Sunday, January 26, 2014

733. Prizzi's Honor (1985)


Running Time: 128 minutes
Directed By: John Huston
Written By: Richard Condon, Janet Roach, from novel by Richard Condon
Main Cast: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Anjelica Huston, John Randolph, William Hickey
Click here to view the trailer

YOU NEVER GO AGAINST THE FAMILY!

This was one of the movies on the wait list from Netflix, but also one that I would've gotten to eventually before the end of this season anyway, as I back tracked through the 80s. The last time I saw "Prizzi's Honor", I gave it a '1/10'. Did my opinion change at all? Read on...


It would probably give me Excedrin headache #24 if I tried to detail all the ins and outs of the plot for you here, so I'll tell you what you need to know and we'll go on from there. The film begins with the birth of Charley Partanna, who is born into corruption as the son of mob boss Angelo Partanna (Randolph). From the time he is born, Don Corrado Prizzi (Hickey), boss of the entire Prizzi family - the biggest crime family in the country - vows to treat Charley as if he were his own son. Later in life, Charley (Nicholson) is a made man, slipping $10's and $20's into the pockets of anyone who does him a favor. Charley is working as an assassin for the Prizzi/Partanna clan and as an assassin he doesn't have much of a social life. Enter Irene Walker (Turner), who Charley swoons over at a wedding and pays a few guys to find out who she is. The two eventually meet, fall in love and vow to get married when the time is right. Meanwhile, some scammers con the Prizzi family out of a large chunk of dough, at one of the Vegas casinos that they own. The family sends Charley out to retrieve over 700,000 missing dollars and in the process, Charley finds out that Irene was in on the whole scam. Not only that, but Charley also finds out that Irene is a paid assassin, one that the Prizzi family has actually used in the past, due to her being the best. Now the stage is set for a lot of dark comedy, a lot of back biting and a lot of fun as John Huston presents his fortieth film.


I oughtta' have my head checked for giving this movie a '1/10'! Sure it has a few flaws, but nothing that can't be looked over and nothing that is deserving of such a lackluster rating - the most lackluster of all ratings, in fact. Oh well, I was young, stupid and probably didn't even understand what I was watching, to be honest with you. Back then, I had a comfort zone and if I dared stray from that, I usually made up my mind not to like whatever it was I was straying for. Anyway, this movie is incredibly fun, well thought out, clever, funny in the right places and has top notch acting from everyone involved. Well, maybe Turner wasn't that great, but I've never cared for her anyway. Honestly, how did she become so famous in the 80s? I guess it was because of her sex appeal, because I'll admit, she's definitely not hard to look at. Nowadays, however, she's kind of disappeared from the public eye and with a quick check of her recent filmography, I find that she hasn't done anything notable recently and has only been in six films since the year 2000. With even a little more research, I find that she apparently had a reputation for being hard to work with, probably because she knew she could get away with it at a time when she was red hot. Anyway, everyone else was great and that includes Nicholson, Hickey, Randolph, Robert Loggia and Anjelica Huston, who has never looked as good as she does here.

Final shot featuring the elegant Anjelica Huston, daughter of the director

Critic Pauline Kael wrote about the movie that "it's like The Godfather acted out by The Munsters" making me realize that perfect lines like that are why I'm not a professional film critic. It really is just like that though. The personalities are quite cartoonish, at times, however the subject matter is like anything that we'd watch in any other gangster movie, perhaps even more intricately crafted. I'm really not sure how the film will fare come TOP 20 time, but I'm glad I was able to reunite with the movie and reconcile any past misunderstandings.

RATING: 7/10  I just knew that a Nicholson film couldn't be THAT bad. I'm also starting to realize how big of a Nicholson fan I'm becoming. The man truly is one of the greats!

MOVIES WATCHED: 787
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 214

January 26, 2014  4:27pm

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