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Kill The Irishman Review

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Kill The Irishman

Anchor Bay

R 106 min


OK gang. It's Saint Patrick's Day as I type.

Soon I'll put on the kilt tune up the guitar and go sing for a few hours.

I'll likely have e a few pints in honor of my Irish ancestors.

So what I'm saying is that I'm feeling a little soft for the emerald isle and her sons and daughters so if it seems I've used a little affirmative action when grading this film, well, I have.

Now I remember the early seventies here in NE Ohio and knew some folks who'd worked in businesses rumored to have dealings with organized crime and heard more than once about a fellow named Danny Green.

Green was a legendary Cleveland criminal who bucked the corrupt union bosses, the Italian and Jewish mobsters as well as Cleveland's finest.

For his exploits Green met with an unfortunate end, that is being blown across the entire east side.

This film is the screen adaptation of Rick Porello's chronicle of the volatile period in Cleveland's underworld and to be honest I was hoping for a lot more.

Here's one of the big problems.

In a gangster film one really needs to make the protagonist somewhat sympathetic. Don Corleone, like many criminals of lore, had morals and standards by which he ran his family.

In real life criminals are a lot less ethical than movie crooks.

Danny Green was more of a mug than a pioneer. No better than the union ne'er do wells he usurps, one of his first acts is to turn rat for the prosecutors.

As his career progresses none of Greens illegal activities seem all that innovative or clever as he mostly winds up cheating or betraying his partners and friends.

His fall from any semblance of grace is reneging on a loan of 70 large to the Gambino syndicate in New York. These guys aren't insured with the FDIC.

So unfortunately you're never really in Danny boy's corner and don't really care that he's going to be killed.

I suppose by polishing up the events the story loses it's historic credibility but maybe that was needed.

I suppose director Jonathan Hensleigh should have spent a little more time tweaking the facts as well as ironing out the dialogue.

Ray Stevenson seems to do a respectable job as Green though the character himself lacks charisma.

Vincent D'Onofrio, Tony LoBianco, Robert Davi, Christopher Walken Paul Sorvino and an overweight Val Kilmer round out the cast.

What Hensleigh did add to give the film a bit more appeal was to emphasize the Irish heritage which may or may not have been that prevalent back then, but hey we harps are suckers for it.

That along with plenty of familiar footage of the Cleveland area prompted me to bump my grade of C+ to B- and that's where it stands. The luck of the Irish.

By the way if the old timers are confused about the locations it's because aside from a few shots of Cleveland, it was shot in Detroit.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Dammy Green was basically a punk trying to become somebody in every wrong way possible...I was very young when all that went down...But I knew Green was a lowlife thug. there were other guys like Shondor Birns of his ilk. But like hollywood theres always a spin on the truth...But unlikely anyone really knows it except the people involved themselves. Just another tale of another loser trying to "fit" in. In a place and a society he never really belonged in. And anyone that has any history and/or really understands the true history of the Mafia would tell you that. You wanna learn some good stuff...Read "A Man of Honor" The Joseph Bononano Story. You cant get any better than that.

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