Monday, September 12, 2016

The Darlin' Dallasers Blogathon Special: Oscar (1991)

Oscar (1991)
Joseph S. Vecchio Entertainment, Silver Screen Partners IV, Touchstone Pictures, USA, 1991.
Oscar (1991) title

This is my contribution to the 'My Darlin’ Dallasers Blogathon 2016' hosted by Gill Jacob at . Check her blog on September 21-23 for more movie reviews starring cast members or the original "Dallas." The blogathon event is scheduled to celebrate the birthdays of Linda 'Sue Ellen' Gray (September 12) and Larry 'J.R.' Hagman (would have been on September 21).
In the Great Depression era New York City gangster boss Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone (Sylvester Stallone) promises his dying father (Kirk Douglas) that he will abandon the life of crime. He will try to pursue career as a banker. However his henchmen Aldo (Peter Riegert) and Connie (Chazz Palminteri) find it difficult to get accustomed to their new roles as honourable businessmen. Also Lieutenant Toomey (Kurtwood Smith) thinks that Angelo is plotting something and spies on him to get evidence of possible illegal activities. 
Sylvester Stallone
Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone
Angelo's accountant Anthony Rossano (Vincent Spano) is getting married and comes to meet Angelo. The problem is that it is Angelo's daughter whom Anthony wants to marry. Angelo's daughter Lisa (Marisa Tomei) fakes being pregnant because she wants to move to her own house and see the world. Angelo is furious to Lisa and Anthony but the situation is not so simple. A girl named Theresa (Elizabeth Barondes) lied about being Angelo's daughter so that Anthony would be interested in her so it is Theresa whom Anthony wants to marry.
Vincent Spano
Marisa Tomei
Elizabeth Barondes
When Angelo hears about that he decides to trick Anthony because Anthony also stole money from him. But who is the "father" of Lisa's baby? The blame's on Oscar (Jim Mulholland), the former chauffeur of Provalones. As Oscar has moved out of the country, Angelo's wife Sofia (Ornella Muti) forces Angelo to find a new husband for Lisa. As if it would not be complicated enough we need some identical looking black bags to muddle the plot further. 
Chazz Palminteri
Martin Ferrero and Harry Shearer
The Finucci Brothers
Tim Curry
Dr. Poole
Amusing scheming and misunderstandings follow.

John Landis directed the remake of the French comedy "Oscar" starring Louis de Funès. The original film itself was based on the play by Claude Magnier. The stage play roots limit the action to Provolone's house and the building across the street. This film and "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" were efforts to steer Stallone's career to more softer and comical direction, but as both of those movies were commercial disasters he soon returned to the action genre. Surely it is different from other Stallone film's of the era (he doesn't shoot here anyone) but Rocky movies and Stallone's buddy cop movies have always had some humour in them so having Stallone star a comedy film was not so far-fetched idea as the three Razzie Awards awarded to this film would make us believe. The movie was very underrated when it was released, but later it has gained many fans . Stallone is funny and manages to make fun of his tough guy image. What is nice is the rhythm and convoluted wittiness of classic screwball-comedies. It is good clean fun and it is kind of sad these kind of comedies are so rare nowadays. 

The film has various familiar faces from gangster films and various TV shows appearing in small roles. Including Stallone there are several amusing characters: flamboyant jazz girl Lisa, tailors the Finucci Brothers (Harry Shearer and Martin Ferrero), English teacher Dr. Poole (Tim Curry) and goofy henchmen (Riegert, Palmintieri, Paul Greco and Richard Foronjy). And a brief visit of Kai Wulff (who has played a fair share of German villains in TV series and movies) as a chauffeur. The Dallaser of the film appears at a crucial point of the story to help solving the mess the main characters have gotten into. So we are introduced to Linda Gray as Roxanne, old flame of Snaps. In "Dallas" she was Sue Ellen Ewing, oil baron J.R. Ewing's wife, so it is only proper that she should appear here as the old love of Mr. Big. As the plot is getting dense at this point she functions as unbeknowing Deus ex machina for the story. Linda Gray's role is quite small but her appearance causes Angelo to have an emotional and nostalgic response and prepares the way for the happy ending. 
Linda Gray
Linda Gray as Roxanne
Rating: Very good

Starring: Peter Riegert, Chazz Palminteri, Joey Travolta, Paul Greco, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Foronjy, Yvonne De Carlo, Don Ameche, Richard Romanus, Arleen Sorkin, Eddie Bracken, Tony Munafo, Robert Lesser, Art LaFleur, Kurtwood Smith, Vincent Spano, Joycelyn O'Brien, Marisa Tomei, Martin Ferrero, Harry Shearer, William Atherton, Mark Metcalf, Ken Howard, Sam Chew Jr., Elizabeth Barondes, Ornella Muti, Sal Vecchio, Tim Curry, Danny Goldstine, Kai Wulff, Linda Gray, Marshall Bell, Tom Grant, Louis D'Alto, Rick Avery, Jim Mulholland, Joe Dante, Jim Abrahams, Sam Bauso, Leesa Castaneda, Kirk Douglas, Tino Insana, Polli Magaro, Sal Mazzotta, Ralph Moratz
Director: John Landis


  1. Great review, I'd heard of this film but not seen it. Didn't realise what an amazing cast were in it, along with Linda Gray - one of my fave. actresses. Thanks for bringing this review to my blogathon!

    1. Glad you liked it! And thanks for inviting me for the blogathon!

  2. Thought you might like to know that a certain actress, Linda Gray liked my post about this for the blogathon xx Check the post here,


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