Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Mikey and Nicky, written and directed by Elaine May
I never saw this film before and I always assumed it was written and directed by Cassavetes. But no, it is Elaine May and in interviews the actors acknowledge that she wrote every word, none of it was invented by the actors on the spot. That is both a testament to Falk and Cassavetes' great acting and May's great writing. Filmed in Philly where she grew up, May claims to have mob people in her family that gave her both the plot idea and the language used.
Nicky (Cassavetes) calls Mikey (Falk) to rescue him—this time a contract on his life for money he stole from his mob boss—Mikey shows up to help. Mikey gets him out of the hotel where he has holed up, and starts to help him plan his escape, but Nicky keeps changing the plan, and a hit man is hot on their trail. Betrayal and friendship take center stage.
This is a violent film. Yet all the violence arises from the plot and the characters. The slick streets emphasize the hazardous nature of the night. The treatment of women is both horrendous and believable to the times and the men. Ned Beatty is very good too. Highly recommended although not for a nice night out.
What is your favorite film about the mob (THE GODFATHER I and 2 excluded)