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Drama - Gangland

Road to Perdition (2002)

Duration1h 57m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15
Source of storyA graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner
DirectorSam Mendes
Writers/ScriptDavid Self
StarringTyler Hoechlin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Daniel Craig, Cierán Hinds, Stanley Tucci, Jude Law,
RatingsIMDb: 7.7/10 by 273,930 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 81% by 216 reviewers. Review2view 7/10.

Summary: It is 1931. One of the leaders in the Illinois underworld is John Rooney, who has a son Connor, a violent and difficult young man,  and a right hand man and enforcer, Michael Sullivan. Sullivan’s family Annie his wife and sons, Peter and Michael junior are unaware of his day job, until Michael Jr, aged 12, sees Connor dispatching a criminal associate and Sullivan machine gunning the witnesses. As a result Connor kills Sullivan’s wife and youngest son, and causes he and Michael Jr to go on the run. Sullivan has a meeting with Frank Nitti another gang boss who refuses Sullivan’s offer of work and dispatched Maguire a freelance killer to terminate him. Sullivan and his son rob banks of mob money to bring things to a head, but will Maguire get him first.

Content: No sex or nudity, but some smoking and drinking. The Sullivan family are seen in their domestic situation. John Rooney does the mob boss thing at the wake for an associate, and is accused by Fin McGovern of complicity in his brother’s death. Fin is executed by Connor, with Michael Jr witnessing the event. Sullivan and his son drive about a lot in their car, sometimes in the company of other 1930s automobiles. The two rob banks without violence. Maguire the assassin is seen at work and he and Sullivan meet in a diner, but Sullivan gets away. They later have a shoot out. The assembly and use of Sullivan’s Thompson machine gun features.

A View: This film has been well thought of, and won an Oscar for the photography, and despite its considerable cost seems to have made money. It was Paul Newman’s last film. He seems to have been a great guy as well as a wonderful actor. I liked the fact that, although unlikely, a couple with a small farm look after Sullivan when he is wounded, so providing a refuge where necessary. So actually a fairly run of the mill underworld story, made better by the presence of Hanks and Newman. Worth a watch for nothing.

Despite the fact that Paul Newman was my favourite actor ever, I find that I have only reviewed two of his many films. They are The Verdict and The Sting.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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