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Hoffa

Jack Nicholson , Danny DeVito , Danny DeVito    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

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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

Product Description

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good history; good acting Jan. 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Summary:
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.
Comments:
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The other end of the scale, I guess Aug. 13 2002
Format:VHS Tape
On one end of the scale, there are visionaries like labor martyr Joe Hill, who organized the copper mines of yesteryear, whose story was in one case told in the sweet mezzo voice of Joan Baez. On the other, we have James Riddle Hoffa, whose violent rise to power and "the hand is quicker than the eye" legerdemain with the Teamsters' pension fund tempt one to conclude that he was little else but a common thug. Jack Nicholson's talent for playing s.o.b.'s throughout his career makes him a natural for the title role. There are such contrasts and paradoxes whenever the issue of labor unions is addressed. My father worked for three decades during the previous century for a major industry that to this day is still a non-union shop. The last I knew, to engage in union-oriented activities there could get you fired. My dad retains to this day a belief that unions do nothing but destroy any potential rapport between a company and its employees. Indeed, unionism is to him detrimental to the free enterprise system. My own workplace is a union shop, though, and my chapter's officers proudly say that they only vote for political candidates approved by our union. I suppose that my tendency to vote for candidates based on their stand on other issues besides the union issue does not speak well of my "loyalty" to my union--hell, my church doesn't tell me who to vote for. Throughout this story, Hoffa does a lot of reprehensible things in the name of the "working man"--after all, Machiavelli did say that the end justifies the means. There's a lot of sense to the argument that, if not for labor unions, working conditions wouldn't be much different today than those depicted in a Dickens novel. But one thing I have learned from life is that, when it comes to extremes, any one of them is as bad as any other. I suppose that if this film carries no other message, it's a pretty decent lesson in the fact that a zealot for any cause is not necessarily a hero.
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Format:VHS Tape
I have no interest in the life of Jimmy Hoffa, and I am predisposed to disliking the man even before the first frame of Hoffa is run. But I do watch, knowing the film is from a very good David Mamet script, knowing that I want to be convinced that Jack Nicholson is one of our great actors, and knowing that Danny DeVito is a very serious filmmaker--that I will see his heart and soul in the film.
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.
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Format:VHS Tape
A woefully underrated biography of the controversial Teamsters union president that deserved better than it got in 1992. Director Danny Devito and writer David Mamet clearly admire their subject, depicting Hoffa as a hero, a leader who has earned the loyalty of the working men he represents, rather than a self-centered puppet whose strings were pulled by organized crime. Whether or not Hoffa was deserving of such admiration is debatable, but the film offers a convincing argument that he was. As an actor, Devito has little to do but push people around and gape at Hoffa in awe, but behind the camera he performs admirably even if he seems a little too pretentious at times. As for Nicholson, this is one of his most challenging roles, one requiring more than an arch of those famous eyebrows and a flash of that killer smile. With the aid of a hairpiece and a few other modifications to his appearance, he gives one of his best performances in years. This is a fine, memorable film that seemed to have disappeared upon its release as thoroughly as Hoffa himself did in 1975. I don't know the whereabouts of Hoffa the man (and believe it's in my best interests not to know), but the film is on the video shelf. Check it out or buy it, but see it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent..
What can we said when Nicholson and DeVito are in a movie??. Excellent casting, very good quality, arrive in time and in a good condition
Published 3 months ago by Fernando
3.0 out of 5 stars Teamster leader
Was an okay movie and it had it's moments. I will probably watch it again in a year or two.
Published 10 months ago by Diane Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
lots of good memories on it and very good storie I really enjoy all of it and this is a great dvd
Published 14 months ago by Claude Couillard
2.0 out of 5 stars Over the Top - and Disappointing
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 more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Gregg Hillier
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of My Favorite Films With Flash, Style and Substance
This is easily one of the best historical biopics ever made ranking up there with Nixon and Malcolm X. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by M. Hencke
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoffa: One of my heroes! Great Film!
This movie rocks! Hoffa and the movie Casino with Robert De Niro are the two greatest movies of all time! Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this on DVD?? It's brilliant!
One of Jack Nicholson's best performances is in this story of former Teamsters leader James R. Hoffa. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2003 by Christopher Roesch
4.0 out of 5 stars Danny Devito Triumphs!
This bio-pic of presumed dead Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa is a stunning achievement by director-producer Danny DeVito and marks another DeVito-Jack Nicholson collaboration. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002 by Christopher M. MacNeil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie to own !!!
I watch this over and over, One of Jacks best. he brings the character to life !! I want it on DVD !
Published on Nov. 15 2002 by anthony notarino
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look
The film mixes fact and fiction around the events of Jimmy Hoffa's life in full detail. Nicholson is great, and Devito isn't bad. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2002 by Erik Pack
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