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City by the Sea (2002)

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Vincent Lamarca, whose father was executed for a 1950s kidnapping of a child, grew up to become a police officer, only to see his own son become a murder suspect.

Writers:

Mike McAlary (article) (as Michael McAlary), Ken Hixon (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Vincent LaMarca
Frances McDormand ... Michelle
James Franco ... Joey
Eliza Dushku ... Gina
William Forsythe ... Spyder
Patti LuPone ... Maggie (as Patti Lupone)
Anson Mount ... Dave Simon
John Doman ... Henderson
Brian Tarantina ... Snake
Drena De Niro ... Vanessa Hansen
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Herb
Nestor Serrano ... Rossi
Matthew Cowles ... Arnie
Linda Emond ... Margery
Cyrus Farmer ... Carl
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Storyline

New York City homicide detective Vincent LaMarca has forged a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, making a name for himself as a man intensely committed to his work. But on his latest case, the stakes are higher for Vincent--the suspect he's investigating is his own son. He and Joey have been painfully estranged ever since Vincent divorced his wife and left the decaying boardwalks of Long Beach, Long Island for the anonymity of Manhattan and a successful career with the NYPD. He lives his life in solitude, keeping his girlfriend at arm's length; the closest relationship he maintains is with his partner, Reg--and Vincent makes sure that stops at the precinct door. As long as Vincent lives in the protection of the present, he doesn't have to deal with the pain of his past--or his sorrow over his broken relationship with Joey. But this murder investigation is drawing Vincent home to Long Beach, the self-proclaimed City by the Sea, where the past has been waiting for him to ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you're searching for a killer... the last suspect you want to see is your son.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mark of a Murderer See more »

Filming Locations:

Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,935,426, 8 September 2002

Gross USA:

$22,449,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,676,703
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro personally had James Franco cast, after viewing his performance in James Dean (2001). See more »

Goofs

When Joey and his Father are in the building surrounded by cops, and Joey fires the gun into the floor, the cop outside in the police car nearest the camera makes his hands into a gun shape instead of pointing a real gun. See more »

Quotes

Michelle: He's got to choose who he wants to be.
Vincent LaMarca: Yeah, you think we got a choice? Nah, we just pretend that we got a choice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This motion picture was not actually filmed in Long Beach, New York. See more »

Connections

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Red Sails In The Sunset
Written by Jimmy Kennedy and Will Grosz (as Hugh Williams)
Performed by Guy Lombardo
Courtesy of MCA
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

not too bad...
5 January 2003 | by podozzyproSee all my reviews

"City by the Sea" starring Robert DeNiro and Frances McDormand (Fargo & Almost Famous) is an exciting and heartfelt melodrama. Director Michael Caton-Jones proves himself with one of his greatest efforts to date, bouncing back from his previous disappointing and misdirected film "The Jackal." Caton-Jones displays a style all his own with stunning atmospheric poignancy. The city by the sea, to which the film refers to is Long Island, N.Y., a wonderfully lonely and dilapidated city to where junkie Jimmy Nova, (DeNiro's son) calls home.

DeNiro plays a well-respected cop with a terribly troubled past that seems to constantly haunt him. His ex-wife, played by Patti Lupone, struggles to get over the violence of their past relationship while his son, played by James Franco, is headed down the same path as DeNiro's father once was, that of an (alleged?) murderer. Jimmy Nova, as he's known around town mixes with the wrong crowd, as do most junkies, and one night finds himself struggling for his life, and before he knows it, stabbing and killing a high profile drug dealer. This relatively small act of self-defense cascades a sequence of irreversible events, which never seem to let up until the end. DeNiro, of course, is assigned to the case and unknowingly hunts down his own son who he hasn't seen or heard from in several years. Both father and son have moved on with their lives since their seperation, but still harbor intense emotional feelings for each other that seem to slowly emerge further and further into the film. To top it all off the two men are involved in complex relationships of their own which naturally complicates things further.

DeNiro's relationship with Frances McDormand seems quite convenient at times, but nonetheless shows the tenderness and compassion of both characters, while Franco's relationship feels more like a fling with multiple strings attached. In the end, both DeNiro and his son must face the issues that have plagued them for three generations and make one of the hardest decisions of their life.

Similar topics and themes in "City by the Sea", were explored in "Road to Perdition", however it is the way that they are explored that keeps the film feeling fresh and unique. Similar themes explored are the father-son relationship, the destructive path of violence and crime, and most importantly the will and courage to fight for a second chance at life. I was particularly impressed with the atmospheric mood of New York that Caton-Jones set from the beginning, reminiscent of Scorcese's "Taxi Driver", thus giving the film the reality that many recent Hollywood films tend to lack. The acting in this film is of the highest quality and will not be overlooked, contending with so


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