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Screenwriter David Mamet's script combines real people with fictional characters in an attempt to portray the important people in Jimmy Hoffa's life. Danny DeVito's and Armand Assante's characters are actually composites of numerous Hoffa associates.
Director/co-star Danny DeVito's unforgettable epic stars Jack Nicholson as Jimmy Hoffa, the legendary Teamster boss whose mysterious disappearance has never been explained. The film traces Hoffa's passionate struggle to shape the nation's most influential labor union, his relationship with the Mob, and his subsequent conviction and prison term at the hand of Robert Kennedy.
A titanic performance by Jack Nicholson powers this fact-and-fiction biography of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa. From the opening moment--Hoffa sitting alone in the back of a car--Nicholson's performance is one of his best, and a rare role as a historical person. The sweeping all-American story of a common worker who reaches the highest pinnacle in the world's most powerful union is sweepingly told with wondrous detail, in wardrobe, sets, and trucks. The better-documented facts of Hoffa's life, including his struggle against Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Kevin Anderson), supply the backbone of the story. But the hope of what the Teamsters are to the American Dream is what makes the film glow (swept along by David Newman's score). The screenplay by David Mamet takes two wild and entertaining divergences from fact. The first is the character of Hoffa's ubiquitous sidekick Bobby Ciaro, played by the film's director, Danny DeVito. It's a fictitious role, a composite character that allows the story to be clearly told, as does the second--Mamet's explanation of Hoffa's famous disappearance. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Bobby Ciaro (Danny DeVito) is a truck driver during a turbulent time as the Teamster's Union is fighting the bourgeois company owners for better wages. Ciaro has heard of James R. 'Jimmy' Hoffa (Jack Nicholson), and wants nothing to do with him as his boss doesn't want to hire Union. But when Hoffa stops by his truck while he's trying to catch some sleep, Ciaro can't get rid of him and eventually Hoffa convinces him that what he is proposing isn't such a bad idea.
The next day, Hoffa confronts Ciaro in front of his boss, essentially forcing him out of his job. In Ciaro's anger at losing his job (I believe this is taking place during the 1930s, so losing your job was a very big deal), he tries to kill Hoffa, but fails and Hoffa ends up taking him into his confidence. Eventually, they develop a close relationship with Ciaro acting as Hoffa's number two man.
The movie then follows Hoffa's rise to power as the president of the International Teamster's and his eventual conviction at the hands of Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy (Kevin Anderson).
The movie is actually told as a series of flashbacks while Bobby and Jimmy are waiting at a roadside cafe to talk to a mafia boss. Eventually the flashbacks catch up to Bobby and Jimmy and it is ultimately revealed that this is supposed to be the day Hoffa disappeared. Instead of meeting with Hoffa, the mob boss sends some of his men who kill Hoffa and Bobby and get rid of the bodies.
I'm fairly young (27 at the writing of this) and have only heard of Jimmy Hoffa (he actually disappeared - 1975 -before I was born - 1976). So I was excited to watch this movie, if just to get caught up on the history.Read more ›
I am not disappointed, and I still care, not at all about James Hoffa, the man.
Jack Nicholson is one of our great actors, and regardless of all his extra curricular activities, he is a committed and serious craftsman, and his portrayal of James Hoffa is fine craftsmanship.
The story of Hoffa itself may be the least interesting component of the film. The production design is beautiful-a perfect compliment to the words of Mamet delivered by a painstakingly perfect cast.
Should you have the opportunity to view the deluxe laserdisk with the Danny Devito commentary and extra production materials you will be treated.
Not a film for everyone, but I liked it.
Most recent customer reviews
Very good movie,but their is no ENDING.This man has not been FOUND nor will he ever be FOUND either,the MOD has seen to that.Published 3 months ago by emile caron
What can we said when Nicholson and DeVito are in a movie??. Excellent casting, very good quality, arrive in time and in a good conditionPublished 20 months ago by Fernando
Was an okay movie and it had it's moments. I will probably watch it again in a year or two.Published on Nov. 10 2013 by Diane Edwards
lots of good memories on it and very good storie I really enjoy all of it and this is a great dvdPublished on July 30 2013 by Claude Couillard
I remember the great hype that surrounded the release of "Hoffa" a decade ago. Jack Nicholson was considered a given for an Oscar nomination and Danny Devito was heralded as "The... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by Gregg Hillier
This is easily one of the best historical biopics ever made ranking up there with Nixon and Malcolm X. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by M. Hencke
This movie rocks! Hoffa and the movie Casino with Robert De Niro are the two greatest movies of all time! Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003 by Austin
One of Jack Nicholson's best performances is in this story of former Teamsters leader James R. Hoffa. Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2003 by Christopher Roesch