Married to the Mob

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For the soundtrack album, see Married to the Mob (soundtrack).
Married to the Mob
Married to the mob movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Produced by Edward Saxon
Written by Barry Strugatz
Mark R. Burns
Starring Michelle Pfeiffer
Matthew Modine
Dean Stockwell
Mercedes Ruehl
Alec Baldwin
Music by David Byrne
Cinematography Tak Fujimoto
Edited by Craig McKay
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release dates
  • August 19, 1988 (1988-08-19)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $21,486,757

Married to the Mob is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine.

Michelle Pfeiffer, in something of a departure from her previous roles, gave an acclaimed lead performance as a gangster's widow from Brooklyn, opposite Matthew Modine as the undercover FBI agent assigned the task of investigating her mafia connections.

As a slippery mob boss romantically pursuing Angela, Dean Stockwell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Plot[edit]

Angela de Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the wife of mafia up-and-comer Frank "The Cucumber" de Marco (Alec Baldwin), who gets violently dispatched by Mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo (Dean Stockwell) when he is discovered in a compromising situation with the latter's mistress Karen (Nancy Travis). Angela wants to escape the mafia scene with her son, but is harassed by Tony who puts the moves on her at Frank's funeral. This clinch earns her the suspicion of FBI agents Mike Downey (Matthew Modine) and Ed Benitez (Oliver Platt), and also of Tony's wife Connie (Mercedes Ruehl), who repeatedly confronts Angela with accusations of stealing her husband. To further complicate things, Mike Downey is assigned to monitor all of Angela's movements as part of an undercover surveillance operation, but cannot resist becoming romantically involved with Angela himself. Angela's attempts to break away from the Mob result in comic mayhem and a climactic showdown in a honeymoon suite in Miami.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Married to the Mob received a largely positive response from critics, and currently holds an 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes[1] and a score of 71 on Metacritic.[2]

Janet Maslin in the New York Times wrote that "Married to the Mob works best as a wildly overdecorated screwball farce... it also plays as a gentle romance, and as the story of a woman trying to re-invent her life."[3] The Washington Post described the film as "all decked out in Godfather kitsch, but underneath its loud exterior, a complex heroine struggles for freedom."[4] Variety called the film "fresh, colorful and inventive."[5] Time Out wrote that although the film was "relentlessly shallow, the performances, music and gaudy visuals provide a fizzy vitality for which many other directors would give their right arm."[6] Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times gave a more lukewarm review, but ended positively: "Still, Married to the Mob is loaded with wonderful offbeat touches... [and] most assuredly doesn't lack soul."[7]

Jonathan Demme's direction was praised for its idiosyncrasy. The New York Times called him "American cinema's king of amusing artifacts: blinding bric-a-brac, the junkiest of jewelry, costumes so frightening they take your breath away."[3] The Washington Post wrote that "Jonathan Demme has nailed one with this playful, but dangerous, gangster farce."[4]

The acting performances were widely acclaimed, especially that of Michelle Pfeiffer in a star-making turn, "her best performance to date."[7] Richard Corliss in Time wrote that Pfeiffer was the "emotional anchor to his [Demme's] vertiginous sight gags."[8] Variety claimed the "enormous cast is a total delight, starting with Pfeiffer."[5] The Washington Post called Pfeiffer a "deft comedian... It's her movie, and she graces it."[4] Matthew Modine was "winning," according to Variety.[5]

Supporting players Dean Stockwell and Mercedes Ruehl also received praise for their performances. The Washington Post described Ruehl's character as "majestic in her jealousy, stealing scenes but never the show from the sweetly determined Pfeiffer."[4] Maslin in the New York Times thought that Pfeiffer and Modine were "readily upstaged by Miss Ruehl and, especially, by Mr. Stockwell. His shoulder-rolling caricature of this suave, foppish and thoroughly henpecked kingpin is the film's biggest treat."[3] Variety described Stockwell as "a hoot."[5]

Accolades[edit]

Michelle Pfeiffer was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.[9]

Dean Stockwell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won awards in the same category from the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle, both of which were also in honour of his work in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988). He also shared the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in a three-way tie with Martin Landau for Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Tom Cruise for Rain Man (1988).[9]

Mercedes Ruehl won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress.[9]

Awarding Body Award Nominee Result
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Dean Stockwell nomination
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Michelle Pfeiffer nomination
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Dean Stockwell winner
(tied with Martin Landau and Tom Cruise)
National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Dean Stockwell winner
Best Supporting Actress Mercedes Ruehl winner
New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Dean Stockwell winner

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Married to the Mob Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  2. ^ "Married to the mob reviews at Metacritic.com". metacritic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  3. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (August 19, 1988). "Movie Review - Married to the Mob - The Mob, to Have and to Hold". nytimes.com. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kempley, Rita (August 19, 1988). "'Married to the Mob' (R)". washingtonpost.com. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Married to the Mob Review". variety.com. January 1, 1988. 
  6. ^ "Married to the Mob Review - Film - Time Out London". timeout.com. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  7. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (August 19, 1988). "Married to the Mob :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". rogerebert.suntimes.com. 
  8. ^ Corliss, Richard (August 22, 1988). "Cinema: Mafia Princess, Dream Queen, MARRIED TO THE MOB - TIME". time.com. 
  9. ^ a b c "Married to the Mob (1988) - Awards". imdb.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 

External links[edit]