Sean Penn
Robin Wright
Ed Harris
Gary Odlman
State Of Grace

Directed by Phil Joanou
Produced by Ned Dowd, Randy Ostrow, Ron Rotholz
Screenplay by Dennis McIntyre
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth
Editing by Claire Simpson

Sean Penn as Terry Noonan
Ed Harris as Frankie Flannery
Gary Oldman as Jackie Flannery
Robin Wright as Kathleen Flannery
John Turturro as Nick
Burgess Meredith as Finn
R.D. Call as Pat Nicholson, Frankie’s Lieutenant

John C. Reilly as Stevie McGuire

What Up Yo.
The film is called “State Of Grace. It was released in the fall of 1990.

Now there were 3 American films about organized crime that were released theatrically in the fall of 1990, 2 were released in the same week.

One of those 2 was a little film by director Martin’s Scorsese which you may have heard of unless you’ve lived under a fucking rock for the past 25 years.

It is called “Goodfellas”


Then there was a film called “Millers Crossing” which is directed by the Brothers Coen (The Coen Brothers).

Millers Crossing

Both of those films are incredible. One of them changed the face of cinema.

It’s the third film that I want to celebrate here, Phil Joanou’s “State Of Grace”.

State Of Grace

I love each of the films above.


I consider each of them masterpieces.

But I have a special love for “Grace”.

Talents came together here …the primary members of this films crew were people at the top of their crafts, people who have exquisite abilities and are considered masters of their chosen fields.

A few of them weren’t recognized as the talented powerhouse geniuses each of them are at the time the film was released in 1990.

Some were.

A major factor in this film not receiving the credit it deserved, was that it was overshadowed by the masterwork that is “Goodfellas”, and what can I say about that film that hasn’t been said already?

It simply cast a big shadow that season.

The next season.

It still does, and that’s because its fucking high-octane brilliance captured on celluloid.

It sent shock waves through the industry…and in turn, while this film is a gem, it suffered and suffocated.

It was unable to reach an audience in its theatrical run, and as is the way with Hollywood, once it underperformed it was written off to a degree…

Which is why I wanted to celebrate it a bit here.

I’ll break it down the best I can.

The Story

“To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.”
Alfred Hitchcock

Below, I will spoil the hell out of this film. Just saying, you’ve ben warned. I’ll make this as quick as possible.

Terry Noonan (Penn) is a Boston Cop who hails from Hell’s Kitchen. He used to run with the Flannery mob on the west side.

His best friend Jackie (Oldman) is a Flannery, as his first and only true love…Kate (Robin).

Jack’s older brother Frankie (Ed “FUCK PICASSO!”Harris) ran the Flannery crew under Mikey and Flynn.

It is because of his relationship to the Flannerys that he is the perfect candidate to go in undercover and infiltrate the gang as there is a new union brewing between the Irish mob and the Italian mob that the police, especially Terry’s commanding officer Nick (Turturro) wants to get on top of before

“Bodies start piling up all over the city”

When the story opens, we meet Terry on the edge of re-entering his old life.


Terry is in a drug deal that goes bad.

He kills 2 drug dealers and runs to New York City under the guise that he is in trouble.

This is  a fake incident we learn later, set up by the cops, to get Terry street credit to enter Frankie Flannerys organization.

When he re-enters the old world, he see’s Jackie at their old bar hangout and they happily reconnect as Terry as ben gone for 10 years.

While they catch up, he learns from Jackie that Mikey and Flynn both met with accidents…and that Frankie Flannery is now running the show.

He learns about the deal between the irish and italian mobs…this is why he is here…he is now in place.

Then he see’s Kate.

4 thoughts on “Sean Penn
Robin Wright
Ed Harris
Gary Odlman
State Of Grace

  1. Wes Candela - May 20, 2017

    Totally. I’ve Heard of the complaints about the ending also but he loses Kate, he lost Jackie, he quit his job…

    Frankie was gonna pay.
    This was a personall vendetta now, he was going to do the one last good thing he could do, even if it killed him. Which it probably did.

    The beautiful thing about what you point out:
    the flashes of violence in the bar and the celebration in the parade,

    Is that at the end, he has freed Kate.
    We see that shot of her just devastated watching the parade…

    But really this was about his love for Kate and Jackie, making Frankie pay, and stopping him from ever hurting her again.

    So beautiful!!

  2. Gomorra76 - May 19, 2017

    I know the ending gets abit of flack from some people,but I love that ending! Switching between the St Patricks day parade,where people celebrate all things Irish,and the shootout,where Irish-American’s are basically destroying each other.Love that juxtaposition.

  3. Wes Candela - May 19, 2017

    Oh my god. You know what, I knew when I was writing this that I we getting forgetting something. Godfather III & King Of New York
    Thanks so much for the compliment.
    Love this movie. It’s huge to me. It gets overlooked too much. Wanted to pay it some respect properly.

  4. Gomorra76 - May 19, 2017

    Marvelous article and review! Couldn’t have said it any better myself.I actually prefer it to Goodfella’s.An absolute masterpiece!
    King of New York and The Godfather 3 also came out that year.Big year for gangster flic’s.

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