An offbeat, episodic film about three friends, Paul, a shy love-seeker, Lloyd, a vibrant conspiracy nut, and Jon, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom. The film satirizes free-love, the ... See full summary »
Brian De Palma
Robert De Niro,
Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are goons for the Newark mob boss Castelo. They are sent to the race track to place a bet on a horse but screw it up by betting on the wrong horse. Now they owe $250,000 but they separately get an offer to work it off; by killing the other one. Together they go off to Atlantic City where Harry's mobster uncle Mike may be able to bail them out. Written by
In recent years, Brian De Palma has expressed regret in making the film. In a 2013 interview with Fandango, De Palma replied: "It's not one of my favorites because nobody at the studio ever liked it. It was given a go by one administration and they left, and then another administration came in. It was a bastard child that no one wanted anything to do with, so that was not a pleasant experience. But I liked working with Danny DeVito so much that we managed to soldier through it." In a 2016 interview with Business Insider, he added: "I should have just taken my money and walked instead of dealing with a studio that didn't want to make the movie." See more »
When Harry is at the bar and takes the towel to remove the tropical tan lotion, a quick shot before he wipes his face shows the makeup is already gone. Also, there is no makeup on the white towel he used. See more »
Harry Valentini (Danny DeVito) and Moe Dickstein (Joe Piscopo) are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose $250,000, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City and comedy follows.
This film is a bit of an enigma in Brian De Palma's career, not fitting in with the themes or style he is known for. In fact, I would have expected something like this to come from Billy Wilder before De Palma, but yet it exists.
I do have to say I loved the roles filled by Lou Albano and Harvey Keitel. I mean, wow, despite a relatively weak film, Keitel still brings his A game.
Roger Ebert wrote, "Wise Guys is an abundant movie, filled with ideas and gags and great characters. It never runs dry." Apparently this enthusiasm has "run dry" since its release, as now the film is largely forgotten and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a poor 33%. Personally, I thought it was just average.
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