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The Chicago Outfit was the most powerful organized crime syndicate of the 20th century, and Lou Marazano (Frank Vincent) was their deadliest hit man. Twenty years after his most notorious wave of hits Lou is a relic, his legend obscured, his talents forgotten, and his glory days over. When a high-profile union representative is arrested for tax fraud, the Outfit's top boss (Armand Assante) orders a string of key witnesses silenced before the government can uncover a vast conspiracy involving police officers, city officials, and mob affiliates. Lou sees the job as an opportunity to finance his retirement and leave Chicago with his girlfriend (Kathrine Narducci). But when relentless detectives (Danny Goldring & Stacy Keach) begin nipping at his heels, and the acting street boss (Mike Starr) decides to revoke Lou's membership to the Outfit, Lou must prove he is worthy of being the Outfit's most deadly hit man - a title he held more than twenty years ago.
"Chicago Overcoat" was Director, Brian Caunter's first full length feature film back in 2009 and it played at the Chicago International Film Festival at the time but afterwards it seemed to have just vanished, until now that is. Director, Brian Caunter must be fan of the genre because the film not only reminds you of older classics such as "Goodfellas" but Brian also has a good feel for the genre and instead of taking from other films he brings his own ideas to the table as well. The film is a mix genres of sorts, instead of being just a shoot em' up crime film it's instead a mix of conspiracy movie, semi-Action movie and what might be it's strongest theme of them all, Character Study. When you have that much going on you might think the film would fail but instead the Director does a great job in telling the story and mixing all the themes together seamlessly. The casting is another reason to like the film, Frank Vincent as the mob's most deadly hit man who is past his prime but can't seem to find a way to step away quietly is fantastic, he is not only the best actor in the film but this might be his best role to date. Dannny Goldring as the burnt-out cop is also a highlight as far as the acting goes and the scenes between him and Vincent are some of the best in the film. Armand Assante and Stacey Keach are also good but their roles are limited to pretty much cameos here.
"Chicago Overcoat" is a old fashioned American Gangster film but the film a lot of originality with it's good mix of narrative and memoirs. This was the only film Director, Brian Caunter has done to date, he went on to do several shorts after this which is too bad because at the time he had to look like a promising new Director to keep an eye out for, I hope we see more of his work at some point. It is a shame that it took this long for the film to reach a wide audience but on the other hand it's great to finally see that everyone can now pick it up and enjoy the film as much as I did. The film takes it's time setting things up but once it gets going it adds more characters and storyline, I would call "Chicago Overcoat" an underrated film, if you're a fan of mob movies then you're not going to want to miss this one. You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by MTI Home Video
**** Out Of *****