- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 39 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: August 1, 2005
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Platinum Disc
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Interactive Features:
- Interactive Menus: Chapter Selection
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"I would say life is pretty pointless, wouldn't you, without the movies'"
- Johnny (Vincent Gallo)
Rolling Stone - 11/14/1996
"...Jangling tension....A film of strong performances..."
Variety - 09/09/1996
"...Mature and grounded filmmaking....The male performers are all distinguished, with standout work from Penn, Gallo and DeToro....Walken shines throughout..."
Film Comment - 11/01/1996
"...Scalding psychopathology....[Walken] looks like a saint in extremis and performs like and actor in excelsis..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/1997
"...[The film] has a lot of remarkable material to offer..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/08/1996
"...It's safe to say that in the American cinema, there's never been a gangster movie quite like this dark, dense and intimate film..."
At the wake of their murdered younger brother, two gangster siblings revisit their past while making plans for revenge against a rival gangster who killed him. Christopher Walken delivers a powerhouse performance as the eldest brother, Ray, whose emotions have been shut down after their own father's suicide some years before and who must come to terms with his failures as a man. Chris Penn costars as Chez, his abusive, emotionally unstable brother who has inherited their father's self-destructive behavior. Set in 1930s New York, this elegiac film delves into such topics as faith, masculinity, and redemption as it moves slowly toward its bloody, powerful climax. Annabella Sciorra plays Ray's wife, whose devout Catholicism serves as the moral center of the film. Isabella Rossellini, Vincent Gallo, Benicio Del Toro, and Gretchen Mol round out the stellar cast. While it contains his usual violence and raunchy sex scenes, THE FUNERAL marks a mature new direction in the career of New York auteur Abel Ferrara (who previously worked with Walken on KING OF NEW YORK). Nicely subdued colors and cinematography by Ken Kelsch combine with great acting and probing dialogue to make this a valuable addition to the gangster genre.
In Abel Ferrara's THE FUNERAL, two small-time gangsters hunt for the murderer of their younger brother, leaving behind a trail of memories, philosophical discussions, and silent suffering.
Battered Women |
Family Interaction |
Organized Crime |
Road To Ruin |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical release: November 1, 1996.
- Filmed in New York City.
Shown in competition at the Venice Film Festival on August 21, 1996.
- Nicholas Cage was orginally cast in the part of Ray, but walked off before shooting began. Christopher Walken stepped in to help Ferrara, though he originally felt he was too old for the part.
Longtime Ferrara collaborator Nicholas St. John wrote the screenplay after the death of his son.