The 1927 Yankees earned the nickname “Murderer’s Row” when an insanely talented roster that included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig won 110 games and swept the Pirates in the World Series. But who is the Murderer’s Row of old school film actors? The answer clearly Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci! And now, it seems like Netflix has lined-up this all-star team with Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman. The first trailer, released on Wednesday, makes it look like the movie will be just as good as its pedigree suggests.
It opens with a gorgeous crane shot of a De Niro, Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, clad in a trenchcoat and fedora, walking into the neon-lit Villa Di Roma Restaurant. Pesci hands him the phone, and Pacino is on the line.
“Hiya Frank, this is Jimmy Hoffa.”
At that moment, we’re sold on this movie, but the shots that come next are even more exciting. A raucous union hall rally, period-perfect shots of nightclubs, guys tipping cabs into the river, giant gold rings. What’s not to love?
“Sooner or later, everybody put here has a date when he’s gonna go,” Sheeran says as increasingly frantic shots — hands struggling for a gun, Hoffa banging his hands on the table, a very grey funeral — culminate in his Cadillac moving in slow motion through a car wash, Hoffa bumper sticker prominently displayed.
“Would you like to be a part of this history?” Hoffa asks Sheeran, back on the original call. He might as well be asking us.
The Irishman will make history as the first collaboration between Pacino and Scorsese. It’s also the reunion of Scorsese with De Niro and Pesci, the stars of two of his finest works, Casino and Goodfellas. De Niro and Pacino are back together for their fifth film with previous efforts including The Godfather Part II and Heat. Call it a gangster’s paradise.
The rest of the cast — Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano, and Jesse Plemons — is nothing to sneer at. Nor are the visual effects, particularly a computer-generated effort to de-age De Niro that, at least in this trailer, looks fantastic.