will Hunting (1997). He was beaten for Best Actor by Jack Nicholson for As Good as It Gets (1997). Lastly, Mark Wahlberg stepped into the limelight in the critically acclaimed Boogie Nights (1997)
William Monahan has stated that Sgt. Dignam's first name is Sean.
During the exchange with the Chinese gangsters, Sullivan sends a text message to Costello saying that all cell phone calls are being monitored. The number dialed by Sullivan is actually a real Boston area code (617).
The second film where Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Sheen have appeared in together, the first one being Catch Me If You Can (2002).
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon; and three Oscar nominees: Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Vera Farmiga.
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Peter Mullan was cast in the film but ended up dropping out. Mullan said "I was not in the right frame of mind. I was exhausted and I would not have done a good job. It would've been pointless."
Tyler Perry publicly expressed interest in playing the role that went to Anthony Anderson.
One of only two movies where Mark Walberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are in the same film, the other being The Basketball Diaries (1995).
When Madolyn meets Colin in the elevator, she gives Colin her business card. The logo of the American Psychological Association is clearly visible on it.
The "MASS Processor Company's" microprocessor shown in the movie is really an ST Microelectronics' ST9F150JDV1QC micro-controller, released in 2003 and intended for applications such as MP3 players, GPS devices, and car radios. It went for around $7 at the time it was released (in the movie it is stated they go for $100,000 each). The microprocessor has an internal clock frequency of 24 Megahertz and 100 pins and can address up to 4 Megabytes of memory. A typical Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor, released in 2006 (the same year as The Departed) for use in desktop computers, runs at 1400 Megahertz or higher frequencies, has 775 pins, and can address up to 4000 Megabytes.
Martin Scorsese really wanted Al Pacino for the role of Costello because he never worked with Pacino before, but he turned it down. Jack Nicholson was Scorsese's second choice.
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The classroom scene, police academy graduation scene, and shooting range scene (all at the beginning of the film) were actually shot near the end of production. Historic Ft. Schuyler on the campus of State University of New York's Maritime College was the back drop.
Gerard McSorley was originally slated to play Queenan but had to drop out of the project.
Whenever the song Sweet Dreams by Patsy Cline is heard, it is usually in a scene with Jack Nicholson.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Chris Messina met with Scorsese to discuss taking on one of the roles in the film.
At one point, Wahlberg and DiCaprio had their roles switched.
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Steven Spielberg said that he and Martin Scorsese were going to have a QandA conversation with each other to talk about The Departed. However, it never happened.
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Jack Nicholson wears both a robe and a tie that have leopard print.
Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) states "I'm the guy who does his job, you must be the other guy." Years later, Wahlberg stars in the movie "the other guys"
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When Sullivan looks up Costigan's information on the computer, the computer is a PC, but the graphical interface is actually a Mac.
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg also appeared in the The Basketball Diaries.
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Vera Farmiga's scenes were filmed at the end of the schedule.
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Remake of the 2002 Hongkong movie "Infernal Affairs"
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To accommodate his schedule, Mark Wahlberg had shot his scenes at the beginning of production.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Many scenes with Jack Nicholson were improvised. Nicholson was given the opportunity to do whatever he wanted to add to the character's unpredictability. The scene where Billy and Frank are talking was loosely scripted, and many surprises happened in it, including Frank pulling out the gun.
Throughout the film, Martin Scorsese used Xs mostly shown in the background to mark characters for death; examples include shots of Costigan walking through the airport while talking to Sgt. Dignam, Queenan falling to his death (on the building's glass windows as Queenan falls to the ground), and Sullivan in his office discussing the flow of information with Costello (the X is created by the light shining through the window). This is a homage to Howard Hawks' classic film Scarface (1932).
None of the leaders of both sides (Queenan from the state police force and Frank Costello from the mob syndicate) discovers the identity of the infiltrators in their own side.
At the beginning of the film Frank Costello instructs the store clerk to fill a brown paper bag with various groceries for the kid Colin Sullivan, notably a couple of loaves of bread and a couple of quarts of milk. In the last scene of the film we see adult Colin Sullivan walking into his apartment with a paper bag full of groceries, two of the items you can see in the bag during this scene are a couple of loaves of bread and a couple of quarts of milk.
The rat at the end is completely digital.
The "Frank Costello" caricature is loosely based on Whitey Bulger, who ran a Boston-based Irish gang while working as an FBI informant, protecting him from prosecution while he killed dozens of people. His FBI handler was convicted of multiple felonies.
Body count: 22
Right after the time skip in the beginning of the movie, during the first lesson at the police academy, the teacher is elaborating on the details of a gunshot wound to the head, which is the leading cause of the vast majority of deaths throughout the course of the rest of the movie.
At the end of the movie when Billy brings the tape to Madolyn, we can deduce that the child is not from Colin Sullivan but from Costigan. She wants to tell him something but he leaves right before she does. Sullivan also has, during a scene in the film, some "issues with what happened last night". Madolyn then sleeps with Billy.
In the final scene, as Sullivan walks to his apartment, the floor has large patterned xs on the carpet. He walks over two of them as he approaches the door. It's as if to say strike one, strike two, and strike three being the coup de grace from Dignam.
The letter or shape "X" is placed in shots that characters will die. (i.e. In the elevator scene, there is an x placed behind DiCaprio's and Damon's character. DiCaprio dies shortly afterwards).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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