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Martin Scorsese’s latest film, The Irishman, already made headlines before its New York Film Festival world premiere on Friday night for its reported three-and-a-half-hour running time, making the movie the longest narrative feature of the legendary director’s career.
While the epic movie actually clocks in at 209 minutes, 60 seconds shorter than the 210 minutes reported before the pic debuted, and the credits account for roughly the last 10 minutes, the stars of The Irishman seem unbothered by its length.
“It’s a Martin Scorsese movie with Bob De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci — it’s an incredible film. I didn’t want it to end,” the actor, who plays Felix “Skinny Razor” DiTullio, added.
That sense that the audience will be so enthralled by the decade-spanning tale of Frank Sheeran — a high-ranking Teamsters official with ties to the Bufalino crime family who confessed, shortly before his death in 2003, that he killed fellow Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa, from how he initially gets involved with organized crime to his association with Hoffa to dealing with his role in Hoffa’s famed disappearance — that they won’t notice how long the movie is was echoed by other castmembers.
“You’re never bored. It’s going to fly by,” Kathrine Narducci, who plays the wife of Joe Pesci’s character, Russell Bufalino, said.
Ray Romano, who appears in the film as lawyer Bill Bufalino, told THR that the movie “could’ve been another hour as far as I was concerned. Just go to the bathroom before it starts, and you’ll just get immersed in it. It has so much. It has what you would expect from a Marty Scorsese movie, and then more. It has this heart, this story, this conflict, this human-interest element to it that is more prevalent than any of his other movies, so there’s something there for everybody and something that will compel you and keep you there for three [hours] and 20 [minutes], and you won’t even feel it.”
Sebastian Maniscalco, who appears in The Irishman as New York gangster Joey Gallo, called the length of the pic “refreshing.”
“I like a movie that extends and gives some time to breathe and has a long runway, rather than banging it out in an hour and a half or two hours,” he said. “Anything Martin Scorsese does, there’s a reason why it’s long, so I trust his judgment and I think it’s a nice movie to kind of sit and relax and have a nice discussion about afterwards.”
Cannavale agreed that the length of the pic is “deliberate.”
“I think that there’s something very sad about that ending. It’s so epic in scale that it can’t be any shorter,” he told THR. “And there’s something about the ending of that movie and what it’s saying about mortality and how it stretches out at the end, particularly the last half-hour, that I found to be very affecting and very much felt like what death feels like. I just felt the weight of the end of that movie, and seeing those guys, so old, coming to the end of their lives, really landed with me, and I thought it needed to have that kind of length and scale. It tells a story that spans 40 years. You need the time, and Marty’s not really known for making short movies.”
The Irishman is set to open in select theaters Nov. 1 before streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 27. While producers told THR they were grateful for the movie’s theatrical window, limited as it may be, viewers’ tendency to binge-watch programming on Netflix may work to The Irishman‘s advantage.
When asked about the length of the movie, Jesse Plemons, who plays Hoffa’s foster son Chuckie, said, “Don’t we live in a day and age where people sit down and watch hours and hours of television? This isn’t much in comparison to that.”
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