Phil JoanouDirected by
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”
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”.
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.
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.
“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.