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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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Scarface: Make Way
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The Big Dive
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Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
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italkyoubored

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Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Saturday, November 21, 2020
CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE
"THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES HAD BECOME A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fallowarrives1a.jpg

In the prologue of her book The Devil's Candy, about the making of the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire Of The Vanities, Julie Salamon describes Wolfe eating breakfast at the Caryle Hotel in Manhattan, in 1990, diplomatically speaking "about how the people from Hollywood were progressing" with the movie version:
He wasn't willing to criticize the moviemakers -- just yet. "I think it's bad manners in the Southern sense to be sharp and critical of it," he said. "I did cash the check." However, with his good Southern manners the author had made it clear to the Hollywood people right after he accepted the $750,000 they paid him for the rights to his book that he didn't want to have anything to do with the making of their movie.

"To tell the truth, I've never wanted to write any script based on something I've done," he said. "From my standpoint it's too bad that movies don't run nine or ten hours. The way I constructed the book, almost every chapter was meant to be a vignette of something else in New York as well as something that might advance the story, and to me one was as important as the other."

The author paused briefly. "It's a fairly simple story. It's not a complicated story. But I wanted there to be all these slices, one after another. Not that I gave very much thought to how the movie could be made, but I never could see how you could do that."


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 22, 2020 12:32 AM CST
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Thursday, November 19, 2020
SAM IRVIN RECALLS MEETING DE PALMA IN 1975
AGE 19, HE ORGANIZED A DE PALMA FEST ON CAMPUS AT UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/samirvindepalma1975.jpg

In November of 1975, as Sam Irvin tells it, Brian De Palma was busy in post-production on the film that was still titled Deja Vu (released the following year as Obsession), and also casting Carrie during joint sessions with George Lucas, who was casting his new film, Star Wars. In the midst of all of this, as a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, Irvin managed to compel De Palma to attend a festival of De Palma films that Irvin put together on campus. Irvin posted the above photos today on Facebook, with the following description:
TBT: November 1975. The day I met my future boss Brian De Palma. As a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, at age of 19, I organized a festival of De Palma films (SISTERS, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, GREETINGS and HI, MOM!) at a movie theater on campus.

In THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, I found a phone number for the casting office for CARRIE and managed to get De Palma on the phone and I invited him to come to Columbia, South Carolina, to appear at the festival.

I took De Palma to be a guest at a film class I was taking, taught by Professor Bernie Dunlap (in the center of these two photos) where De Palma drew storyboards in chalk on the blackboard and played cues on a cassette tape player of Bernard Herrmann’s newly recorded score for OBSESSION, De Palma’s latest film which was still in post-production (called DEJA VU at that time).

My friend Lee Tsiantis snapped these two photos of me (left), Bernie Dunlap (center) and De Palma (right).

In the summer of 1977, between my junior and senior year of college, I got my first professional job in the movie industry working as a production assistant, extra, and on-set journalist (for CINEFANTASTIQUE magazine) on Brian De Palma’s THE FURY starring Kirk Douglas and John Cassavetes.

Then, upon graduation in 1978, De Palma hired me to Associate Produce and Production Manage HOME MOVIES, a comedy he directed that summer, starring Kirk Douglas, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon.

After that, De Palma hired me as his full-time assistant on DRESSED TO KILL starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon.

I owe my entire career to De Palma and everything I learned under his mentorship.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, November 20, 2020 12:05 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 17, 2020
PALLADINO POSTER & SCULPTURE - 'THE WEDDING PARTY'
CREATED IN 1967 BY ARTIST, FAMOUS FOR DESIGNING TITLE FOR 'PSYCHO' IN 1959
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tonypalladinoposter.jpg

I recently came across this poster for The Wedding Party. I never knew this poster existed before. It was created by Tony Palladino, with lettering by his wife, Angela Palladino. Tony Palladino created the sculpture depicted in the poster in 1967, and further research suggests that the film, which itself carries a copyright date of 1966, was indeed screened around that time at The Gate Theatre in New York (which was opened in 1966 by Aldo and Elsa Tambellini). It turns out that the sculpture itself was shot in close-up for the film's trailer. Aldo Tambellini, who passed away last week, had, on his website (aldotambellini.com) described the film's premiere at his theater:
At The Gate, we premiered Brian De Palma’s first full length feature The Wedding Party, that he made while studying at Sarah Lawrence College. I remember De Palma’s 16mm film being shown in the theatre while he personally was projecting his trailer with an 8 mm projector on the glass of the front door of The Gate.

I found the Palladino poster at the web archive page of New York City's School of Visual Arts, which features a brief description, with images of the sculpture:
The poster’s not-quite-perfect cursive handwriting reads like a wedding invitation gone slightly awry. The wonderfully perverse image demonstrates Palladino’s mastery in bringing mundane found objects into service as sculpture. He created the cement base himself and arranged the bride and groom cake toppers mass wedding-style; a detail view of the sculpture reveals the couples are already sinking. Till death do they part!


Even better photos of the sculpture were posted on Instagram last year by the Palladinos' daughter, Sabrina Palladino, who provided two titles for the sculpture, as well as a link to Peter Powell, who not only served as the cinematographer of The Wedding Party, but also distributed the film via Powell Productions. Here is what Sabrina wrote in the Instagram post:
Sculpture 2- “Stuck” or “Here Come the Bride”- 1967-the figures used on top of wedding cakes stuck into cement was made for the poster for Brian dePalma’s, The Wedding Party”, distributed by family friend and “adopted” brother Peter Powell. Not sure if it was used. By the way, this was years before the Sun Myung Moon mass “blessings” Moonies wedding ceremony.


In a comment on Sabriina's Instagram post, Gus Powell provided more details:
“Stuck” was used for the poster for dePalma’s film “The Wedding Party” w hand lettering by your mom! It was also shot in CU for the trailer for the film. It was that piece and that first collaboration that was the first meeting between PP & TP.

By the time he created the sculpture and poster for The Wedding Party, Tony Palladino had already been famous for his graphic design of the title for Robert Bloch's Psycho -- which then also became the title design for the poster art and marketing of Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation. An obit by Michael Silverberg at Quartz provides a brief summary:

The title encapsulated the schismatic violence of Alfred Hitchcock’s film with a remarkably simple gesture: Palladino tore up the type, ransom-note style.

“That title was so descriptive, I let the title become the graphic,” Palladino recalled in the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. “It was much stronger than any illustration one could do. The guy was quite cracked up, so, in the graphic, I cracked up the lettering to reinforce the title.”

Originally designed for the jacket of Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel of the same name, Palladino’s title was acquired by Alfred Hitchcock for $5,000. “He thought it would be perfect for the ads for this film,” Palladino said. “He wanted the lettering to dominate the newspaper and poster advertising, with just a few photographs of the main actors.” The broken letters were the template for Saul Bass’s influential title sequence and became just as evocative of the film as the famous shot of Janet Leigh’s eye.


This image of the original book jacket is from the blog It's Only a Movie.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2020 7:22 AM CST
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Friday, November 13, 2020
MAMET TALKS TO DEADLINE ABOUT SEAN CONNERY
THE BRIDGE SCENE "IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE COMMON SENSE A COP NEEDS"


Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr tracked down David Mamet to ask him what it feels like "for a great writer of dialogue to have an actor like the late Sean Connery elevate the words like Connery did as the rough and tumble Irish cop Jim Malone? Or, for that matter, when Alec Baldwin and the other stellar stars turned Glengarry Glen Ross in a master class in toxic testosterone." Fleming posted Mamet's "unpredictable" response today:
As for Connery, Mamet said he was a pleasure to work with and that he brought legitimacy to the tough guy cop character he’d written. Said Mamet: “I was talking the other day to somebody whose brother was a cop and who said to her, ‘the best portrayal I’ve ever seen of a cop in a movie was the one by Connery. What Connery exhibits is what every cop needs and many don’t have, and that is common sense.’ Mamet said that was conveyed in scenes that included one where Connery’s Malone confronts Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness on a bridge at night. “Malone says, ‘why are you carrying a gun’ and Ness replies, ‘Because I am a treasury officer.’ When Connery says okay and walks away, Costner says, ‘ Why would you turn away from someone with a gun, just because he claims to be a treasury officer and Connery says, ‘Who would claim to be that, who wasn’t?’ It is the perfect example of the common sense a cop needs,” Mamet said.

I ask how Connery compared to the many other actors who delivered Mamet’s signature tough guy dialogue. The playwright-turned-filmmaker declined to eat the sushi, er, swallow the bait.

“Ever hear that joke, how do you make 99 of 100 little old ladies say, ‘fuck?’ I confessed I hadn’t. “Have the other one shout, Bingo! It’s the same thing here. Why would I alienate innumerable great actors I’ve worked with by picking one over another? I’ve been blessed since the earliest days in my career when we started our theater company in Chicago and I worked with Billy Macy, Joe Mantegna, Patti LuPone, Laurie Metcalf and others. I’ve worked with a lot of real tough guys,, like Dennis Farina, a real tough cop, and Dennis Franz, a tough Vietnam vet. I’ve worked with actual bank robbers, after they came down state, just superb actors.

“I stopped watching the news five months ago, I just couldn’t take anymore, and my wife and I have been watching old movies, pre-code movies, from back when they made 2500 films a year,” he said. “We’re watching King of the Newsboys, which starred Lew Ayres when he played light heavyweights, before Dr. Kildare, and in one scene they are getting drunk sitting at the bar and a woman wakes up, looks around and says, ‘Oh, am I still here?’ I think, that is genius, there’s no other line in the movie nearly that good. What happened? I think about it and figure, she misread the line, most probably.

“I remember a scene from a film I wrote and directed, Heist. Gene Hackman is in a scene with Danny DeVito. I’m crazy about Danny and he’s talking to Hackman on the phone and the line is ‘Are you fucking with me, are you fucking with me, or are you done fucking with me.’ With the emphasis on the world ‘done.’ As we’re shooting, I think, Jesus, no, don’t let him read it with the emphasis on ‘done’ instead of ‘fucking’ with me. And he reads it the correct way, the way a regular guy would. He was great. Sometimes, these things just happen.”

...

Back to Connery?

“My wife [actress Rebecca Pidgeon] is Scottish and I remember running into Sean in Edinburgh one year, maybe it was at the Edinburgh Festival,” Mamet said. Obviously Connery, who was knighted in his home country, would have been wearing the traditional kilt.

“What I’ll say about Sean is, not only did he do everything well, but he looked great in a skirt,” Mamet said.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2020 12:16 AM CST
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Sunday, November 8, 2020
Ep. 8 OF FARGO GOES UNION STATION - 'UNTOUCHABLES'
ACCORDING TO RECAPS AT VULTURE & NY TIMES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/untouchables12oclockhigh.jpg

This week's episode of Fargo (season 4, episode 8) includes a shootout filmed at Chicago's Union Station, which, according to at least two episode recaps posted tonight, overtly calls back to Brian De Palma's The Untouchables:

Keith Phipps, Vulture

And so we’re off to Kansas City’s Union Station for a big shootout. And if it looks a little familiar, that’s because Fargo shot the scene at Chicago’s Union Station. Even if you’ve never been there, if you’ve seen Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, you’ll recognize it as the setting of a gunfight that gives the movie its most famous set piece. It’s no accident that the battle in this episode evokes that famous scene, from its long set-up to its exaggerated soundtrack to its strategically deployed slow motion. (There’s no baby carriage rolling down the stairs Battleship Potemkin-style, however.) If the scene doesn’t come close to topping its inspiration, it gives the episode yet another moment that complicates our feelings toward its colorful criminals.

Scott Tobias, The New York Times

It’s probably unfair to chide “Fargo” for ripping off a major set-piece from Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” since De Palma himself has been knocked for ripping off Alfred Hitchcock. And the set-piece in question, a shootout at Chicago’s Union Station, nods to the famed Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin.” Nevertheless, the quotes around quotes around quotes somewhat diminish the impact of a show that can seem, at times, like a shallow pastiche without the undergirding of original ideas or thematic purposefulness. Its pleasures are mostly on the surface.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For the most part, this episode was an entertaining jumble of loose ends and Plan Bs, full of characters who are scrambling to figure out how to act when their schemes have been blown up. With various subplots zipping every which way, there’s not any single unifying idea that binds the hour together, but at this point in the season, there’s just too much narrative business that needs to be resolved.


The main part of Tobias' episode recap ends with this paragraph:
The chaos that ensues from the Union Station operation — with Deafy and Swanee dead and Zelmare still on the loose — adds an encouraging volatility to the final batch of episodes this season. No one is in a comfortable spot here: Oraetta has to worry that Dr. Harvard will pursue attempted murder charges; Loy has to worry that the Faddas are finally uniting against him; the Faddas have to worry about Milligan; and everybody has to worry about Zelmare, who will surely be coming back to town, eager to settle some scores. Sounds like one or two more De Palma set pieces waiting to happen.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Thursday, November 5, 2020
FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA SHARES 2 'CARRIE' PIECES
TWEETED NOV. 1ST TO MARK RELEASE OF DE PALMA'S "OUTSTANDING" FILM ADAPTATION OTD 44 YEARS AGO
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/francavillacarrie1.jpg

Previously:

Francesco Francavilla pays tribute to Phantom Of The Paradise


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, November 6, 2020 12:28 AM CST
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Wednesday, November 4, 2020
VULTURE'S 15 ESSENTIAL CONSPIRACY THRILLERS
INCLUDES 'BLOW OUT', 'MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE', 'THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR', 'WINTER KILLS', ETC., ETC.
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/libertybellstrangler2.jpg

Yesterday at Vulture, Keith Phipps chose "15 Essential Conspiracy Theory Movies" to write about:
"In his essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” historian Richard Hofstadter identified a “sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” that served as a recurring pattern in American history (though not exclusively in American history). Writing in 1964, Hofstadter connected the dots between eruptions of panic about the Illuminati and Freemasonry through anti-Catholic conspiracy theories up to the anti-communist hysteria of the McCarthy era. Writing today, Hofstadter would have have little trouble extending that line, from the Kennedy assassination theories that started to crop up immediately after the president’s death the previous November through internet-fueled conspiratorial thinking that has become a prominent part of the 2020 presidential election thanks to QAnon.

Movies have had a complex relationship with conspiracy theories. Misleading — and often outright false — documentaries have been used to push everything from 9/11 conspiracy theories to COVID-19 disinformation to alleged UFO cover-ups to whatever nonsense Dinesh D’Souza is trying to push on any given day. Yet the same elements that can make for irresponsible journalism — and conspiracy theories have a tendency to fall apart upon close examination — can prove irresistible to storytellers. The sense that we live in a world filled with dark forces and sinister plots can be queasily intoxicating. (And for this list we’ve kept the focus on conspiracy theory movies with political implications. You won’t find Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for instance, even though it feeds off the paranoid mood of the era, or stories of corporate conspiracies, real or fictional, like The Insider and Michael Clayton.)

What might not literally be accurate can still be metaphorically true. Here’s Hofstadter again: “Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content.” In the right hands, conspiracy theory–inspired movies tap into a deeper sense of unease and distrust. They can also feed into it. Would our distrust of the government have deepened quite as intensely after Watergate were it not for the Watergate-inspired films that followed it? We may never know. But we can explore the question via some compelling films inspired by the deepest, darkest pockets of political discourse.


Following that introduction, Phipps presents a ranked list of 15 conspiracy theory films, with Blow Out at number 5. "A riff on Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup that finds a murder hidden within sounds rather than images, Blow Out casts John Travolta as Jack Terry, a sound technician working for a grubby Philadelphia film producer. While recording some atmospheric noise he witnesses, and records, a presidential hopeful’s fatal car accident, an event Jack comes to suspect is actually an assassination. Propulsively directed by Brian De Palma, Blow Out combines elements of the Kennedy assassination, the Chappaquiddick incident, and post-Watergate paranoia into a potent mystery that suggests even a serial killer’s seemingly random acts of violence might be part of larger plot, building to a climax that’s almost nightmarish in its despair."

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, November 5, 2020 7:38 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 3, 2020
COSTNER & DE NIRO REMEMBER SEAN CONNERY
"SEAN WAS A CRAFTED ACTOR WHO WAS ENORMOUSLY PROUD OF HIS BODY OF WORK"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/costnertweetconnery.jpg

On Saturday, following the news that Sean Connery had passed away, his Untouchables co-star Kevin Costner tweeted, "I, like the rest of the world, was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sean Connery this morning. Sean was a crafted actor who was enormously proud of his body of work, particularly his work on stage. And although he was a very no-nonsense person, he was incredibly inclusive with me professionally and personally. He was the biggest star that I ever worked with and I will be forever grateful to be linked with him on film. Sean Connery was a man’s man who had an amazing career."

Robert De Niro, who, of course, played Al Capone in The Untouchables, also issued a statement on Saturday, according to Deadline's Alexandra Del Rosario. "I’m very sorry to hear about Sean’s passing,” De Niro said. “He seemed much younger than 90; I expected – and hoped– he’d be with us much longer. See you up there, Sean."


Posted by Geoff at 10:07 PM CST
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Monday, November 2, 2020
'I LIKE THAT - LET'S DO THAT IN THE MOVIE'
ANDY GARCIA SHARES MEMORIES OF SEAN CONNERY WITH THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/costnerwithcamera1.jpg

Today at The Hollywood Reporter, Andy Garcia recalls working with Sean Connery on The Untouchables, and also shares photos, such as the one above. "I was one of the four, so we were together a lot," Garcia tells HR's Tatiana Siegel. "His sense of humor was always prevalent. He had a very dry, sort of sarcastic, observational humor that I very much appreciated." Here's a bit more:
It was destiny that I got to work with him in The Untouchables. God works in mysterious ways. It was a great privilege for me. It was one of those things you think that someone will put a hand on your shoulder and say, “Wake up. It's all been a dream.”

We rehearsed for a week or so before we started [shooting] in Chicago. I remember during rehearsal, he was jabbing me with a clipboard that he had in his hands with the little metal part right in my ribs. And I remember knocking it out of his hand. And then he was like, “I like that. Let's do that in the movie.” So that's why it's in the movie like that because Sean was provoking me to get a reaction. Once I did, he said, “Good. I like this kid.”

We were doing a scene where I had to go down the hallway. The camera was looking down the hallway, and he was off camera. It was me answering the phone and having a conversation with him. But he was ready to go play golf right after the scene would be over. So I went in there to answer the phone, and Brian De Palma said, “Cut.” And I walked back to where they were, and Brian said, “Andy, we didn't see your face.” And then there was a discussion about how I’d answer the phone. I didn’t want it to look corny. And Sean looked up to me and said, “Come on, kid, it's not Hamlet: just answer the phone, turn around; let's get out of here.” So. I did another take. Brian says “Cut. Andy, we only saw one eye.” And Sean, with his great sense of humor, said, “You saw two eyes. They’re just very close together.”

His sense of humor was so quick, and you could be the butt of his humor very easily. And he would take it as well as he could give it. I would riff with him and try to hold my ground. And that was my relationship with him in the movie as well. I had to always come back with something. He wanted you to come back. He didn't want you to lay down. I made him laugh, and he treated me very warmly. He loved kids. He loved the fact that my kids were around on the set, and he would play with them. That showed the warmth of his character.

Sean took his work very seriously. He was a consummate actor, and he was highly prepared, so he set the bar very high. As soon as he walked into the room, he was ready, and you had to be ready around him. You had to show up ready to go. He had this masterful touch, imaginative, a sense of interpretation that he had with all of his parts going back to the early Bond.

The last time I saw Sean was at a tribute that we did at the AFI [in 2009], and I was honored to speak about him. After the event, we went together to an afterparty and sat together. We had a cocktail or two, and it was a beautiful thing. I never saw him after that. He lived in the Bahamas. He said, “Come to Nassau. We’ll play some golf.” I thought to myself, “Yeah, I gotta go do that.” I never did. It's a regret I have.

Raise your glass for him. It's never too early to toast Sean Connery.


Posted by Geoff at 8:46 PM CST
Updated: Monday, November 2, 2020 8:50 PM CST
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Sunday, November 1, 2020
ROEPER- CONNERY WAS MORE THAN BOND TO CHICAGOANS
CONNERY "TURNED JIMMY MALONE INTO ONE OF CINEMA'S GREAT AND LASTING CHARACTERS"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/untouchableschicagopress.jpg

"Sean Connery was more than James Bond to Chicagoans, thanks to The Untouchables" -- that's the headline to an article posted yesterday by Richard Roeper at The Chicago Sun-Times. "For many a movie fan and for Chicagoans in particular," the sub-headline continues, "when we think of Sean Connery, we think of the savvy and world-weary Irish cop Jimmy Malone in the The Untouchables, telling Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness how to get Al Capone." Here's the first part of Roeper's article:
“Do you know what a blood oath is, Mr. Ness?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Cuz you just took one.” — Sean Connery’s Jimmy Malone, shaking hands with Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables.”

Virtually every tribute to the late Sean Connery led with his signature role as the original James Bond, and rightfully so. But for many a movie fan and for Chicagoans in particular, when we think of Sean Connery, we think of the savvy and world-weary Irish cop Jimmy Malone in the “The Untouchables,” telling Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness how to get Al Capone. As Malone and Ness kneel side by side at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in East Garfield Park, Malone asks Ness, “What are you prepared to do?”

“Everything within the law,” comes the reply.

“And THEN what are you prepared to do?...You want to get Capone, here’s how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. THAT’S the Chicago way, and that’s how you get Capone.”

There are certain movie moments where an actor clinches an Oscar, right then and there — and that was one of those moments. Connery had won the Oscar for best supporting performance of 1987 before Jimmy Malone and Eliot Ness left that church.

Brian DePalma directed the highly fictionalized and enormously entertaining “The Untouchables,” but it was David Mamet who gave the film its voice with his brilliant screenplay, and it was Sean Connery who turned Jimmy Malone into one of cinema’s great and lasting characters.

And what a Chicago film it was! DePalma and his production team made great use of the city, from the lower pedestrian deck of the Michigan Avenue Bridge where Ness meets Malone to the canyons of La Salle Street in the Loop to the Blackstone Hotel to the magnificent foyer of the Chicago Theatre standing in as the entrance to the Lexington Hotel. (Jimmy Malone’s apartment has been replaced by University of Illinois-Chicago buildings.)

The Untouchables” featured an outstanding ensemble cast — Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith — and of course Costner was the leading man and hero, but it was Connery as Jimmy Malone that gave the movie heart, that gave it a big-shouldered Chicago personality. He owned every moment he was onscreen.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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