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State of Grace (1990)

Sean Penn , Ed Harris , Phil Joanou  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

Price: $26.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturro
  • Directors: Phil Joanou
  • Writers: Dennis McIntyre
  • Producers: Ned Dowd, Randy Ostrow, Ron Rotholz
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L92U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,782 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "State of Grace" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Overshadowed by GoodFellas when it was released in 1990, State of Grace gradually emerged as one of the best New York gangster films of its decade. It was also the first to feature the Irish American mob known as the Westies. Here, their territory west of Times Square is being gentrified by an unwelcome infusion of yuppie cash, squeezing them into a reluctant alliance with Mafia kingpins. Frankie (Ed Harris) is the boss; little brother Jackie (Gary Oldman) is his volatile muscle; their friend Terry (Sean Penn) has returned from an extended absence, harboring a dangerous secret while rekindling his love for Frankie and Jackie's sister Kathleen (Robin Wright, Penn's future wife). Giving one of his scariest, most violent performances, Oldman offers stark, brutal contrast to Harris's pent-up fury, while Penn breathes life into his character's standard-issue dilemma. A former protégé of Steven Spielberg's, director Phil Joanou handles this gritty potboiler with confident, unobtrusive style, ramping up the tension of divided loyalties, even as the plot grows increasingly familiar. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

New York City's Hell's Kitchen is a pressure cooker of pent-up anger and it's about to explode! Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturro and John C. Reilly deliver exceptional performances (The Hollywood Reporter) in this finely drawn tale of betrayal, redemption and guilt (Los Angeles) that'll put you on the edge of your seat (Newsweek)! Terry Noonan (Penn) returns to his old neighborhood with a score to settle. He's now an undercover cop dead-set on taking down an Irish mob family headed by Frankie Flannery (Harris) and his hot-headed brother Jackie (Oldman). But when Noonan infiltrates the family, his old feelings for the Flannerys sister (Wright) further heighten the stakes as he enters a violent showdown with them during a crowded St. Patrick's Day Parade!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A character acting free for all June 2, 2005
Phil Joanou had an incredible palette of talent to work with in creating this dark and troublesome work of art. Even the lesser parts are filled with personalities such as John Turturro, Robin Wright (then without the Penn), RD Call, John C. Reilly and Burgess Meredith. The score composed by Ennio Morricone has a haunting, eerie saunter, infected with an obvious full note that jerks you out of its hypnotic trance. Watching this film in 2005 takes one back to a number of other great and powerful films of the early 90's that used the noir anti-heroes as their central character. Comparing State of Grace to Abel Ferrara pieces such as Bad Lieutenant and King of New York would not be far-fetched.
Penn's performance as Terry is wrought with inner turmoil, culminating in his bedside confession to Wright's Kathleen. While explaining Hell's Kitchen and it's irk to Turturro he wanes "we're Irish, all we know how to do is drink," a telling testimony that typifies the culture soon to be taken over by the newly christened Clinton inner-city development. His inward reflection is mirrored by the exuberance of Jackie, played with perfection by Oldman. With his cavalier swagger he seems to lack the part of the genetic code that relays fear. Jackie takes risk to new levels while seriously jeopardizing older brother Frankie's (Harris) plans to form an alliance with elements of the Italian mob. Harris's taught composure throughout the film is a fine study in character definition; a true Jeckyl and Hyde persona, playing the suburban family man by day, and slitting the throats of childhood friends by night.
We've seen little in the form of feature offerings from Joanou, aside from U2's Rattle and Hum and Heaven's Prisoners. It is interesting to note his continuing contribution to U2's music video collection, as well as a number of TV commercials. His close association with the mega band lent a big break in acquiring music rights for his 2000 production Entropy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
From the opening scenes where a hood describes how to punish a disreputal dog you get the feeling that State of Grace is not going to have a happy ending. What it does have is an array of outstanding performances, an intricate feel for place and a dark brooding atmosphere that engulfs all and sets the tone for the blood thirsty tradgey. The basic plot (which reveals itself after the throwing opening) has Sean Penn inflitrating a gang of Irish/Americans who are on the verge of setting up an alliance with the Mafia. Penn, a childhood friend of the ruling Flannary brothers (Gary Oldman and Ed Harris) and ex lover of their sister (Robin Wright) returns to Hells Kitchen, Manhatten. Ten years away and now an undercover cop, he rejoins his old friends participates in the typical wild and reckless lifestyle of ambitious gangsters and resumes his love affair with Wright. Duty,friendship,love and honour are all challenged as Penn gets sucked into a violent vortex. The "State of Grace" that he looks for ultimately comes in bullets. What makes State of grace stand out from most gangster movies is the ferousity of the performances. Gary Oldamn as the younger Flannery brother, Jackey poetrays a character that is unforgetable.How Oldman did not even get nominated for an Oscar is beyond me. Jackey Flannery with his worn out black leather jacket, greasy unwashed hair is a volcano of negative energy.He smokes non stop,embraces violence like some berserk warrior and swears moans and loves as if everything is his last breath. Oldamns success is however that when he is murdered by his equally vicious more ambitious and calculating brother, we feel for him. For all his violence Flannery loves his friend and like a dog to his master clings to what he knows. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irish "Novel" of friendship and betrayel December 2, 2002
I watched this movie about ten times and think it's one of the most underrated movies around. Coming along with a great cast like Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, Ed Harris and Robin Penn Wright, this movie caught me again and again from the first second to the last.
Set in Hell's Kitchen New York the movie let's you breathe in the Irish athmosphere and tells a bloodthirsty story of friendship & betrayel. Sean Penn plays Terry Noonan, an undercover policeman who was infiltrated in an Irish gang lead by the Flannery brothers ( fantastic play by Gary Oldman and Ed Harris ). The film reflects very good Noonan's split emotions beeing a cop investigating against his former friends and the growing love to the sister of the Flannery brothers ( above average play of Robin Penn Wright ).
The film combines a good story, great actors, silent and short eruptions of violence and maybe one of the most impressive shoot out final ever ! Fantastic camera work!
If you like films like "Good Fellas" and "Reservoir Dogs" you should not miss this one. If you hide yourself behind a pillow when violence comes into play, leave it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The irish connection. February 27, 2006
I think that this is one of the best movies ever made. The elegance of cinematography, a perfect performance of director Phil Joanu, a great casting (Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturo), a complex story, and a very fine ethical dilemma. All these components, in a equilibrated mix, with a perfect result: a masterpiece.

I triend to record it in several times from cable TV, but it's time is over 2 hours, and I forget it every time, and never had a complete record. Often, the TV version it was translatedd to spanish, losing a part of actor's performance.

I don't understand why the DVD wasn't released before 2005. I expected it long time ago.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another good movie.
Published 29 days ago by H. Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by E. Spaletta
5.0 out of 5 stars "Nobody's doin' nothin' to nobody. It's all just happenin', see?"
STATE OF GRACE was shot on-location in NYC. It's based in part on a real gang called the Westies. Ennio Morricone wrote the score, Dennis McIntyre scripted and Phil Joanou was... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Annie Van Auken
2.0 out of 5 stars A less than great "State Of Grace"
Directed by an unknown hack, Phil Joanu (whatever happened to him?), a friend likened this to a much superior crime flick, "The Departed" directed by a master, Martin... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars State of Grace
If you like Sean Penn, this is a great movie. It will keep you on the edge of your chair. For me, anything Penn is in is the best.
Published 5 months ago by Thelma McNeal
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
One of the best gangster movies of all time starring a younger Oldman and Penn. One question: why is this blu-ray version almost $40?
Published 8 months ago by Hiroshi14
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie to own for Oldman fans.
Gary Oldman is just hard to beat in ANY movie he is in. He could play the Easter Bunny in a role and I would personally buy into it and say: "Yea,That IS the friggen Easter... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Boruff
5.0 out of 5 stars great flick
Arrived quick, great shape, plays fine! Can't beat that price! Original case and no scratches at all! Going to order more titles soon!
Published 12 months ago by williamcahan
5.0 out of 5 stars State of Grace
Great movie - once again one of my favorite actors - Ed Harris. Of course Sean Penn is great as usual. I love this kind of movie - especially pleased with the story & acting.
Published 12 months ago by Pat Hale
1.0 out of 5 stars Pirated DVD's/DONT Buy From This Seller
Dont Be a taken/Bogus/Copied/Duplicated/Unauthorized Remanufactor/Product Sucks Inside&Out,/Cant Play or Screen on Any Player/Reproduced/Unlawfully Made/NOT Authentic/Fake DVD. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Glenn W. Soo Hoo
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