7.3/10
19,371
110 user 48 critic

State of Grace (1990)

A New York cop is recruited to return to his hometown and infiltrate the mob ran by his best friend's brother.

Directors:

Phil Joanou, Michael Lee Baron (co-director)

Writer:

Dennis McIntyre

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Terry Noonan
Ed Harris ... Frankie Flannery
Gary Oldman ... Jackie Flannery
Robin Wright ... Kathleen Flannery
John Turturro ... Nick
Burgess Meredith ... Finn
R.D. Call ... Pat Nicholson, Frankie's Lieutenant
Joe Viterelli ... Borelli
John C. Reilly ... Stevie McGuire
Deirdre O'Connell ... Irene
Marco St. John ... Jimmy Cavello
Thomas G. Waites ... Frankie's Man
Michael Cambridge Michael Cambridge ... Frankie's Man (as Brian Burke)
Michael Cumpsty ... Frankie's Man
Mick Cunningham ... Frankie's Man (as Michael Cunningham)
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Storyline

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry also rekindles an old flame with Jackie's sister Kathleen. Soon, however, Terry is torn between his loyalty to his friends and his loyalties to others. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bar | anger | betrayal | weeping | gang war | See All (51) »

Taglines:

A family ripped apart by violence. A love corrupted by betrayal. A friendship stained by blood. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Vorhof der Hölle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,911,542
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ed O'Neill auditioned for the role ultimately taken by Ed Harris. See more »

Goofs

About half way through when Terry tells Kathleen that he is a cop, behind them an arm can be seen as it waves past for a couple of seconds. See more »

Quotes

Jackie Flannery: Yuppies got to be thicker than the rats and the roaches. Assholes can't live without their dogs. Got dog shit all over the sidewalk. And it didn't use to be that way, it used to be, you dropped a cone, you could lift it up and finish it. People are roaming the streets homeless because of these assholes!
Terry: So we're like Robin Hood in this instance.
Jackie Flannery: Yeah. And I'm Friar Fuck.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Serious Undercover Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I Loved You Yesterday
Written and performed by Lyle Lovett
Published by Michael H. Goldsen, Inc. / Lyle Lovett (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Curb Records / MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brutal and gritty gangster flick - hugely underrated!
2 March 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

I'm shocked that I've been a film fan for many years, and have only just seen this gem! In a world where The Godfather and Goodfellas are at the top of most people's lists of favourites, it's hard to believe that a film as strong as State of Grace could be so criminally under seen. The film is about love, friendship and betrayal; and takes place in New York's infamous Hell's Kitchen. The fact that it was released in the same year as Martin Scorsese's more acclaimed 'Goodfellas' probably didn't do it many favours; but if you ask me, this is the better film. Boasting a strong cast, director Phil Joanou's film follows Irish-American Terry Noonan as he returns home after an absence of ten years. He soon hooks up with his old friends, including Jackie and his brother Frankie; who is now the head of the Irish mafia. However, it doesn't take long before Terry's rekindled relationship with his old friends and his new loyalties to another party become at odds with one another, and our hero soon finds himself torn between the two.

State of Grace has all the violence, foul language and hot-headed characters that are part and parcel of this sort of film; but at its core is a very well worked plot, bolstered by some great characterisation. The characters are the main focus point in this film, and it's through their motivations that the plot is allowed to move. A film that puts so much focus on its characters needs a strong cast in order to work, and this film certainly has that. Sean Penn takes the lead role and delivers an early version of the strong lead performance that would go on to earn him high praise from the critics. He is supported by the underrated Ed Harris, who grows on me more and more every time I see him, in the film's most level-headed role - but the real star of the show is Gary Oldman. This actor has the ability to completely steal any film that he's in, and he really does stand out here; delivering what is surely one of his all-time best performances. Familiar faces such as John Turturro, John C. Reilly and Robin Wright Penn do well; but it's the main trio that take home all the acting plaudits. Hell's Kitchen is beautifully brought to the screen in the most downtrodden manner possible, and the music and atmosphere combine with the shockingly realistic violence to ensure that the film is always gritty and unrelenting. State of Grace comes with high recommendations.


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