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Hoffa (Bilingual)

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Armand Assante, J.T. Walsh, John C. Reilly
  • Directors: Danny DeVito
  • Writers: David Mamet
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Caldecot Chubb, David Mamet, Edward R. Pressman, Harold Schneider
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 27 2004
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00013RC2U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,538 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Jan. 14 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
This is easily one of the best historical biopics ever made ranking up there with Nixon and Malcolm X. This is also a towering directorial achivement for Danny De Vito that proves he can handle telling any kind of story not simply dark comedies (i.e. Smoochy, Momma, Roses). Nicholson's performance is also pretty amazing as is De Vito's and particularly the bit roles of Robert Prosky ("wear it like a white man") and Frank Whaley. The cinematography and score are also completely out of this world. Give this film a shot you will not be dissapointed. I cannot wait to purchase the dvd the day it comes out. De Vito is a genius.
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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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