The Super

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This article is about the 1991 film. For the "super" of a building, see Building superintendent. For the 1972 television series, see The Super (TV series). For the comics story by Will Eisner, see A Contract with God.
The Super
Super film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rod Daniel
Produced by Richard E. Frazier
Charles Gordon
Written by Sam Simon
Music by Miles Goodman
Cinematography Bruce Surtees
Edited by Jack Hofstra
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
October 4, 1991
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million
Box office $11,000,863

The Super is a 1991 American comedy film starring Joe Pesci as a New York slum landlord sentenced to live in one of his own buildings until it is brought up to code. Screenwriter Nora Ephron co-scripted the story with Sam Simon.[1] This is the last film in which Vincent Gardenia appeared.


Joe Pesci stars as Louie Kritski, a heartless slumlord who was born into money, thanks to his ruthless father, "Big Lou" (Vincent Gardenia), also a slumlord. However, the tables turn on Louie when he's threatened with prison for his failure to keep his New York slum up to code. The judge gives him another option, which he accepts: he must live in a vacant apartment of one of his own shoddy run-down apartment blocks until he brings it up to livable standards.

The sentence an effective house arrest; Louie is not allowed to leave the apartment except for the following reasons: daily exercise, food shopping, or conferring with workmen in order to repair the deficient problems. In addition, Louie is not authorized to make any changes to the apartment he has been assigned unless all other apartments had the same upgrade beforehand. At first Louie is adamant that not one repair will be carried out, and will wait until his father bails him out. However, Louie has a change of heart after meeting and getting to know the building's residents, including a small-time hustler named Marlon (Ruben Blades), and a struggling street boy named Tito.

Over time, Louie grows more sympathetic with their problems and makes amends for his greediness through actions such as donating space heaters to the tenants to help them cope with the winter. Unfortunately, Big Lou Kritski is the owner of the property in title, and he resists his son's entreaties to spend money to improve the tenements. When Louie confronts Big Lou who is about to set fire to his own tenement, all the residents appear on the roof to back up Louie. The film ends with Louie's building completely refurbished, Marlon becoming the new super, and all the tenants gathered outside to see Louie off.


According to Rod Daniel, Chevy Chase was originally considered for the lead role.[1]


The Super had a $22 million production budget. However, the film was a box-office failure, only grossing $11,000,863 domestically in its release.[2]

The film received poor reviews in its theatrical release and currently holds a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews.

Kenny Blank, who played Tito, was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 1992 in the category 'Best Young Actor Co-starring in a Motion Picture'

Home media[edit]

Fox Video released the film on VHS and Digital Stereo LaserDisc format in 1992. In 2006, the film was released on DVD format.


  1. ^ a b Borrelli, Christopher (27 September 2011). "'Teen Wolf' director's brutally honest commentary". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Super (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 

External links[edit]