Urban Cinefile
"At 14 I'd play tennis with Jean Harlow's dad. He was a dentist. My uncle dated Joan Crawford."  -Robert Altman on growing up in Kansas City
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN

SYNOPSIS:
Sean Casey (Andy Garcia) is an idealistic street cop turned Manhattan District Attorney who is thrust into the limelight after prosecuting a high profile, headline making case. As he moves deeper into the criminal justice system Caseyís world is torn apart as he experiences personal and professional betrayal after discovering a crime and cover-up among those closest to him. Through the political deals and compromises that come with his new job, Casey learns that his ideals are unrealistic in a political system that forces him to decide between loyalty and morality. He has to try and work out a way to keep his ideals without failing his profession or his career.

"We have kept the synopsis (above) deliberately skimpy and vague for this film, in the hope that you will trust our reviews and see the film for yourselves. Any revelation of the detail would be detrimental to the intentions of the filmmakers, in my/our view, who have painstakingly, brilliantly, subtly and creatively built a journey that is immensely satisfying for any thinking film lover. If you donít like to be provoked into thought, donít go. If you like serious, but often funny, deeply touching and above all emotionally dynamic films, then for your sake, go. The distributors are evidently uncertain of how many of us there are, (o they of little faith, but good taste) because the film is playing in limited release around Australia. One of the many joys of this film is that it is intriguing and unpredictable to the last. Every time you feel a sense that youíve grasped the arc of the story, youíre wrong - until the end. Other joys abound: in the performances, Garcia and Holm above all, but all. In the sparse but hauntingly effective use of the jazz score, evocative of the jazz scores of the great 50s and 60s films that worked on mood. For me, one of the key aspects is the filmís imagination with its subject matter, police corruption, which has been done to death: in Lumetís hands there is a freshness and veracity in the new angles he shows us. (Tribute here to novelist Daley, too.) And ultimately, there are the joys in the deep sense that Lumet assumes we, his audience, are intelligent and morally complex."
Andrew L. Urban

"This is a compelling film cohesively written and directed, with an intriguing plot and a human face. Set in the toughness of New York, Night Falls on Manhattan combines themes of politics, power, corruption, and the law with notions of honesty, loyalty and love. Most poignant of all is the simple clear message that life isnít black or white; we all mostly live in the grey areas, and need to be able to deal with all shades that come in between. Strive, but donít aspire for perfection, because it is not an achievable goal. Have strong ethics, but recognise that to err in a small way sometimes brings a better outcome. Itís a powerful script that introduces us to strong characters, played by a superb cast. Andy Garcia brings great presence to the role of Sean Casey. His inner conflict and personal demons are handled with succinct subtlety; he brings a completeness to an honest man. Richard Dreyfuss delivers an inspired performance; there are several powerful scenes, but none more so than in the sauna where Dreyfuss meets with Garcia - and itís more than their clothes that they bare. Music is used intermittently to great effect, and stirs the coals that light the embers in our souls. Donít miss it."
Louise Keller

Email this article

NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN (M)
(US)

CAST: Andy Garcia, Lena Olin, Richard Dreyfuss, Ian Holm, Ron Leibman, James Gandolfini, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, Colm Feore, Paul Guilfoyle

DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet

PRODUCER: Thom Mount, Josh Kramer

SCRIPT: Sidney Lumet (based on the novel Tainted Evidence by Robert Daley)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Watkin

EDITOR: Sam OíSteen

MUSIC: Mark Isham

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philip Rosenberg

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: September 18, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: Oct 12, 1998







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017