Let's Talk - Movies
Episode 38: Midnight Run (1988) - Just Rewatched
Jason Connell revisits the classic movie, Midnight Run, and talks about non-conventional buddy pictures, cross-country road trips, and potentially calling this movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, which ironically came out the same year.
Synopsis: A bounty hunter pursues a former Mafia accountant who is also being chased by a rival bounty hunter, the F.B.I., and his old mob boss after jumping bail.
Director: Martin Brest
Writer: George Gallo
Cinematographer: Donald E. Thorin
Composer: Danny Elfman
Cast: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano
Studio: Just Curious Media
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Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This is let's talk movies. And I'm Jason Connell, on the show. Today I'm talking about Midnight Run 1988 just rewatched this movie holds up. I hadn't seen it in quite some time. During the pandemic, I revisited the movie loved it. So I watched it again a couple of days ago, so I could come on Let's Talk movies and delve into it. So let's start with the synopsis. For those of you who don't know or don't remember, a bounty hunter pursues a former mafia accountant, who is also being chased by a rival bounty hunter, the FBI and his old mob boss after jumping bail. Wow, there's a lot going on there. A great movie right the makings of a great movie. It is in a dez de Niro. Groden. What else do you need? Here's the poster for those of you on YouTube. Boo yah, dinero and Groden right there. Love it. This is what the poster says. This is the text straight off the poster. Robert De Niro, a tough bounty hunter Charles Groden. A sensitive criminal Monday escaped with their lives from New York. Tuesday. In person eight FBI agents in Chicago. Wednesday, still playing in New Mexico. Thursday, almost kill each other by accident. Friday almost killed each other on purpose. Midnight Run. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. That sums it up perfectly. Here's two guys, one guy is a bounty hunter and other ones are criminal. They're not supposed to bond. But yet they do. Very similar to another movie that came out this very same year, which was Planes, Trains and Automobiles. We'll delve into that one some other time. But yeah, two unlikely guys by the end of it. They're friends. So fantastic. Now the genre for this movie action comedy crime. The release date was July 20 1988. I first saw it on VHS probably late 80s. Right when it came out from blockbuster or Hollywood Video or somewhere like that. Now the director Martin breast he also did and directed son of a woman, Beverly Hills Cop going and style all great movies. And I remember him as an actor bit part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. So there's that I think he's in the morgue when they all go to look at the you know, the dead body and then Spicoli is there. So yeah, he is in that scene. Go figure. Now the writer George Gallo also wrote middlemen Bad Boys 29th Street. The last one I was quite fond of. I actually worked at Blockbuster when 29th Street came out. Loved it. Danny Aiello. Anthony LaPaglia years later, I would meet Danny Aiello at the Hoboken Film Festival in New Jersey, and we actually talked about 29th Street, so yeah, love it. And here was the writer and the cinematographer Donald E Thorin. Rest in peace. We lost him February 9 2016 and 81. But he was also DP on movies like lock up the golden child thief Michael Mann's movie fantastic, great score. Then we have a very famous composer, Danny Elfman from Uncle Boingo. He did so many movies and still does. Here's just a couple, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Nightmare Before Christmas men and black and he scores so so many more, probably some more this week. Now that cast as I've talked about, Robert De Niro plays Jack Walsh. Now you know dinero commodities like the Best Male Actor we have right now in anything, but I'll just mention his Oscar wins and his Oscar nominations Oscar winner Best Actor The Godfather Part Two Raging Bull. Oscar nominated for Best Actor, taxi driver, The Deer Hunter awakenings, Cape Fear, Oscar nominated Best Supporting Actor Silver Linings Playbook, and he probably could have been nominated in one many, many more times. Now, his counterpart, Charles Groden plays Jonathan the Duke Mark Ducasse. Sad to say, we lost Mr. Groden. Rest in peace, April 21 2021 at 86 He's in so many movies, but here's just a couple. Dave, the woman and read one of my personal favorites, King Kong, not Peter Jackson's King Kong, this seven hour version, but the one that came out in the 70s. Then there's also yo Fett Cotto as Alonzo Mosley, another Rest in peace, an amazing actor, and he passed away March 13 2021, at 81 but he's in some great movies like The Running Man Brubaker. And the one that I always go back to alien. He's amazing. Anytime he's on the scene, you're staring at your fat like, wow, what's he gonna do? He's intense in this role, but kind of comedic, but he's FBI. So, and we'll get into more of the character shortly. Then we have John Ashton as Marvin doerfler comic relief in this movie as if you needed it on top of Groden. But he's incredible. And he's in movies like middlemen as well. Some kind of wonderful Beverly Hills Cop, the first to at least one of the cops that works with Eddie Murphy, and he's in the Beverly Hills office. Then there's Dennis Farina as Jimmy Cirino. I know another rest in peace. We lost Farina July 22 2013 at 69 far too young, I should say. But he is an iconic actor as well. Get Shorty Saving Private Ryan out of sight. He was in the TV show crime story for a long time. He was an ex cop. So he really brings that to his roles and I love that he's a mob guy in this and we'll talk more about it. And then the last one on my cast hitless is Joey pants, Joe pento, Leonardo as Eddie Moscone. And he's of course in the matrix the fugitive Risky Business one of my all time favorite movies as Guido the killer pimp. And okay, so I'm going to play the trailer to really set the mood and know what is going to break down the movie very quickly and have some fun with it. Okay, so here goes.Media:
Robert De Niro is a bounty hunter. Teach how to talk nice to people and not shoot at them. Charles Grodin is an accountant who embezzled $15 million from the mob. It is truly in your best interest to just relax it's a lot of money and I want this guy to pick it up. I want to pick it up fast the mob wants him dead. The FBI want him alive. I'm gonna bring him into federal court understand the sunglasses they're really nice. I think government issued at all you guys go like to the same store again. And his bail bondsman wants him in LA in 72 hours the can't fly Alpha macro phobia and claustrophobia I'll tell you what if you don't cooperate you're going to suffer from the phobia tribal has a funny way of bringing people together you cannot race the police car and race the police jacquela right I'm gonna Boise Idaho Wait a minute. I'm in Anchorage Alaska. Why would you do you enjoy yourself? This is my room and that's your room tonight? I was somewhere between Toledo and Cleveland. Oh come on. Come on cigarettes are killers kills the highest killers back there I can take this herd to kill who hasn't killed this guy. You had this guy what four days five hours left he just forced the grand Yeah Give us a kiss from the director of Beverly Hills Cop What is your plan? Guys a lot of traveling. Midnight RunJason Connell:
still work. So that gives you a sense of kind of the tone to it. You know, it looks a little silly, but it works. And the film really follows Jack Walsh dinero and he is a tough ex cop turned bounty hunter who also lost his job because of the mob of all things Jimmy Serrano, but he's hired to track down and capture Jonathan the Duke Mark Ducasse, Charles Groden and accountant who embezzled millions from the mafia. Boss, which was Jimmy Serrano. Now of course, 15 million back then. It's still a lot of money. Don't get me wrong, but if they made the movie today remade it, they'd make it 150 million or whatever. Now, Eddie Moscone is the bail bondsman who hires Jack and you could see him he's always call and checking in on him, like whereas you have 72 hours to get to La because it's Charles Gordon pulls a fast one and says I can't fly. So they're in New York, he's got to get him to LA. So they have to take buses and drive and anything and everything to get there but a plan so that creates, you know, puts everything in motion. All these characters because if they just flew there, they'd be there. There's no movie. Anyway. So Eddie wants to Duke for obvious reasons. He's put up the money. He's a bail bondsman, and he put up a lot of money. I think it's close to half a million dollars. And so he needs him or he's out the money. Now, Alonzo Mosley is the FBI Agent who wants to Duke so he can testify against Jimmy and Jimmy Serrano wants to Duke dead. So all this is going on. And Jack just wants Oh, it's sorry. And as also Marvin doerfler. He's a fellow bounty hunter who Eddie also hired to get the Duke as a backup. And that's John Ashton. And I'm telling you, the movie works without him. But with him, the comedic value just increases tenfold. He's amazing in this, because his humor is so different than the dryness of Groden. And I think it just elevates this movie to a whole new level. Absolutely. Now, Jack just wants to get his $100,000 bounty and open up a coffee shop, he's out of the game, you know, he was an ex cop. Now he's a bounty hunter, and he's looking for an exit. And the Duke makes things difficult because again, he won't fly. He says he can't fly. Turns out, he knows how to fly. But he's acting like I can't be on a plane, because he wants to get him to go cross country. And maybe he can a bond with him which he does, or be escape, which he also does. But again, you got to see the movie. Now, of course that creates numerous comedic and action packed situations, much like you saw in the trailer are heard in the trailer. Now, in the end, Jack lets the Duke go spoiler alert, after he helped set up Jimmy and the mob to the FBI, and they were satisfied, so they no longer wanted the Duke. And then Marvin misses out on the balcony. And that's a whole other storyline, the only person who's really screwed as Eddie is out the bond money in the end. And of course, the Duke all along, unbeknownst to Jack had like a money belt. And he gives him $300,000 At the end of the movie after he agreed to let him go. So it wasn't like a negotiation. And that's three times what he was gonna get. And he'd go off and to the sunset and open his coffee shop. Now, there is one scene that we don't revisit, and I think it brought some drama to the movie for sure. It was like wow, seeing it again. I thought my God's really heavy and important. But I wish I had been a pay off some sort of mentioned. But during this crazy cross country road trip, Jack takes the duty to visit his wife, his ex wife and his daughter who hadn't spoken to in like nine years to get a couple dollars because they were broke on the road. And she is not happy to see him. But she's moved on and she gives him her car. So they can you know, mosey down the street. And her daughter and him have seen his daughter, and it's very touching. She's wonderful. And she even tries to give him her babysitting money. It's just really touching. And all you want at the end of the movie is some sort of reference, like, I gotta get to know my kid. I'm gonna open that coffee shop, and maybe I'll do it, or my kid is located this something because it was like, wow, you love Jack, but you don't love his relationship with his daughter, which he has created and caused by neglect. He moved on and, and then his wife got remarried. But anyway, there's that. But it was really an important thing. Now, here's some trivia on the movie. Robert De Niro initially turned down the role of Jack Walsh multiple times. However, after reading the script again, he changed his mind and accepted the role, which ultimately became one of his most popular comedic performances. Totally agree. This movie is not the same without Robert De Niro. Incredibly important. Now, Charles Groden was not the original choice for the role of Jonathan, the Duke Mark Ducasse actors such as Robin Williams, Al Pacino and James Caan were considered for the role before Groden was cast. I'm sure Williams would have been great and Pacino and that would have been a chance for that's pretty interesting. Pacino and to Nero to be together before heat, and then there's gone all would have been fine, but this roll was really made for grown his Umer? It's worth watching the movie just again to see his dryness, working off De Niro's, you know stiffed closed up self. It's really funny. Their banter is fantastic. And of course, it went on to be one of the highlights and groans career so I'm glad he did it. And we wouldn't have we may not be talking about midnight run today, had he not been in it. Anyway, I hope that this just rewatched episode inspires anyone to revisit it or watch it for the first time. And yeah, again, I think it's a very non conventional buddy movie that just gets better with age. So what else can you ask for? So without further ado, please enjoy. Midnight Run. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to the let's talk movies, podcast and the let's talk movies, YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast. And for all your listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts you can leave us a review on Apple podcast, send us a direct message or post a comment on any let's talk movies social media platform. We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com