Men of Respect (1991)

R | 113 mins | Drama | 18 January 1991

Writer:

William Reilly

Producer:

Ephraim Horowitz

Cinematographer:

Bobby Bukowski

Editor:

Elizabeth Kling

Production Designer:

William Barclay

Production Company:

Central City Film
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HISTORY

       Production notes in AMPAS library files indicate that principal photography began 18 Aug 1989 “in and around” New York City. Locations included a Manhattan court building, the “interconnecting” basements of tenement buildings on the Lower East Side, unspecified sites in Harlem, and the courtyard of a nineteenth-century apartment building in the West Village. Scenes were also shot at the Saint Gennaro and Villa Avenue street fair “feasts,” located in Little Italy and the Bronx. A grand estate in Upper Montclair, NJ, served as Mafia boss “Charlie D’Amico’s” residence. Filming concluded in mid-Oct 1989. A 21 Jan 1991 New York news item listed a budget of $2 million.
       On 17 Aug 1990, DV announced that the world premiere gala screening of Men of Respect would be held on 23 Aug 1990 at the 14th Montreal World Film Festival. According to a 27 Aug 1990 DV news brief, the violence depicted in the film caused some festival attendees to walk out of the theater.
       The film opened in wide theatrical release on 18 Jan 1991. Critics were not kind to the Mafia-themed retread of Shakespeare’s play, with various contemporary reviews faulting the overly literal adaptation as “predictable.” In his 18 Jan 1991 review, LAT critic Michael Wilmington noted that British director Ken Hughes explored a similarly “flawed” gangster interpretation in Joe Macbeth (1955, see entry).
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks: Advertising in Movies; Au Bon Pain; Stills Processed by Aurora Color Labs; Warren Sidewitz and Joe Fico of Budget Rent-A-Car; The New York Daily News; Bruce Feinberg; Mike Wallach/Film Stock Exchange; Floral Design by ... More Less

       Production notes in AMPAS library files indicate that principal photography began 18 Aug 1989 “in and around” New York City. Locations included a Manhattan court building, the “interconnecting” basements of tenement buildings on the Lower East Side, unspecified sites in Harlem, and the courtyard of a nineteenth-century apartment building in the West Village. Scenes were also shot at the Saint Gennaro and Villa Avenue street fair “feasts,” located in Little Italy and the Bronx. A grand estate in Upper Montclair, NJ, served as Mafia boss “Charlie D’Amico’s” residence. Filming concluded in mid-Oct 1989. A 21 Jan 1991 New York news item listed a budget of $2 million.
       On 17 Aug 1990, DV announced that the world premiere gala screening of Men of Respect would be held on 23 Aug 1990 at the 14th Montreal World Film Festival. According to a 27 Aug 1990 DV news brief, the violence depicted in the film caused some festival attendees to walk out of the theater.
       The film opened in wide theatrical release on 18 Jan 1991. Critics were not kind to the Mafia-themed retread of Shakespeare’s play, with various contemporary reviews faulting the overly literal adaptation as “predictable.” In his 18 Jan 1991 review, LAT critic Michael Wilmington noted that British director Ken Hughes explored a similarly “flawed” gangster interpretation in Joe Macbeth (1955, see entry).
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks: Advertising in Movies; Au Bon Pain; Stills Processed by Aurora Color Labs; Warren Sidewitz and Joe Fico of Budget Rent-A-Car; The New York Daily News; Bruce Feinberg; Mike Wallach/Film Stock Exchange; Floral Design by Carl Montalbano of Monty’s Florist Richmond Hills, NY; Monte’s Venetian Room; Jack Gary/Panavision; Gear Holdings, Inc.; Rod Steiger’s Wardrobe by Hart Schaffner & Marx; Horatio 113; Jacobson Photographic Instruments; Jerry Gerardiello; Claudia Jungkunst Knitwear; New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Television; Members Only; Nicholas Thatos Jewelry; Nikon Professional Services; Nyabinghi African Shop; Pepsico, Inc.; Bill Nisselson/Sound One; Timothy Duffy Company; Unique Product Placement; Veniero’s Pastry Shop; Very Fine Products, Inc.; Linda Young; Rena Ronson.”
      The film opens with the following written prologue: “There is nothing but what has a violent end or violent beginnings …” Although not acknowledged in the credits, the quotation is from William Hazlitt’s Characters of Shakespear’s [sic] Plays (London, 1817). Hazlitt was a nineteenth-century literary critic, whose book presented a comprehensive examination of William Shakespeare’s male and female roles, including those from The Tragedy of Macbeth, on which Men of Respect is based.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1990.
---
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 1991
p. 11, 72.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jan 1991
p. 14.
New York
21 Jan 1991
p. 23.
New York Times
18 Jan 1991
Section C, p. 1.
Variety
6 Jun 1990
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Central City Films & Arthur Goldblatt Productions present
a William Reilly film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Dir in training
A.D. dept, Prod asst
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
3d asst cam
Still photog
2d unit dir of photog
2d unit dir of photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec
Best boy grip
Dir of photog, Addl photog
Gaffer, Addl photog
Elec, Addl photog
Elec, Addl photog
Elec, Addl photog
Elec, Addl photog
Key grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Generator op, Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Storyboard artist
Computer storyboards by
Art, Prod asst
Art, Prod asst
Art dir, Addl photog
FILM EDITORS
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Changeman scenic artist
Scenic artist
Const coord
Inside carpenter
Outside carpenter
Outside carpenter
Prop master
Inside props
Prop asst
Key set, Prod Asst
Set, Prod asst
Props, Addl photog
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus comp
Addl orchestrations
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd supv
Asst sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd mixer
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup/Hair
Hair/Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod office coord
Asst. prod office coord
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Extras casting
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Scr supv
Scr supv
Asst to Arthur Goldblatt
Asst to Gary Mehlman
Asst to the dir
Asst to the dir
Asst to the dir
Creative consultant
Dial coach to Ms. Borowitz
Transportation capt
Key prod, Prod asst
Loc, Prod asst
Loc, Prod asst/Prod asst, Addl photog
Office, Prod asst
Office, Prod asst
Office, Prod asst
Office, Prod asst
Accounting, Prod asst
Prod, Prod asst
Prod, Prod asst
Prod, Prod asst
Prod, Prod asst
Parking, Prod asst
Completion bonding by
Creative consultant
Prod financing
Scr supv, Addl photog
Loc mgr, Addl photog
Craft service, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Utility stunt
Utility stunt
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Adapted from The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (London, 1623).
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 January 1991
Premiere Information:
World premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival: 23 August 1990
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 January 1991
Production Date:
18 August--mid October 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Grandview Avenue Pictures, Inc., & Central City Film Company
Copyright Date:
18 June 1990
Copyright Number:
PA483333
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
113
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30786
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a stormy night, members of a New York crime organization gather at an estate, where “Padrino” Charlie D’Amico asks for information on the killing of several D’Amico allies. Carmelo Rossi, one of Charlie’s top advisors, suggests that he retire with his family to Florida. Just then, Sal, a young D’Amico associate, arrives and informs them that Mike Battaglia, having learned of a plot against Charlie, masterminded a hit on their adversaries. Sal describes how Mike, accompanied by “Bankie” Como, walked into a Bronx restaurant and killed Ali “The Greek” Bernacci and his companions. D’Amico expresses admiration for Battaglia, and asks that he be brought in unharmed. The next day, Mike and Bankie flee when they see D’Amico’s men and take cover in a basement doorway, where an old man invites them to have their fortunes read by his wife, Lucia. Although she pleases Mike by prophesying he will become Padrino, she upsets Bankie with the suggestion that his son will one day lead the crime syndicate. Later, Mike and Bankie stop at a diner, where Mike makes a phone call to his wife, Ruthie. After hanging up, Mike is greeted by Carmelo Rossi, who escorts the young man to a limousine. At the estate, D’Amico promotes Mike to the role of caporegime. Mike returns to his wife, Ruthie, in New York City. She is pleased about her husband’s promotion, but expresses skepticism about the boss, Charlie D’Amico. She urges Mike to show ambition and seize the role of Padrino for himself. Later, the Battaglias host Charlie D’Amico and his criminal associates for dinner. The men eye each other warily as D’Amico announces the retirement ... +


On a stormy night, members of a New York crime organization gather at an estate, where “Padrino” Charlie D’Amico asks for information on the killing of several D’Amico allies. Carmelo Rossi, one of Charlie’s top advisors, suggests that he retire with his family to Florida. Just then, Sal, a young D’Amico associate, arrives and informs them that Mike Battaglia, having learned of a plot against Charlie, masterminded a hit on their adversaries. Sal describes how Mike, accompanied by “Bankie” Como, walked into a Bronx restaurant and killed Ali “The Greek” Bernacci and his companions. D’Amico expresses admiration for Battaglia, and asks that he be brought in unharmed. The next day, Mike and Bankie flee when they see D’Amico’s men and take cover in a basement doorway, where an old man invites them to have their fortunes read by his wife, Lucia. Although she pleases Mike by prophesying he will become Padrino, she upsets Bankie with the suggestion that his son will one day lead the crime syndicate. Later, Mike and Bankie stop at a diner, where Mike makes a phone call to his wife, Ruthie. After hanging up, Mike is greeted by Carmelo Rossi, who escorts the young man to a limousine. At the estate, D’Amico promotes Mike to the role of caporegime. Mike returns to his wife, Ruthie, in New York City. She is pleased about her husband’s promotion, but expresses skepticism about the boss, Charlie D’Amico. She urges Mike to show ambition and seize the role of Padrino for himself. Later, the Battaglias host Charlie D’Amico and his criminal associates for dinner. The men eye each other warily as D’Amico announces the retirement of Carmelo Rossi, much to Rossi’s surprise. After dinner, Bankie reminds Mike of the fortuneteller’s prediction. Mike is contemplative, until Ruthie pressures him to depose of D’Amico. An argument ensues, and Ruthie questions whether her husband possesses the strength of character to become Padrino. Meanwhile, Charlie D’Amico is visited by a prostitute. When the woman leaves, Ruthie drugs Ray and Jamesy, the two men standing watch outside D’Amico’s room. Mike sneaks in and stabs the crime boss. Afterward, the blood-spattered killer finds his wife. Ruthie admonishes her husband for keeping the murder weapon, before taking the knife from him and returning to the crime scene, where she makes it appear that one of the guards is the killer. Later, Ruthie and Mike use the bathtub to wash the blood from their clothes. The next morning, Duffy, one of D’Amico’s associates, discovers him dead in the guesthouse. Mike feigns astonishment and blames the hit on the two guards, Ray and Jamesy. Tempers flair, and Bankie Como placates the agitated men. At D’Amico’s funeral, his sons, Mal and Don, discuss relocating their families to Canada or Florida. Mal expresses disgust with Mike Battaglia, who is already acting as if he is the new boss. Bankie Como introduces his son, “Philly,” to Mike and the associates. Later, after Mike has a dream of being murdered by Bankie and Philly, Ruthie suggests eliminating the two men. Mike calls Bankie and asks him to pick up some items at a delicatessen. There, gunmen shoot at Bankie and Philly, killing the older man. That night, the Battaglias throw a party for their friends and associates. When Mike learns that Philly survived the hit, he becomes angry and starts drinking, and begins to regard everyone at the party with suspicion. Just then, Bankie’s ghost arrives, speaking to various individuals while looking pointedly in Mike’s direction. Paranoid, Mike collapses onto the ground. Unable to convince the partygoers that nothing is wrong, Ruthie escorts her husband to bed. Later, Mike walks through a rainstorm to the fortuneteller’s house. The old woman warns the desperate man about another who seeks power. However, Mike interprets her riddles in his favor. The next day, Duffy’s wife and young son are killed in a car explosion. Later, while playing cards with associates, Mike is called into the restaurant next door, where the hysterical Ruthie is throwing tablecloths on the floor. He tries to reason with her, to no avail. In Mike’s absence, the criminals worry that Duffy may seek revenge on the Battaglia gang. Meanwhile, Mal and Don D’Amico meet with Carmelo Rossi and the powerful Padrino Ricci to discuss restructuring the organization. The men form an alliance and agree to bring Charlie D’Amico’s murderer to justice. A few days later, the new associates meet with Duffy, who asks to be welcomed back into the D’Amico fold, and requests that he be the one to take out Mike Battaglia. Mal and Don give their consent. Back at the Battaglia residence, Ruthie spirals further into depression. Mike suggests they throw a party, but Ruthie points out that all his friends have abandoned him. That night, Mike awakens to find his wife obsessively scrubbing the bathtub. He hears a commotion on the street below and runs downstairs to discover his man, Sal, dead on the doorstep. The Battaglia associates urge Mike to flee with Ruthie. However, she has committed suicide in the bathroom. As Mike cries over his wife’s body, the D’Amico criminal organization surrounds the Battaglia residence. Under a shower of fireworks, a gunfight ensues. Duffy stalks Mike, before killing him with a switchblade. The next day, Mal and Don D’Amico welcome Philly into their clan. Padrino Ricci nods approvingly as the son of Bankie Como pledges allegiance to the association. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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