Romeo Is Bleeding
|Romeo Is Bleeding|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Medak|
|Produced by||Hilary Henkin
|Written by||Hilary Henkin|
|Music by||Mark Isham
|Editing by||Walter Murch|
|Studio||PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Working Title Films
|Distributed by||Gramercy Pictures
|Release dates||1993 (UK)
4 February 1994 (US)
|Running time||100 min.|
|Country||UK / USA|
Jack Grimaldi, a corrupt cop who does favors for the Mafia in exchange for large fees, has a loving wife, Natalie, and an adoring mistress, Sheri. He thinks he has it all, until both the cops and mob are outwitted by a psychopathic Russian mob assassin named Mona Demarkov.
The head of the Italian mob, Don Falcone, orders Jack to deal with Demarkov or face dire consequences. Jack is unable to kill her; she even seduces and makes a fool of him. Falcone, disappointed in Jack's ineptitude, orders one of Jack's toes cut off.
Seriously injured due to the amputation and realizing that he has endangered his wife and mistress, Jack instructs his wife to leave the city immediately, giving her money and instructions where to meet him out West when the time is right. Jack also ends his affair with his mistress and puts her on a train out of the city.
Jack tries to hunt Demarkov but soon realizes that he is putty in her hands. He is attracted to her sexually and no match for her professionally. Mona offers to pay Jack to help her eliminate Falcone and fake her own death. Although he obtains phony papers for her, she refuses to pay and attempts to strangle him. He shoots and wounds her, then tries to drive away with her handcuffed in the back seat. Mona escapes by hooking her legs around his neck, causing him to crash the car. She slithers out through the shattered windshield without ever freeing her hands.
Mona lures Jack to an abandoned warehouse. He again attempts to kill her but is tricked into shooting Sheri instead. Mona fixes the corpse so as to suggest that it was she, and not Sheri, who died. (Her scheme involves severing her own arm and substituting it for Sheri's.) Mona then handcuffs Jack to the bed and has her way with him. Asking Jack, "With or without?" he replies "without" and she mounts him after unbuckling her new prosthetic arm, her last concession to conventional appearances.
Demarkov then forces Jack to kill Don Falcone, burying him alive. She proceeds to turn in Jack to the police, his former associates, copping a plea deal that will indict Jack for the multiple murders that she tricked him into committing.
The police arrange a confrontation between Jack and Demarkov at the courthouse, as he is heading in and she is heading out. She threatens to kill his wife. Thinking he has nothing to lose, and desperate to save the only thing good in his life, Jack grabs a gun from the ankle holster of a fellow officer and shoots her down. Jack turns the gun on himself, only to discover that the revolver is empty.
Instead of being sent to prison for the murder, he is given a commendation. This frees him to begin a new life out West in a remote town. He waits at the appointed time and place, imagining Natalie's return to him, but her forgiveness is only in his mind.
- Gary Oldman as Jack Grimaldi
- Lena Olin as Mona Demarkov
- Annabella Sciorra as Natalie Grimaldi
- Juliette Lewis as Sheri
- Roy Scheider as Don Falcone
- Michael Wincott as Sal
- David Proval as Scully
- Will Patton as Martie
- Dennis Farina as Nick Gazzara (uncredited)
- James Cromwell – Cage
- Tony Sirico – Malacci
- Ron Perlman – Jack's Attorney
- Stephen Tobolowsky – District Attorney (uncredited)
Romeo is Bleeding was savaged by critics. It garnered a 23% "rotten" rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert called the film "an exercise in overwrought style and overwritten melodrama, and proof that a great cast cannot save a film from self-destruction," while Todd McCarthy opined: "This heavy dose of ultra-violent neo-noir gives Gary Oldman a face-first trip through the gutter that would make Mickey Rourke drool, but the far-fetched plotting eventually goes so far over the top that pic flirts with inventing a new genre of film noir camp." Janet Maslin said of the film: "For all its promise, and for all the brittle beauty of Dariusz Wolski's cinematography, Romeo Is Bleeding eventually collapses under the weight of its violent affectations." Bon Jovi recorded the song "Always" for the film, but withheld the song after the band was given a preview screening and was not satisfied with it.
In later years, Oldman's performance did gain some acclaim. In 2011, Josh Winning of Total Film commented, "Oldman's proficiency with accents comes to the fore as he perfectly narrates this film noir...this is up there as one of his best ever roles." According to MSN Movies, "While not a great movie -- or even a good movie, according to most critics -- Gary Oldman's performance as corrupt cop Jack Grimaldi is still highly regarded."
Mark Isham's score is notably noir-like with a recurring haunting trumpet theme. Dariusz Wolski's cinematogarphy features numerous obligatory "film noir" images, such as the visuals of cigarette smoke. Walter Murch's editing is craftsman-like.
- Nominee Best Supporting Actress - Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (Lena Olin)
- Nominee Best Action Sequence - MTV Awards (Lena Olin)
- Leistedt, Samuel J.; Linkowski, Paul (January 2014). "Psychopathy and the Cinema: Fact or Fiction?". Journal of Forensic Sciences (American Academy of Forensic Sciences) 59 (1): 167–174. doi:10.1111/1556-4029.12359. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Romeo Is Bleeding Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes
- 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't be Wrong DVD
- Winning, Josh. Best Movies: The film chameleon’s greatest moments. Total Film. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- Romeo Is Bleeding (1993) - Jack Grimaldi. MSN Movies. 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- IMDB "Romeo is Bleeding" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107983/awards?ref_=tt_ql_4
- "Weekend Box Office : 'Ace Ventura' Detects a Winning Take". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- Gary Oldman – Box Office Data Movie Star
- Romeo Is Bleeding – Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information – The Numbers
- Romeo Is Bleeding at the Internet Movie Database
- Romeo Is Bleeding at Box Office Mojo
- Romeo Is Bleeding at allmovie
- Romeo is Bleeding at Rotten Tomatoes