“Make yourself a sandwich, drink a glass of milk… Do some fuckin’ thing.”
RIP Dennis Farina!
That classic movie line was uttered to perfection by iconic character Actor Dennis Farina, a real-life Chicago police officer who went on to star in a slew of classic films and TV shows – and who has tragically died at age 69.
According to his publicist, Farina died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung. For movie and TV fans, this is a huge loss – Farina has a long list of classic performances…and I want to celebrate him by focusing on what I think are his three best!
Farina played leading roles in many films and TV shows, but his smaller roles were, I think, even more memorable – his character were loud, profane, angry and hilarious – usually at the same time…beginning with his small role in Guy Ritchie’s classic british crime thriller, “Snatch!”
Snatch! – 2000 – Directed by Guy Ritchie
Meet Turkish and his close friend/accomplice Tommy – and yes, Turkish is Jason Statham:
[first lines in the film]
Turkish: [narrating] My name is Turkish. Funny name for an Englishman, I know. My parents to be were on the same plane when it crashed. That’s how they met. They named me after the name of the plane. Not many people are named after a plane crash. That’s Tommy. He tells people he was named after a gun, but I know he was really named after a famous 19th century ballet dancer.
These two small-time crooks get pulled into the world of match fixing by the notorious Brick Top. These are the bad guys, and they are BAD:
In Snatch, a huge diamond heist takes place, and a fistful of motley characters enter the story, including ‘Cousin Avi’, ‘Boris The Blade’, ‘Franky Four Fingers’ and ‘Bullet Tooth Tony’.
Mary Fucking Poppins!
The word “fuck” is said 163 times in this film, many times by Dennis Farina, who plays Cousin Avi, who is interested in a very special diamond…
Avi: Eighty-six carats.
Avi’s Colleague: London?
Avi: Yes, London. You know: fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… LONDON.
This movie is profane, bloody, hilarious, and violent – everything you want in a great movie….or as Dennis Farina says…
Customs official: Anything to declare?
Avi: Yeah. Don’t go to England.
Dennis Farina seemed to relish playing the bad guy, particularly a nasty mobster from Miami who ends up chasing after John Travolta in Hollywood in the classic “Get Shorty”…
Get Shorty. 1995.
Sadly, this was also one of James Gandolfini’s great supporting performances…he plays a wannabe movie stunt man who works as “muscle” for a small time hustler…
Look at this cast: John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, James Gandolfini, Dennis Farina and Danny DeVito – tackling Elmore Leonard’s novel that sees mobster Chili Palmer head to Hollywood to collect a mob debt.
Dennis Farina played Ray “Bones” Barboni, who just wants money that is owed to him, and isn’t too impressed by Hollywood:
Limo Driver With Sign: Mr. Barbone? Welcome to L.A., I’m Bobby, your driver. I hope you had a pleasant flight.
Ray “Bones” Barboni: Yeah well, I hope you drive better than you fucking spell, jack-off. My name is Barboni, not Barbone, okay!
Chili Palmer: How did you get in here?
Ray Bones: It was easy. I told ’em I was you, I acted real stupid and they believed me.
And “Bones” lays it all out for Chili moments later – in hilariously profane fashion:
Ray “Bones” Barboni: Let me explain something to you. Momo is dead. Which means that everything he had now belongs to Jimmy Cap, including you. Which also means, that when I speak, I speak for Jimmy. E.g., from now on, you start showing me the proper fucking respect.
Chili Palmer: “E.g.” means “for example”. What I think you want to say is “I.e.”.
Ray “Bones” Barboni: Bullshit! That’s short for “ergo”.
Chili Palmer: Ask your man.
Bodyguard: To the best of my knowledge, “e.g.” means “for example”.
Ray “Bones” Barboni: E.g., i.e., fuck you! The point is this: is that, When I say “jump”, you say “OK”, okay?
And, in what I think is his best work ever, Farina played mobster Jimmy Serrano, who is after Charles Grodin in the classic action comedy, “Midnight Run.”
Midnight Run – Directed by Martin Brest – released in 1988.
“Why Are You So Unpopular With The Chicago Police Department?”
People cheered on the internet recently when it was announced that, almost 25 years after the initial release, “Midnight Run” would have a sequel. Even though it was only a modest success, the cult has grown for this funny, touching, and action-packed buddy film.
Robert DeNiro shows his comedy chops as Bounty hunter Jack Walsh, who is sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant, Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas. Charles Grodin is deadpan hilarious as “The Duke.”
Yaphet Kotto plays frustrated FBI Chief Alonzo Mosely, who is also looking for Grodin.
Alonzo Mosely: “Let me tell you something, asshole. I’ve been working on this Jimmy Serrano thing for about six years; Mardukas is my shot. I’m gonna bring him into federal court, and I don’t want any third-rate rent-a-thug who couldn’t cut it as a cop in Chicago bringing him to LA on some bullshit local charge. Do I make myself understood?”
Jack Walsh: “Can I ask you something? These sunglasses, they’re really nice: are they government-issued, or all you guys go to the same store to get them?”
Getting Grodin back to LA, of course, isn’t easy, and helps form a “bickering friendship”…
Jonathan Mardukas: “Why are you so unpopular with the Chicago police department?”
Dennis Farina plays foul-mouthed Mobster Jimmy Serrano, who wants “The Duke” dead, and can’t stand it when his two incompetent hit men keep screwing up the job:
Jimmy Serrano: “You and that other dummy better start getting more personally involved in your work, or I’m gonna stab you through the heart with a fuckin’ pencil. Do you understand me?”
Tony Darvo: “You got it, Jimmy.”
(He hangs up the phone)
Joey: “Hey, Tony… he ain’t mad at me, is he?”
“Midnight Run” is a cult classic because it gets better with every viewing…with a ton of memorable quotes, like: “I’m just saying…if I WERE your Accountant”…and the classic interchange when Grodin drives DeNiro crazy by not letting up on his personal life:
Jonathan Mardukas: Did she hurt you, Jack?
Jack Walsh: Yeah, she did.
Jonathan Mardukas: I’m sorry.
Jack Walsh: What’re you sorry about?
Jonathan Mardukas: I’m sorry you’re hurt.
Jack Walsh: I’m not hurt.
Jonathan Mardukas: You just said you were hurt.
Jack Walsh: I’m not hurt.
Jonathan Mardukas: I just asked you if you were hurt and you said “Yeah, I’m hurt.”
Jack Walsh: That’s because you made me say that.
Jonathan Mardukas: Jack, you’re a grown man. You’re in control of your own words.
Jack Walsh: You’re goddamn right I am. Now here come two words for you: Shut the fuck up.
And here, thanks to youtube, is a collection of Jimmy Serrano’s best lines from “Midnight Run”!
RIP Dennis Farina, and thanks for leaving us such a great body of work!
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