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Hoffa (1992)

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The story of the notorious American labor union figure Jimmy Hoffa, who organizes a bitter strike, makes deals with members of the organized crime syndicate and mysteriously disappears in 1975.

Director:

Danny DeVito

Writer:

David Mamet
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Popularity
4,968 ( 94)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... James R. Hoffa
Danny DeVito ... Bobby Ciaro
Armand Assante ... Carol D'Allesandro
J.T. Walsh ... Fitzsimmons
John C. Reilly ... Pete Connelly
Frank Whaley ... Young Kid
Kevin Anderson ... Robert Kennedy
John P. Ryan ... Red Bennett
Robert Prosky ... Billy Flynn
Natalija Nogulich ... Jo Hoffa
Nicholas Pryor ... Hoffa's Attorney
Paul Guilfoyle ... Ted Harmon
Karen Young ... Young Woman at RTA
Cliff Gorman ... Solly Stein
Joanne Neer Joanne Neer ... Soignee Woman
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Storyline

Jack Nicholson's portrait of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa, as seen through the eyes of his friend Bobby Ciaro (Danny DeVito). This film follows Hoffa's struggle to shape America's most influential labor union through his countless battles with the RTA. As he fights for workers' rights, Hoffa locks horns with industry management, organized crime and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In 1975, four years after serving his prison term, Hoffa disappears, in one of America's most fascinating unsolved crime mysteries. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was capable of anything. He wasn't afraid of anyone. That's why everyone was afraid of him. He didn't want law, he wanted justice. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

25 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hoffa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,406,012, 27 December 1992

Gross USA:

$24,276,506

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,302,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jack Nicholson; and three Oscar nominees: Danny DeVito, John C. Reilly and Tim Burton. See more »

Goofs

In addition to Billy Flynn having a revolver that is constantly cocked-uncocked, as the revolver is brought to a vertical position as Billy is uncocking it for the final time it somehow changes from a modern (for the time) double action revolver to a single action Colt. All of this happening within the 90 degree sweep from horizontal to vertical. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bobby Ciaro: Want me to go call him up?
Jimmy Hoffa: Uh-unh.
Bobby Ciaro: Want a cup of coffee?
Jimmy Hoffa: No.
Bobby Ciaro: Want to go?
[Hoffa gives him a scornful glance]
Bobby Ciaro: You okay?
Jimmy Hoffa: Yeah.
See more »

Crazy Credits

there are no opening credits and the title of the film at the beginning. See more »

Alternate Versions

On a special laserdisc edition, Danny DeVito hosts a supplemental portion of the disc with outtakes, including a scene where Hoffa perfectly shoots a beer bottle with a rifle. See more »

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

When You're Smiling
Written by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay
See more »

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User Reviews

The real Hoffa and the reel Hoffa
3 February 2003 | by oyasonSee all my reviews

James Riddle Hoffa was probably one of the most enigmatic union leaders in this history of our country. As an important labor organizer during the over the road trucker strikes in the 1930s, he accomplished many things that made possible the emergence of the Teamsters Union as a major political force for several decades afterward. At the same time, he fell into a trap that bedevils many a fighter who perceives her/himself as a "people's champion"- he convinced himself that he had to fight fire with fire, and in the end, it devoured him. Secondly, Hoffa did not have the money, the support or the political sophistication of a Robert Kennedy. This'll finish you in the United States. Despite all our bombast about law and order, the country loves its shady political characters charming and slick, or the medicine show man, witness: Clinton, Reagan, Bush. The awkward and openly coarse need not apply, witness Nixon, Hoffa, Lott. David Mamet understands that, and that's why his version of Hoffa's life works.

Mamet's Hoffa knows the Kennedy family built their fortune out of rum running to a large extent, and he sees no difference between their corruption and his own compromises. At least, Hoffa tells himself, his own deals with the devil serve something larger then his immediate family, they serve the membership of the union. And this was very true, which is why a fair number of Teamsters still swear by the name Jimmy Hoffa. Nicholson's snide asides to his "betters" completely captures the class war basis that motivated the actual man's actions. Anyone who has been through an actual labor dispute and has been witness to the patronizing communications that come through a company eager to crush a union effort knows full well what fired up Jimmy Hoffa, even as we turn aside from the path he took.

The film succeeds because De Vito, Nicholson and Mamet understand what pushed the labor movement forward, and they understand its contradictions. Most important, they understand why those contradictions overwhelmed a man as gifted as Jimmy Hoffa, and this is what makes it better then your average Hollywood drama about labor. Hoffa is a film about working class attitude that gets beneath the usual dismissals of working class concerns, and as such, deserves respect. The powers that be have every legend about their leadership. It's time the working class was allowed legends about its own once again, provided we understand that they are legends, and therefore laden with much myth. The very real larger then life qualities of Jimmy Hoffa, however, make this a film worth more then one critical glance.


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