Leo is released from prison after serving time for car theft. His plan to go straight falls apart when he meets his corrupt uncle for a job and later an old friend working there. It culminates at the (railroad) yards.
1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he finds his aunt married to Frank Olchin, one of the big contractors; he's battling with a minority-owned firm for contracts. Willie Gutierrez, Leo's best friend, is Frank's bag man and heads a crew of midnight saboteurs who ruin the work of the Puerto Rican-owned firm. Leo needs a job, so Willie pays him to be his back-up. Then things go badly wrong one night, a cop IDs Leo, and everyone now wants him out of the picture. Besides his ailing mom and his cousin Erica, to whom can Leo turn?Written by
The cars in the "subway yard" are not actually subway cars; they are circa-1963 suburban commuter coaches for the Metro-North & Long Island Railroads. See more »
The Unrated cut is 113 minutes and two scenes from the original theatrical R-rated cut have been removed. This version is about two minutes shorter. The final scene in court when Leo testifies and states that he has reformed and is reentering society as a productive citizen, has been dropped. A brief scene early in the film in which Willie (Phoenix) describes the importance of favors and gifts and "making it happen" is also cut (this scene however does appears on the included trailer on the DVD). The end credits now begin with 'empty' views of the film's settings before moving into the credits list. Also included on the DVD are several deleted scenes. See more »
The cast and acting in this crime/drama is great, but the actors are let down by a melodramatic script that is too busy. "The Yards" is a character-driven story, but the problem is that the script has too many subplots going on which doesn't give us the time we need to know and care about the characters. By the end I really didn't care what happened, because I didn't know the characters and didn't care how the plot was resolved.
Basically "The Yards" tells the story of Leo, a working class young man who returns home from a stint in prison to his ailing mother. His best friend, Willie, takes him on at Leo's step-uncle's subway train outfitting business, where things aren't exactly above-the-board. Leo gets more involved in the business and things go awry. And along the way, there's a hundred and one subplots.
This movie had some nice moments, and great acting, but it can't rise above a script that tries to pack too much plot into too little time.
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