Comedy
Oscar
.
Dir: John Landis
Star: Sylvester Stallone, Peter Riegert, Chazz Palminteri, Marisa Tomei, Orenella Muti
Cert / Year: PG - R / 1991
Format: DVD R-1
'

Angelo 'Snaps' Provelone (Sylvester Stallone) is one of Chicago's toughest and most ruthless gangsters, but when he grants his father's (Kirk Douglas) dying wish and promises to go straight 'Snaps' life is bound to take a funny turn. His fellow gangsters don't believe it, the Police don't believe it, neither do the press and the public, heck, even some of his own men don't believe it. As the day unfolds, there is an illegitimate daughter he knows nothing about, a daughter in love with the chauffer, an accountant embezzling money in order to marry his daughter, a prim and proper elocution teacher admiring his daughter's dangling particibles, a housemaid that runs off to marry a millionaire, a little black full of jewels and lets not forget.... The Fanuccis.

Admittedly, Sylvester Stallone doesn't particularly have a good reputation for his comedy roles and most of them are pretty awful but this is one of the rare exceptions to the rule and is surprisingly good fun. Stallone manages the timing well and is backed by an excellent cast a good script and some accomplished direction by John Landis. John Landis' forte for comedy comes across well here and although this isn't a non-stop laugh-fest it does have some hilarious moments and an amusing atmosphere. Sylvester Stallone manages to be funny, inspite of being unable to shake off the whole 'action hero' stereotype which he has and works well with this material and in this package. The fourth wall frequently disappears with glances at the camera by mostly Stallone with a look that says it all. Peter Riegert is brilliant as Aldo, the long-suffering right hand man and new butler and enjoys some very funny set pieces. In a pre Innocent Blood performance, rent-a-mob goon Chazz Palminteri is subdued but funny and excellent as Connie the enforcer / home help and occasionally provides some good laughs. The marvellous Don Ameche crops up as a priest, the fabulous Ornella Muti is the terse wife, Marisa Tomei is the repressed daughter, Linda Gray is a maid, Kai Wulf is a chauffer, Kurtwood Smith is a cop, there is so much talent here there is too much to mention including former "Lily Munster", Yvonne De Carlo. As usual, the marvellous Tim Curry steals his scenes and the Fanuccis are perhaps one of the best elements to the film and bear the brunt of a couple of jokes but enjoy some great screen time. Also worth watching for is a brief cameo by veteran actor and "Spartacus", Kirk Douglas and some of the end credits too as one credit is "Face on the Cutting Room Floor ........ Joe Dante" (The director of Gremlins and Small Soldiers).

The humour is 'clean' and well delivered, the lines and gags come thick and fast, with splendid panache and timing. Even by Stallone who you wouldn't expect to be able to pull it off, especially when you consider some of his other comedy offerings. The humour avoids vulgarity or cheap laughs at coarse language for a change and proves to be one of its strong points. I have to admit, I do like this film as it has a veritable charm, which you can't help liking. The cast, the script and the direction all predominantly work well and provide a nice package with multi layering of plots and several twists here and there. The animated opening sequence of the opera singer is fun and you know that this is can only be a comedy. A couple of the cast are under used and could have done more I feel, but as it is the film is very entertaining.

Despite what you might expect, Oscar is a hilarious, lighthearted comedy based on the play by Claude Magnier. John Landis directs this lighthearted comedy / farce with typical flair and ensures that this is an entertaining and amusing watch. There are plenty of hearty laughs to be had here and a great cast like this is well worth a watch. Oscar delivers one sticky situation after the other and nothing is ever simple for 'Snaps' Provelone. There are a few strained laughs at times and some of the film is a rather cliché and predictable but overall this is well written, well directed and a jolly good laugh.

Taglines

It's a comedy of criminal proportions!

Quotes

Connie: Even in the old days he was known as an honest crook
Dr. Poole: Oh, Connie that's an oxymoron
Connie: Gee, you shouldn't oughta said that, Doc
'Snaps': Yeah, leave Connie alone. He does the best he can.

'Snaps': Connie! Am-scray!
Connie: Do I have to, Boss? Every time I leave I fall behind.

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Bit grainy and the darks bleed a little in places, but not horrendous
Audio Dolby 5.1 Pretty good but nothing to stretch the format
Features Static menu
Verdict A good transfer, but the lack of extras is dissappointing making this a poor release despite a clean transfer and decent soundtrack.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home