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Drama - Gangland

The Irishman (2019)


Duration 3h 29m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A book called “I Heard You Paint Houses” purporting to tell the true story of the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, but this disputed by others.
Director Martin Scorsese
Writers/Script Steven Zaillian
Starring Robert De Nero, Al pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Jesse Plemons, Steven Van Zandt,

Elevator Pitch: Frank Sheeran, The Irishman, is wheelchair bound in old age, and is looking back on his career as an underworld hit man. His recollections focus on a trip he took with his friend and boss Russell Bufalino across America towards Detroit, and in turn on his earlier life and origins in the Philadalphia underworld, particularly his friendship with Jimmy Hoffa, during which he became a union leader. Frank’s daughter Peggy seems to be the only one of his family who doesn’t like what he is up to.

Content: No sex or nudity but a lot of drinking and smoking. During the car journey they have to stop frequently to allow the wives to smoke. Quite a few assassinations with small calibre revolvers, in fact one scene where Frank tells us why they are selected. Many meetings in smoke filled rooms, and the banquettes of expensive restaurants, sometimes with violence. Some family gatherings. Scenes in prisons where most of the players are incarcerated at various times. Crowds of people at union meetings.

A View: This outing has been well liked by the critics and has taken up the 93rd position in the IMDb Top Rated Movies List, one above Citizen Kane.  It has actually had a very limited release (We watched it at 1130 in the morning in Madrid) so we don’t know how much it has made, but it is a bit of a commitment to devote three and a half hours to it. I found the various activities in which Frank had been employed a bit bewildering. He had almost been the Forest Gump of the underworld. I would have liked it to have been an hour shorter; it would have lost nothing, but would still have been worth the ticket price.

Additional Info: As younger men Russell and Frank meet, Russell fixing an engine failure on Frank’s truck. But I could not quite work out why no-one had told the writer that you can’t fix a timing chain by putting a hand into the engine. Nominated for Best Film at the Oscars.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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