I first saw this movie on television and it riveted me, but what I became instantly aware of was that Richard Dreyfus was not in the starring role. The star was Jeff Goldblume for once (not counting his Fly movies).
To be sure, Richard has his subtle moments. He is a returning mob leader, previously recovering from a long bout in a mental institution... The reason was genuine psychosis, and he is now considered rehabilitated with continuing medication. The problem is not his insanity, however; the problem is that he does not want to lose his love interest, who is played by Diane Lane.
However, Richard's character is just the backstory. The story is about Jeff Goldblume's character; a sharp shooting, calculating, but fundamentally good employee of his 'recovered' boss, who has been two-timing him with his girl at night and sharing her sister's affections by day. Jeff's character is in a fix he doesn't yet know how to get out of, and just to turn the heat up, other mobs want to take over the territory.
From the start of the picture, we are informed that this is a fantasy; an alternate universe from the one we know. Clever device! This is a "what if" world, where we can see good actors play their most outrageous gangster imitations! And, I appreciated that.
I highly recommend this film for anyone, who like me, like actors giving us their best shot at being bad guys. Oh, and without skipping to the end, or using IMDb, I dare you to find Burt Reynold's character while watching it for the first time!
PS. Gabriel Byrne (Stigmata) is a riot!!