7.3/10
18,909
109 user 47 critic

State of Grace (1990)

A New York cop is recruited to return to his hometown and infiltrate the mob ran by his best friend's brother.

Directors:

Phil Joanou, Michael Lee Baron (co-director)

Writer:

Dennis McIntyre

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Director: Peter Medak
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Terry Noonan
Ed Harris ... Frankie Flannery
Gary Oldman ... Jackie Flannery
Robin Wright ... Kathleen Flannery
John Turturro ... Nick
Burgess Meredith ... Finn
R.D. Call ... Pat Nicholson, Frankie's Lieutenant
Joe Viterelli ... Borelli
John C. Reilly ... Stevie McGuire
Deirdre O'Connell ... Irene
Marco St. John ... Jimmy Cavello
Thomas G. Waites ... Frankie's Man
Michael Cambridge 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

Plot Keywords:

bar | anger | betrayal | weeping | gang war | See All (51) »

Taglines:

The Irish Mob in New York. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Vorhof der Hölle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,911,542
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Jackie introduces his girlfriend to Terry, music by the band 'U2' can be heard playing in the background. Director Phil Joanou previously directed their live concert film U2: Rattle and Hum (1988) and, later, their music video for the single "One." 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

Frankie: She thinks I'm an asshole. And if she thinks that about me, what in the long run is she going to think about you?
See more »

Connections

References U2: Rattle and Hum (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Vete Mujer
Performed by Orquesta Immensidad
Courtesy of Fanja Records Sonido, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Westies.
20 November 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

State of Grace is directed by Phil Joanou and written by Dennis McIntyre. It stars Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturo and John C. Reilly. Music is by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth.

Terry Noonan (Penn) returns to Hells Kitchen after a number of years away and finds his best pal, Jackie Flannery (Oldman), is a major player in the Irish/American mob being run by his elder brother, Frankie Flannery (Harris). With a love interest rekindled and a secret he dare not reveal, Terry is soon caught in a maelstrom of danger and tested loyalties.

It got lost in the slipstream of Goodfellas, but although it's not in the same league as Scorsese's critical darling, State of Grace is a splendid slice of neo-noir gangsterism. The plot is made up of standard genre tropes, divided loyalties, betrayals, kinship, revenge, rivalries, territorial machismo and etc, all of which of course comes laced with spitfire dialogue and sparky violence.

The strengths come with the performances of the lead cast members, the visual flourishes via Cronenweth and Joanou and Morricone's classical score. Penn and Oldman are forces of nature, the former a ball of emotional turbulence, the latter a hopped up maniac with killer tendencies. Harris as the daddio main man is a moody and malevolent presence, as is Joe Viterelli as mafia boss man Borelli. Wright seems a little out of place in this material, Turturo isn't used nearly enough, but Reilly scores well with a limited role and Burgess Meredith pops in for a superb cameo.

It doesn't have originality on its side, but it's a mightily strong film regardless, with the human drama drawing one in as the tech skills impress across the board. 8/10


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