Chinese Coffee

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Chinese Coffee
Chinese Coffee film.jpg
Directed by Al Pacino
Produced by James Bulleit
Anne D'Amato
Michael Hadge
Larry Meistrich
John Mollura
Robert Salerno
Written by Ira Lewis
Starring Al Pacino
Jerry Orbach
Susan Floyd
Ellen McElduff
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Frank Prinzi
Edited by Michael Berenbaum
Pasquale Buba
Noah Herzog
Distributed by Chal Productions
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Chinese Coffee (2000) is a play by Ira Lewis which was made into an independent film and released in New York as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, starring Al Pacino and Jerry Orbach. Pacino directed and was introduced by Robert De Niro during the open ceremony.

Shot almost exclusively as a one-on-one conversation between the two main characters, it chronicles friendship, love, loss, and humor of daily life. After years of withholding it, Pacino allowed it to be released on June 19, 2007 as a part of a three-movie boxed set called Pacino: An Actor's Vision.

Howard Shore reportedly originally composed the score to the film, before Elmer Bernstein was hired to replace him.[1]


Harry Levine (Pacino) is a struggling writer (barely) ekeing out a living as a doorman — that is, until he is fired. Desperate for money, he pays a visit to his friend Jake Manheim (Orbach), an arts photographer, to collect an old debt. After Jake says he doesn't have the money, the two engage in an all-night conversation about their respective art, past and present loves, and the directions their lives are heading. The play and film are set in Greenwich Village circa 1982.


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