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4.4 out of 5 stars25
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 February 2010
Veteran Director John Huston's penultimate film is a black comedy masterpiece written by the author of the novel Richard Condon who co-wrote with Janet Roach the screenplay; Jack Nicholson heads up the cast as the dim-witted Mafia contract killer (Charley Partanna) that unknowing falls for fellow hit person Irene Walker (Kathleen Turner) in the process of having a romantic entanglement they are hired by their employers to kill each other, this was the film that the set the benchmark in satire when using "the family" as its subject matter .

In 1986 the director's daughter Anjelica won the Oscar for best supporting actress playing Maerose Prizzi the daughter of Boss Don Corrado Prizzi who has her sights on Charley, this film may seen a little old-fashioned compared to T.V. shows like "The Sopranos" or the other Oscar Mafia comedy from 1988 "Married to the Mob" with Alec Baldwin and Michelle Pffeiffer but Prizzi's Honor did the jokes first.

The DVD of this film is pretty poor quality the transfer is very grainy and the soundtrack is pretty flat this state of affairs should be fixed as John Houston is a very important American actor/director and his work deserves better.
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So many of the laughs in Prizzi's Honor come from the plot twists (most of them included in the film's trailer, conspicuous by its absence on this DVD) that it's best not to go into it knowing too much. The fact that I'd forgotten so many of them is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much more the second time around. It's a civilized entertainment - perhaps a little too civilized at times, although William Hickey's deathly white vampiric Don gives a whole new meaning to the phrase Cookie Monster - elegantly made and plotted, which wasn't so rare in 1985 but these days is a positive novelty. Jack Nicholson's hamming it up again, but not as much as usual as the luckless Mafia enforcer who meets the woman of his dreams only to discover she's ripped off the family. His comparative restraint helps keep the film from disappearing into slapstick and ridicule, but he still feels something of an impostor in this world - far more so than Kathleen Turner, on good form here as his fatal attraction. Quietly enjoyable.

No real extras on the UK DVD apart from a few text trivia notes, but at least it isn't panned-and-scanned like other titles from theABC library but has an acceptable non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer.
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John Huston's marvellous slow-paced, mature dark comedy about love, loyalty, deception, betrayal, honour and magazine articles is a delight. Its cynical deadpan humour and pedestrian storytelling may feel laboured to some, but I thoroughly enjoyed its lingering cinematography, Italian music and subtle parody of the mafia gangster genre. In Coppola's Godfather when Diane Keaton is introduced to the Corleone clan by Al Pacino's Michael, she is a non-connected innocent outsider. In this film when Jack Nicholson's trusted Sicilian mob enforcer Charley Partanna introduces Kathleen Turner's Irene to the Prizzis, although she is an outsider she is far from being innocent, she is also a contract assassin and a suspect in the theft of money from a casino run by the family. Smitten Charley is in a quandary, as he asks his long-time friend and lover Maerose Prizzi (an Oscar winning performance by Anjelica Huston) "do I ice her or do I marry her?" There is an inevitable logic to the narrative which does not disappoint and although the film's ending is certainly abrupt it does not detract from everything which precedes.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 January 2015
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Prizzi's Honor has a convoluted story line which includes a kidnapping, a gang war, police on the take, and a power struggle within the Prizzi syndicate. Charley and Irene get caught up in a complicated extortion scheme that eventually backfires. In the end, Charley must decide whether love for his devious and sexy wife is more important than loyalty to the Prizzi clan.

It is a pleasure to report that the screen chemistry between Nicholson and Turner works, but the movie's real surprise is the standout performance by Angelica Huston as Charley's dirty-dealing former lover. She's a tough-as-nails survivor who shuffles the cards and ends up a winner despite her sorry state at the start of the film. While Prizzi's Honor isn't a corker, there is enough entertainment in this blend of satire and suspense to qualify it as a bona fide adult film worth seeing.
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on 7 June 2012
Director John Huston was a master of storytelling, and Prizzi's Honor was his black comedy masterpiece. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, and Anjelica Huston won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her caustic performance. Charley Partanna, a do-it-yourself kind of guy, has been loyal to 'The Family' since he can remember. If you need somebody rubbed out, he's your eraser, ready to kill at the drop of a dollar. Boss Don Corrado Prizzi's daughter, Maerose, has eyes for Charley, but Charley has already fallen for a sultry hit-woman named Irene Walker. Their unlikely romance hits a snag, however, as Irene and Charley have each been hired to knock off the other.
this is unlike any other type of John Huston picture . It combines elements of The Godfather along with scenes that seem better to fit in a comedy than a Mob drama. Yet, it works brilliantly , perhaps thanks to the serious performances of Nicholson and Turner who have marvelous chemistry between them for two people that aren't very likable.The two are joined by an outstanding supporting cast including Hustons daughter Angelica who won an Oscar for her sly performance.The film is dark comedy and a very clever plot complimenting the Godfather saga. The film earned his eight Academy Award nominations. It has an all-star cast, great writing, and visually stunning scenery set in New York City. this film is Love mafia style at its best...
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on 7 January 2015
Subtle, sophisticated black comedy that is all too close to real life. Essentially a treatise on community loyalty, this posits the notion that criminals can never marry out of the criminal fraternity because of a conflict of loyalty. Any attempt to do so will inevitably lead to social ostracism while not marrying the one you love leads to a lonely old age.

Allied with this is the concept of trust and the inability of paid killers to trust each other sexually. This aspect of the movie is the funniest since it deals with the common issues of trust in a sexual relationship. The love that the characters feel for one another is really here nothing more than a desperate and vain attempt to overcome the quintessential lack of confidence between partners of different ethnicities and codes of values.

The performances are indifferent and never quite get to the points raised - with the sole exception of Anjelica HUSTON who enjoys the role of home-wrecker because she clearly understand it so well. Nevertheless, comedies about hit-men are rarely this good and make movies like the remake of Wild Target look like the dreck they truly are.
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on 7 September 2015
I think I just about like it but only because it's good in parts. Not sure I quite think Jack's stuffed lip really helps though somehow I suppose it signifies 'dumb' and stops him giving that trademark devilish grin. Turner is more effective as she's got a bit of acting to do and has the winning smile. The 'challenging' part for Angelica Huston is more nuanced, or at least she gets different comic moods to evince. The story is twisty enough but the Don is a very misjudged (or poorly directed/made-up) part, annoying and unconvincing. It's pointlessly slow and uninvolving at times and then it has some decent set-pieces. It's not interesting cinematically - the 'joke' of all the air travel 'right' and 'left' across the screen is the giveaway that somehow no one was really focussed. And as someone has said, the top brass at Mafia central are about as worrying as the Louth over 60s bowls team: but maybe that was part of 'the point'. It has something to say about American capitalism etc. etc. but not so that its worked-out.
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on 10 October 2013
The cast, the director, the story-line are fantastic. What makes the film for me, strangely enough is the cover art for the dvd. The US version is SO plain and dumb and is missing Anjelica Huston (the one who won the Oscar for the film!!) This cover art is superb, fitting and makes ma want to watch the film.
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on 7 January 2001
Gangsters and hitmen make irresistible viewing. Bungling assassins are an even bigger hit. Add to that recipe the class acts of a wry and wily Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner and Angelica Huston and Prizzi's Honor is a must-see. This 1985 movie stands apart in the genre of death-with-a-giggle and criminals with a conscience, and ranks for murder and mirth with Luc Besson's "Leon" or Joe Pesci's more recent "Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag". This is another classic Nicholson comedy. Put this video on the shelf with "As Good As It Gets" and watch them and laugh over and over. There's always something fresh or unnoticed in the twists and turns of the plot, the background shots or the dialogue every time you run it. Fine performances, intriguing story and very, very funny.
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on 5 November 2013
I love jack nicholson but i feel this film is not his best or even the his co stars best but it has it moments of good, i enjoyed it as far as 3/5 but i wouldnt rush to see it again. I felt it lacked something it didnt hold my attention as much as it shouldve, i was little shocked to read it was up for so many oscars when some other films struggle to get one or two but there it goes, one to watch for lazy afternoon with nothing to do.
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