The Irishman (titled onscreen as I Heard You Paint Houses) is a 2019 American epic crime with East Harlem’s Al Pacino, the film is directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, with Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jesse Plemons, and Harvey Keitel in supporting roles. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman and gets involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
In September 2014, after years of development hell, The Irishman was announced as Scorsese’s next film after Silence (2016). De Niro, who also served as producer, and Pacino were confirmed that month, as was Pesci, who came out of his unofficial retirement to star after being asked numerous times to take the role. Principal photography began in September 2017 in New York City and in the Mineola and Williston Park sections of Long Island and wrapped in March 2018. With a production budget of $159 million and a runtime of 209 minutes, it is among the most expensive films of Scorsese’s career, as well as his longest.
The Irishman had its world premiere at the 57th New York Film Festival on September 27, 2019, and began a limited theatrical release on November 1, 2019, followed by digital streaming on Netflix starting on November 27, 2019. The film was praised for Scorsese’s direction and the performances of De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci.
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Photo credit: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Ray Romano in “The Irishman” Photo from STX Entertainment press materials.