5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Movie “The Irishman”: Casino, The Beginning of the End, Main Streets, Fight, Ending, Overall. The Irishman is long we get it you finish work at 5:00. You’re home by 6:00 and you’ve got to make dinner and go to bed by 10:30 how are you possibly going to fit in this three-and-a-half-hour movie that is where we come at the end of this movie is important. It’s bigger than just the plot of one movie.
It’s about the history of American cinema so today we’ll be explaining exactly what happens and why at the end of Martin Scorsese’s career crowning epic welcome back to the Binger Martin Scorsese has made a lot of movies over the years and they come in all shapes and sizes. There’s a biopic of none other than Jesus Christ and an animated movie about a kid who loves clocks.
He’s done films about Wall Street bankers boxers and taxi drivers but what he’s known for most of all are the mob movies. He’s been making them since the 70s and he’s got pretty much sole claim to the genre they wouldn’t really exist without him that is why the ending of the Irishman is so important.
It’s about so much more than the ending of just one movie now Scorsese has made movies about mobsters in decline how the life will come back to bite you in the end for years that’s what Goodfellas is all about but those movies still manage to romanticize the whole business even if he got caught and wound up in witness protection you still had your fun while you could even though Ray Liotta ends up as a regular guy who fetches the newspaper in his robe he’s still smiling.
Robert DeNiro who was already playing the old guy in 1995 25 years ago says at the end of casino and why mess up a good thing and that’s then if you haven’t seen these movies it may be hard to understand why people are so excited about the criminals in the Irishman being old and sad but it’s not just about the characters themselves.
It’s about – Scorsese’s movies and American movies in general how they’re changing in the Irishman the Holy Trinity of mob movie actors Al Pacino Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro have come together under the direction of Martin Scorsese to put the mob movie to bed once and for all.
The Beginning of the End
But for about two-thirds of the movie the Irishman is not all that different from any other mob movie there’s a lot of narration a lot of names to remember and a lot of people getting whacked the first clue we get that this movie will be different is when Scorsese brings back a classic mob movie trope but gives it a little twist.
When the characters are introduced and their names flash on screen just like they did in Mean Streets from 1973 it’s not just the character’s name that’s displayed underneath it is their cause of death the whole film moves this way the central event of is Jimmy Hoffa’s assassination which being a historical event we already know.
It’s gonna happen we also know that Frank Sheeran the main character of the movie the Irishman himself passed away in 2003 and his friends and colleagues almost all beat him to the grave Martin Scorsese Al Pacino Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro are all getting on in years in the 70s they depicted the same type of characters that are in the Irishman wiseguys from the 70s but back then they didn’t need any fancy D aging technology.
They are of that era the Irishman is their farewell to it but back to hafez assassination what happens after he’s sent to Australia well first of all Frank flies back in that little plane and Bill Bufalino gets married but then the movie cuts to Frank at home with his family the news of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance playing on the news as they all sit there watching it Frank says I should quote Joe everyone is noticeably surprised that he hasn’t called and his daughter Peggy asks him.
Why the question makes Frank obviously uncomfortable and so he ignores it gulping back his drink and going upstairs to call Joe the moment represents a shift in his life and also a shift in the movie before this point it sticks to the mob caper script but after getting implicitly called out by his own kid Frank starts to stutter and doubt himself the movie slows way down in the next 40 minutes are a painful account of a man aging losing everyone around him.
Ending up alone in an old folks home but this moment also calls back to an earlier scene in the movie when Peggy learns who her dad really is and what he does when Frank comes home one night Irene tells him for some reason that the guy at the grocery store had shoved Peggy Frank is obviously not happy so he turns around grabs his daughter.
Brings her back over to the store where he proceeds to throw the guy out to the curb and stomp on his head over and over right in front of his daughter so it’s understandable when in his old age his daughters don’t want anything to do with him Frank tries to go in to visit Peggy at the bank where she works but she gives him the cold shoulder his other daughter Delores agrees to talk to him.
It’s not the happiest reunion but she does explain to him that you have no do what it was like for us I mean we couldn’t go to you with a problem because of what you would do we couldn’t come to you for protection because of the terrible things that he would do but Frank’s decline at the end of the movie is about much more than being alienated from his kids.
Although he doesn’t get booked for disappearing Hoffa he does end up in jail nonetheless his mob friends including Russell end up there too and it looks depressing they can’t get wined to dip their bread in so they use grape juice Russell a shell of his former self turns to religion while he’s in the can hoping to be absolved of his very long list of sins when Frank sees him going to church.
He looks incredulous but Russell says don’t let ill stay and it’s true Frank soon turns to religion in his final days when he’s living in a nursing home and has no one left but the priest who comes to visit it’s interesting to put this up against the first scene from Scorsese’s first mob movie mean streets the first word spoken in that movie before the opening credits before we even see anyone are you don’t make up for your sins in the church you do it in the streets.
You do it at home the rest is and you know it but at the Irishman Frank can’t do that in his old age he’s not only lost the streets he’s lost his home his wife died of lung cancer not long after he was released from prison his daughter’s either don’t want to talk to him at all or don’t really want him around when the FBI comes to interrogate him in the old folks home about the death of Hoffa trying to get some closure Frank directs them to his attorney the agents inform him that his attorney has kicked the bucket Frank asks as if it were they could old days who did it cancer the agent replies they drive home their point telling him that everybody’s dead mr. Sheeran.
It’s over they’re all gone Russell’s been gone for years and he was the one who whacked Jimmy one of his closest friends at a certain point Frank begins to realize that in a way he’s dug his own grave near the beginning of the movie Frank remembers have seen from the war he’s forcing two German soldiers to dig their own grave.
After which he shoots them while they’re standing in it looking back to that scene from the end of the movie it starts to look like a prophecy of Frank’s mob life maybe of mob life in general because in this last half-hour where Frank is really old he’s slowly preparing for own demise he goes and buys himself a nice green coffin from Action Bronson of all people and goes to pick himself out a plot in a crypt he picks number 1948 that’s the same year he started working for Russell Bufalino in other words.
It’s the year he started to dig his own grave but at the end of his life Frank is trying to understand he starts consulting with a priest just in case and he talks to Bill Brandt the whole movie is framed around an interview the movie opens at the camera moving through the old folks home as if through a person’s point of view it eventually settles on Frank who begins to tell the story of how he painted houses the movie is based on a book called I heard you paint houses where the author Charles Brandt interviewed.
The real-life Frank Sheeran near the end of his life although a lot of people doubt the accuracy of Sharon’s deathbed confession there are probably parts that are true either way that’s not the point the Irishman is a fictional movie whatever it’s based on the point is that Sheeran at the end of his life felt the need to confess he not only needs to talk to a priest but he feels the need to tell his story so that his legacy will reach beyond the end of his life.
Frank is asking himself as his final day draws closer what was it all for the crimes he committed the people he took out he’s left with no friends and no family only a watch and a ring and in a way Scorsese is asking the same question about his own legacy what was it all for why make all these movies about wiseguys scheming to make money by selling drugs or fixing bets taking each other all out in the process but the best part is that the movie doesn’t answer that question in the final scene.
A nurse tends to Frank as he looks at old photos one of them has Jimmy Hoffa in it and Frank is surprised that she has no idea who he is the world has moved on and so as the nurse she walks out of the room and the camera follows her but then it turns around as the day fades tonight and tracks back to Frank’s room where he sits with a priest Frank’s second last line.
After he learns from the priest that it’s almost Christmas I ain’t goin nowhere as the priest takes his leave Frank asks him if he could leave the door slightly ajar a tribute to an old habit of an old friend ha but as the camera zooms out and we see Frank framed between the door the doorframe looking small and old it becomes clear.
There’s another tribute here too to the most iconic scene in mob movie history the final scene of The Godfather even though Scorsese is saying his final farewell to the mob movies he still loves them down to the last shot it’s just like what Frank Sheeran says about being put in a crypt he’s dead but anything final was Robert De Niro worth all that d aging CGI was the three and a half hours worth of final send-off let us know what you think in the comments.