Screenwriter David Mamet's script combines real people with fictional characters in an attempt to portray the important people in Jimmy Hoffa's life. Danny DeVito's and Armand Assante's characters are actually composites of numerous Hoffa associates.
Director/co-star Danny DeVito's unforgettable epic stars Jack Nicholson as Jimmy Hoffa, the legendary Teamster boss whose mysterious disappearance has never been explained. The film traces Hoffa's passionate struggle to shape the nation's most influential labor union, his relationship with the Mob, and his subsequent conviction and prison term at the hand of Robert Kennedy.
A titanic performance by Jack Nicholson powers this fact-and-fiction biography of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa. From the opening moment--Hoffa sitting alone in the back of a car--Nicholson's performance is one of his best, and a rare role as a historical person. The sweeping all-American story of a common worker who reaches the highest pinnacle in the world's most powerful union is sweepingly told with wondrous detail, in wardrobe, sets, and trucks. The better-documented facts of Hoffa's life, including his struggle against Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Kevin Anderson), supply the backbone of the story. But the hope of what the Teamsters are to the American Dream is what makes the film glow (swept along by David Newman's score). The screenplay by David Mamet takes two wild and entertaining divergences from fact. The first is the character of Hoffa's ubiquitous sidekick Bobby Ciaro, played by the film's director, Danny DeVito. It's a fictitious role, a composite character that allows the story to be clearly told, as does the second--Mamet's explanation of Hoffa's famous disappearance. --Doug Thomas