Mikey & Nicky
- 1H 59M
Video Company:Warner Home Video
Cast:Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, and Ned Beatty
Country Of Origin:USA
Honor – and betrayal – among thugs.
Nicky, a small-time hood, is in big trouble. He’s stolen syndicate money and the local czar’s put a contract out on him. Over beers at the B & O Bar, Nicky pleads with a lifelong friend for help: will he make airline arrangements for him and help him escape? Obligingly, Mikey walks to the phone, drops in a dime…and dials the hit man.
Peter Falk and John Cassavetes give stunning performances in writer/director Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky. Cassavetes is Nicky, a hot-wired charmer capable of fast-talking his way through any situation, except perhaps this one. Falk is Mikey, a weak-willed, workaday racketeer who’s silently embittered by Nicky’s long-time abuse of their long-term friendship.
Short, simple and – if not sweet – at least efficient: that’s how Mikey hoped the job would be done. But wild-eyed, suspicious Nicky won’t stay in one place long enough to allow it. He careens from one neighborhood stomping ground to another – and Mikey’s setups become blackly comic send-ups that leave the bumbling hit man (Ned Beatty) cruising the right block at the wrong time. The miscues send Mikey on a long night’s journey of forced camaraderie with Nicky. And what a night! It’s an emotional whirlwind of dames, dupes, and a painful past which, before the dawn, reveals the battered foundation of their once solid friendship.
Throughout the night, the hired assassin, like a shark circling for the kill, moves closer to his prey. As Nicky increasingly senses his entrapment, Mikey comes to realize his own: does he hang on to the comfortable niche in life the mob has given him…or does he rescue his lowlife – but lifelong – friend?
Re-released in 1984 to the raves of critics everywhere, Mikey and Nicky has acquired a much-deserved second life. But you’ll have to see for yourself if Nicky gets another chance. To say more would ruin a final sequence that Stanley Kaufmann in Saturday Review described as “one of the most harrowing images that modern American film has given us.”