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Frankie & Johnny [VHS]
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Product Description

Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) directs the screen adaptation of Terence McNally's play Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune, the story of a short-order cook (Al Pacino) who drives a waitress (Michelle Pfeiffer) crazy with his adamant courtship and mixed messages. The film is okay and not much more than that, the major stumbling block being Marshall's failure to scrub away enough star veneer on Pacino and Pfeiffer to accept them as minimum-wage drones with nowhere to go but toward each other. Fortunately, Marshall's feel for the texture offered by supporting players--Hector Elizondo as a caf¨¦ owner, Nathan Lane as Pfeiffer's inevitably gay neighbor-buddy, Kate Nelligan as another lonely waitress--keeps things interesting enough. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Magnificent !!
    I keep on watching this DVD over and over again. Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer are really good. As the story goes, little by little, it is as if you were a part of their life. I am totally hooked to this movie. I guess it is because I can find my own fears in Michelle Pfeiffer's character but even so it is the only movie that effects me so much each time. It is a pure peace of art. It is simple, basic but it hits you straight to the heart. Don't miss it !!...more info
  • my review
  • Beautiful Love Story!
    I saw this in 1991 when I was in middle school and I instantly fell in love with the movie. This film introduced me to romantic comedies and though I am not a fan of most films of this genre this one has a lot of heart and soul.

    Al Pacino took a break from his usual cop/crook roles to play Johnny, a sweet ex-con with a bruised heart. He's a kindred spirit looking for someone else to share his lonely life with. Michelle Pheiffer is the same kindred spirit except Frankie has been so bruised she can not get back. Frankie and Johnny go through twists and turns before Frankie agrees to go out on a date. The more Frankie sees into Johnny's world she realizes he's the one person who can help her move past her former relationship with a man who beat her. This actually scares Frankie even more and she does her best to fight Johnny's advances but ultimately cannot fight her own heart.

    This movie is the perfect date movie all rolled into one. It would have been a great family movie except for the thrown in sex scene between Johnny and Cora. I didn't agree with that because it didn't belong in a wholesome movie like this. The set up of the diner was refreshing and it was good to see a film where everyone was struggling for paychecks and not living in mansions and driving fancy cars. I am not from New York but I got a true sense of New York life after seeing this movie. The director ( Garry Marshall) had just come off of his super hit with Pretty Woman and proved he still had the touch of gold when it came to romantic movies.

    The cast was wonderful. I enjoyed Al Pacino's innocent betrayal of Johnny and he brought in a lot of himself into the character. Michelle Pfeiffer was good as well. I just wished Frankie hadn't have been so grumpy because it was hard for me to warm up to her at first. But I realized Frankie was the way she was because of the hardships in her life. This is a movie for anyone to enjoy: young, middle-aged, senior, black, white, asian. It's one of those movies that doesn't provide any culture gaps or society gaps. It's just a nice love story where anyone can relate.

    Everyone has had to struggle with emotions or money and everyone has fallen in love some time or another. This film combines all those elements into a breathtaking movie. If that's not enough for you to see it, check it out for the supporting characters. Nathan Lane is a hoot. Everyone should see this film at least once....more info

    This movie is my all time favorite! Ladies if you have an afternoon free and want to chill and watch a wonderful chick flick, This is the one!...more info
  • The Movie Is Better The Second Time Around
    Thre are a lot of things to like about this movie. The supporting actors to a person are perfectly cast. It's hard not to believe that the director just took over a Greek greasy spoon in New York and used its employees. You can literally smell the grease as the short-order cooks scramble the eggs and bacon. And you can feel the loneliness in the pit of your stomach as these characters go home to their less-than-fine apartments. They are the people Barbara Ehrenreich writes about in NICKEL AND DIMED. Robert Frost would say they have nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope. Paul McCartney would call them Eleanor Rigby. Many of them will never rise about their minimum wage-plus tips jobs; yet they show a resilence and endurance and manage to find laughter in their dismal jobs that is heart-warming.

    This film has as good a portrayal of gay characters as you are likely to see. Terrence McNally has created here two, believable, likeable gay men who act like real people. There is a quite funny scene when Al Pacino meets the gay couple for the first time and makes all the usual mistakes though well-intentioned-- he didn't realize, you would never know, he just found out that his cousin is gay-- to which Nathan Lane quips that he will check the cousin out in the new listings.

    This movie says that a short-order cook (Al Pacino) recently released from prison can find happiness with a waitress (Michelle Pfeiffer) with broken dreams. That may be a tall challenge, but most of us would like to believe in that possibility. It's all about starting over, taking a chance, tearing down the walls that separate most of us from each other and taking a chance on love.

    Michelle Pfeiffer cleans up well and is almost too pretty to be a down-and-out waitress. But then, nobody's perfect. ...more info
  • We LOVE this movie!
    My husband and I love this movie because of its unabashed romanticism --- and the clair de lune piece at the end. in fact, we loved it so much, we used clair de lune at our wedding 8 years ago. al pacino is lovable and earnest and perserving; michelle pfieffer (nothing can cover up such gorgeousness)is touching and sad and funny; nathan lane is hysterical;hector elizando is lovable; kate nelligan is just perfect; loved the rest of the cast. it's a dear story (don't need to repeat it here) about hope and taking chances and getting on with the rest of your life. i like to think that frankie and johnnie made it....more info
  • A Must-see movie with Passion and Romance!
    Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer have wonderful chemistry! Pacino plays Johnny, an ex con who just happens to have gotten out of jail. Pfeiffer plays Frankie, a waitress with a really bad romantic history. Johnny meets Frankie when he applies for the short-order cook position at the diner, owned and run by Hector Elizondo's character. Instantly, he has a crush on her but Frankie rebuffs his advances. The two have remarkable chemistry...and there are some funny scenes that will make you laugh as well....more info
  • Politically Correct Love
    Ostensibly a love story, this film incorporates as many politically correct stances on the issues as just about any film ever made. It starts out with sexual harassment, then adds wife beating, criminal rights, the death penalty, and more. Of course, we get sympathetic portrayals of women, ethnic/racial minorities, criminals and gays, but there is not one law-abiding heterosexual White male portrayed favorably in this film.

    The characters are not at all believable. Someone with Michelle Pfeiffer's looks working in a greasy, Westside diner? Yeah, right! In my thirteen years in New York City, I've never seen it. A woman like that would have doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and investment bankers falling all over her. At worst, if she had no education, she'd end up behind the cosmetic counter at Saks Fifth Avenue.

    And we're supposed to believe that Al Pacino did hard time in a maximum security prison (while in prison, he befriended a murderer who was executed) for a first-offense, bad check.

    The film pretends to be about ex-con Al Pacino pursuing Pfeiffer. Does he get her in the end? If, without seeing this movie, you can't predict the answer to that one, then maybe this film is your speed....more info
  • This Movie is too cute!
    Frankie & Johnny is one of those rainy day snuggle in a warm blanket with a cup of tea movies. Al as Johnny is very fun to watch. When he first gets out of prison there is a funny scene of him watching Jepordy that I love. The restaurant where they work has alot of fun characters as well. When the restaurant's owner brings his grandmother to America as his check out lady she counts change and throws it on the floor for the customer which cracks me up everytime....more info
  • Man, its impossible not to laugh with some delight at that scene...anyway, a good decent movie
    Please, when you see al pacino coming out of the kitchen's catacombs with a bandana,you immdiately remember tony montana washing dishes and shaking himself in fury saying "I DIDNT COME TO AMERICA TO BREAK MY BACK"...just because of that scene, 4 stars were guaranteed!

    For a romantic movie, its on an acceptable level, although I get the feeling something more should've been done with that fine cast of actors,hummmmmm...maybe pacino's forte is portraying borderline dark characters and not losers with a heart, i think.
    ...more info
  • as requested
    Golly, why all the reviews, if something goes wrong I will let you know. Good Movie...more info
  • Pfeiffer and Pacino
    This is one of the lesser known and appreciated screen gems of the 90's. It's a superior romantic-comedy-drama which stars screen legend Al Pacino and screen goddess Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie is so much more about the love story. It is a very perceptive movie about people who are lonely and people who are trapped into their own lives. The movie has an achingly melancholic mood.

    The casting of Michelle Pfeiffer was controversial at that time because the original role on Broadway was played by Kathy Bates and a lot of people think Pfeiffer was too beautiful for the role. Bates reportedly laughed when she learned hat Pfeiffer got the role. Granted that the reason Pfeifer probably got the role was because at that time she was at the height of her popularity, she was the "it" girl then. But Pfeiffer was phenomenal and proved that she deserved the part. Her beauty was toned down to make her look as ordinary as possible. The character she played has so much depth and layer that is pretty uncommon for films generally regarded as romance films.

    Pacino of course was good, this is his and Pfeiffer's second team up after Scarface of course I love the fact that he played the role with such ease and charm which is a lot different from his more serious roles before. The supporting actors Nathan Lane and Kate Nelligan stole some scenes

    Of all the movies of Pfeiffer this is one of my all time favorites together with Fabulous Baker Boys, Married to the Mob, One Fine Day, and Batman Returns to name a few. I whole-heartedly recommend this film.

    Grade: A-...more info
  • I wish I could live in that Universe.
    The dialogs are a dream come true.

    I heard some people were upset that Michelle Pfeiffer was cast as Frankie. Apparently the actress who played that character on stage was Kathy Bates and came to be regarded by many as definitive in that role. I'm sure she was terrific, and I loved her in "Dolores Claiborne", but as much as I sympathize with those who claim that it's all part of Hollywood's conspiracy to make ordinary women feel dissatisfied with their "real", ordinary bodies and faces, Michelle Pfeiffer - gorgeous as she is - is a sensitive, real performer, not a Barbie doll in any way, and though I couldn't be more different from her physically, I find it very easy to relate to her thanks to her talent.

    The movie is a gem, though every time I watch anything with Al Pacino in it I'm always counting the seconds for the "scream scene". I'm not sure I ever watched a movie in which he starred, that he didn't scream his head off at some point, and this one's no exception. One love scene is basically spoiled by it, although die hard fans can always make the case that the script was asking for it. No minor problems like this one can spoil the movie as a whole though, that's what's important....more info

  • One of my favorite movies!
    This is a great, and I think, realistic love story. It's about taking a chance on another person, and on another relationship after you've been hurt by someone else - or just by life in general. It's about taking emotional chances and "allowing" yourself to fall in love.
    This film was very well acted by two of my favorite actors. It's mostly drama with just enough comedy to reach the perfect balance. I could watch it over and over! ...more info
  • Good
    Pacino is not bad in a "soft" role. This is kind of refreshing after all the violent movies he has been in.

    See this film with the one you love.

    ...more info
  • Best Romantic Movie Ever Made!
    This movie is one of the best!! You have to own it. If you are a hopeless romantic, then you MUST have it!!!! Not a movie for the kiddies. Just you and with someone you love or want to love......more info
  • If you enjoy listening to Debussy ...
    I absolutely love watching this movie even tough it has some painful moments. The story line is believable and the chemistry between Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer is simply fantastic with their love making a real turn on. Even the restaurant scenes make me hungry. And how can you not enjoy Nathan Lane?...more info