[box cover]

Married to the Mob

Jonathan Demme is one of those rare directors who has a genuine affinity for the opposite sex. From his very first B-pictures for Roger Corman in the '70s (Caged Heat, Crazy Mama) through more recent films like Beloved and Silence of the Lambs, Demme has exhibited a deft hand at directing women in strong, complex roles. 1988's Married to the Mob — his last mid-list comedy before shifting gears to meatier projects like Lambs and Philadelphia — is very much a women's film. Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Angela de Marco, a Long Island mob wife who's grown tired of the life. When her husband (Alec Baldwin) is taken out by his boss, Tony "The Tiger" Russo (Dean Stockwell, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), she decides to get out while the gettin's good. But between Tony trying to get her into bed, Tony's psychotically jealous wife threatening her life, and the FBI tapping her phone, Angela's attempt to change her life goes comically awry. The '80s were a hot decade for Pfeiffer, who added to a streak which included Ladyhawke , The Witches of Eastwick , Tequila Sunrise and Dangerous Liaisons with this film. It seems an odd bit of miscasting at first, but she makes Angela surprisingly real in what is, overall, a big, colorful cartoon of a movie. But Mercedes Ruehl steals the picture as Tony's wife, Connie. Decked out in giant hair and big-shouldered, glitzy '80s fashions, Ruehl is a little bit pathetic and utterly terrifying as a woman who loves her husband so much that she is driven to murderous rage by his infidelities. She's also very, very funny. Quirky casting has always been a trademark of Demme's films, and Married to the Mob is no exception. Filling supporting roles in the film are Oliver Platt, Joan Cusack, Nancy Travis, Tracey Walter and Al Lewis — plus Chris Isaak as an assassin in a clown costume. Good widescreen transfer (1.85:1), pan-and-scan on the flip side, the original Dolby 2.0 Surround. Theatrical trailer. Keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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