Blu-ray Review: Oscar [Special Edition] | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, August 6th, 2020  

Oscar [Special Edition]

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Nov 26, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Having made a deathbed promise to his father, mafia boss Angelo “Snaps” Provolone (Sylvester Stallone) is committed to leaving behind his life of crime. On the day he’s set to “go straight” and join a board of bankers, his crooked accountant shows up to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Except, the daughter he’s asked to wed isn’t really Snaps’ daughter; his real daughter announces she’s pregnant with the chauffeur’s baby (but isn’t); and the ex-maid’s accidentally run off with a bag of stolen jewels (but returns them, and mistakenly steals a bag of cash in their place.) All of this, on the day he’s made a promise to his dead father not to whack anyone.

Released in 1991, John Landis’ Oscar is an odd mish-mash of a comedy. (It’s a remake of a 1967 French film of the same title, which was itself named after the chauffeur character who’s barely in the film.) Intended to imitate a 1930s-style screwball comedy, it doesn’t really succeed in its aim until halfway into the film, once the manic series of coincidences and mistaken identities kicks in to full steam. It’s also an uncommon comedic turn for Stallone, who feels somewhat miscast as the increasingly overwhelmed mafia don. (The part was originally meant for Al Pacino, who dropped out to appear in Dick Tracy.) It gets much funnier once all of the pieces have been laid out and the pace picks up considerably. The movie is greatly helped by a really good supporting cast, which includes Tim Curry (as a visiting professor), Harry Shearer (a tailor mistaken for a hitman), Marisa Tomei (Snaps’ bubbleheaded daughter), Kurtwood Smith, Chazz Palminteri, and Kirk Douglas.  

KLSC have resurrected this overlooked Touchstone feature in a nice-looking Blu-ray edition. The disc’s primary extra feature is a brand new interview with John Landis, who shares quite a few stories from the production but strangely skirts around mentioning Pacino by name when talking about his late exit from the film. While Oscar isn’t a lost classic of any sort, it’s at least worth a look for Stallone fans as a curious anomaly within his filmography.


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