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Midnight Run (1988)

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Directed by: Martin Brest
Written by: George Gallo
Starring: Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin

I’d seen this movie about ten times already, but watched it again tonight anyhow. And it was still enjoyable.

The back-and-forth between De Niro and Grodin is classic. I’ve read somewhere that this bickering was largely unscripted, though I would love it if someone could provide a cite on this.

My only complaints are the handful of unrealistic moments, like how the main characters are able to get onto trains and airplanes with guns, and how credit card information is given so easily over the phone, and how the obvious suspect in the explosion of a helicopter that left several dead is not held for questioning, etc. I know things are not like this in 2004, and I doubt they were 16 years ago when this movie was made, either.

Still, it’s a great flick. Lots of excitement, humor, and more than a touch of the stuff that makes sentimental fellas like me go all gooey. De Niro and Grodin at their best. (Grodin’s worst, by the way, was his CNBC talk show. Utterly unwatchable…)

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About RJ

  • Thanks for reminding me of this movie, I haven’t seen it in ages. I love Grodin in this, where he’s able to really play up that neurotic annoyingness that comes so naturally to him. For whatever reason, I will always have in my head the odd line “Yatahey, gentleman, yatahey,” uttered by Grodin several times near the end when they encounter some Native Americans. I don’t know why, I just love it.

  • I love Grodin in this, where he’s able to really play up that neurotic annoyingness that comes so naturally to him.

    Heh… :-]

  • Chris Kent

    I have always loved this movie, in fact anything that stars Grodin. It’s my understanding a lot of De Niro’s work is unscripted, as he prefers to work that way. He follows the script, but not necessarily the dialog verbatim…..Many of his scenes in Deer Hunter and Taxi Driver were improvised. His scenes with Harvey Keitel in Taxi Driver were almost entirely improvised, both actors intensely working off of each other…….I thought most of De Niro’s work included these improvised scenes. I think Sean Penn also works this way on occasion – it is a part of the package if one chooses to hire and work with these actors…..

  • Obviously Grodin can never hope to better the Lynchian wonderments of Beethoven’s Second, but this here is at least on the same path, it just stopped a few miles short of the St. Bernard film is all. I remember the bantering between the two leads in this here flick with great fondness. Maybe i’ll check it out again. Who the hell knows?

  • Chris Kent

    It took me years of therapy to try and forget Beethoven. Thank you Duke for reopening old, horrible wounds. I need some Prozac and I need it now….

  • rbp0554

    One of my favorite movies of all time!

    – RBp