Prizzi’s Honor

Screening on Film
Directed by John Huston.
With Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia.
US, 1985, 35mm, color, 129 min.
Print source: HFA

Undaunted by his advanced age or emphysema, Huston undertook a darkly comic mafia picture based on the novel by The Manchurian Candidate author Richard Condon. Patiently toying with elements of various famous gangster movies – including his own – Huston’s unusual wandering path through the everyday lives of the Prizzi family is skillfully guided by the strangely endearing performances of Jack Nicholson as Charley Partanna the Prizzi’s naïve hit man and Angelica Huston as his jilted former lover. When Charley falls in love with a beautiful stranger who is also in the business, he instigates a messy wave of double-crosses crossing over and back through absurdly sticky webs of organized deception. As if they operated a “standard” family business, Huston wryly explores the strength of their various bonds as well as the occupational hazards of their grisly vocations.

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