RIP Dennis Farina
RIP Dennis Farina, as usual these days I’m way late on my entertainment news and it was a shock to see he’d died. Farina was a pleasurable sight on screen and one of those actors who give you that safe feeling where you know what you’re going to get and invariably it was entertaining. He came late to acting so there’s hope for all wannabe starlets out there who are exiting their thirties.
The LA Times has a nice gallery dedicated to some of Dennis Farina’s movie roles but in my view they’ve missed some of the obvious greats. First off the movie I’ll always associate him with: Midnight Run. In this rare example of a De Niro comedy that really works, Farina played gangster Jimmy Serrano. This film could easily have had 3 leads: De Niro is superb and well-matched by Charles Grodin with his hang-dog expression and wry asides but Farina as the dirt-talking boss was brilliant too, especially when verbally abusing his two hapless goons. He could be real nasty too — when he gets Grodin in the car towards the end and tells him what he’s going to do to his family, it gives me the chills. And not forgetting Snatch: Farina is superb as cousin Avi the wisecracking diamond dealer in this heist caper — the best Guy Ritchie film yet and way way better than Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Snatch is one of thoise films with lines and scenes that have stayed lodged in the memory long after watching, including Farina’s quips . . relive them here.