Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Married to the Mob

Angela de Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer) should be happy about her initial situation in Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob. She lives in absolute luxury thanks to her husband Frank's (Alec Baldwin) line of work: organized crime. But he gets whacked by his boss "Tony the Tiger" Russo (Dean Stockwell) -- who's desperate to get Angela as his mistress -- so she and her son go into hiding...which is much easier said than done.

In stark contrast to some of her work earlier in the decade (hell, she did Dangerous Liaisons the same year), Married to the Mob allows Pfeiffer to be in a lighter role and expand on her comedic abilities. (Worth mentioning that Demme's follow-up film to this was The Silence of the Lambs, again another decided career change-up.)

By this point in American history, the public was more than aware of the mafia's existence. (John Gotti as the head of the Gambino family really did not help the other four families in keeping a low profile.) There were a number of films during the 1980s alone that either made a mockery of or enforced the status of the Italian mob. Regardless of the depiction, people were fascinated by this organization.

Pfeiffer may headline the film but she's not the only actor of note in Married to the Mob. Stockwell and Mercedes Ruehl (she plays Tony's easily jealous wife Connie) steals scenes left and right. It's no wonder that they were the more recognized performers of the film come awards season (with Stockwell earning a long-overdue Oscar nomination).

Married to the Mob is further testament to Demme's worth as a filmmaker. (Being one of Roger Corman's protégés clear had some perks.) His death last year marked the end of an esteemed career of varying genres, and it's unlikely that we'll see another storyteller like him.

My Rating: ****


  1. Great review! I recently rewatched this one for the first time in several years and loved it. I agree, Demme was a truly unique filmmaker and he will be missed. Love that PTA dedicated Phantom Thread to him.

    1. Ooh, I didn't know about that dedication. (Granted, that's mainly because I haven't seen Phantom Thread yet.)


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