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Drama - Gangland

The Outfit (2022)

Duration1h 45m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 16 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorGraham Moore
Writers/ScriptJohnathan McClain, Graham Moore
StarringZoey Deutch, Dylan O’Bien, Johnny Flynn,  Mark Rylance, Simon Russell Beale, Nikki Amuka-Bird, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.1/10 by 20,808 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 85% by 149 reviewers. Review2view: 7.8/10

Elevator Pitch: Leonard Burling is a Savile Row trained cutter (he keeps saying he is not a tailor) who operates a shop in 1950s Chicago, his main customers being the upper echelons of the local mob. He has a receptionist/ doorperson, Mable, a young woman for whom he seems to have fatherly affection. Because of his association with the mob, he allows them to use his shop as a message point and Mable is the girlfriend of Richie, hot headed son of mob boss Roy Boyle. They suspect that there is a rat in the organisation betraying them to the FBI, and a tape provided by “The Outfit” may reveal the culprit. When Richie staggers into the shop, shot in the body helped by his father’s right hand man, Francis, after an altercation with a rival organisation things are coming to a head. It becomes apparent that Leonard is not quite the polite uninvolved person as he seems.

Content: There is no sex or nudity nor, I think any drinking or drug taking, although Richie visits the shop already drunk. The only time we ever leave the shop, which seems to consist of three rooms without windows connected by sliding doors, is to view the exterior. Throughout the film Burling is cutting and sewing a grey suit. Mable receives a gift of a paperweight featuring the Houses of Parliament – she puts it on a shelf with those from other cities which she hopes to visit. Once Richie arrives having been shot there is more gunfire and things begin to unravel for the mob. When Roy Boyle arrives, looking for his son, Burling seems to be at risk. Much tension.

A View: The critics seemed to quite like this outing despite the fact that it could easily have been a play, there was not even an establishing shot of Chicago, just a view of the outside of the shop. It was made in UK, using British actors who, no matter how well known in Stratford-on-Avon, would not be much of a draw in America, so it’s not going to make much money. Although the plot is a bit obscure at times, and some things are difficult to accept, both my wife and I really enjoyed it. We were in a screen with only half a dozen others at its first showing in Madrid, but in our view worth the price of admission at a cinema near you.

Other films which take place at a single location reviewed on this site include The Wall, Carnage and the super successful Knives Out. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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