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DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Departed

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Here are a few behind-the-scenes tidbits to pair with your next viewing of Martin Scorsese’s modern gangster classic.

1. IT’S A REMAKE

While screenwriter William Monahan and director Martin Scorsese claim they did not watch the 2002 Hong Kong action movie Infernal Affairs before making The Departed, the two films share more than a few similarities. Infernal Affairs director Andy Lau unsurprisingly prefers his own film, saying of The Departed, “Of course I think the version I made is better, but the Hollywood version is pretty good too.”


2. IT’S BASED ON A REAL-LIFE GANGSTER

Jack Nicholson’s character is based on infamous Boston mob boss and FBI informant Whitey Bulger. Before he was captured in 2011, he was the second only to Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and had a reward for $1 million for his capture.


3. SCORSESE AGREED TO DIRECT BECAUSE THE FILM FELT SIMILAR TO ONE OF HIS FAVORITES

Scorsese has said that Monahan’s script reminded him of one of his favorite movies, the 1949 James Cagney film noir White Heat, which is also partly about an undercover police officer embedded with a charismatic gangster.


4. BRAD PITT IS ONE OF THE FILM’S PRODUCERS

The actor was originally going to play one of the two lead roles that eventually went to Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. However, he decided to produce the movie instead because he thought he was too old to play either part.


5. IT ALMOST STARRED ROBERT DE NIRO

De Niro, who has made eight films so far with Scorsese, was originally asked to play either mob boss Frank Costello or police Captain Queenan. He declined both in favor of directing his own movie, The Good Shepherd.


6. MARK WAHLBERG WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY DIGNAM

Ray Liotta (who was also in Scorsese’s Goodfellas) and Denis Leary were initially considered for the role, which eventually went to Wahlberg. Wahlberg was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.


7. THE FILM’S STAR POWER COST A LOT OF MONEY

Roughly 50 percent of its $90 million budget went to the actors’ salaries.


8. THE FILM TAKES A WHILE TO GET GOING

The title card doesn’t appear until 18 minutes after the movie starts.


9. IT TAKES PLACE IN BOSTON, BUT WAS SHOT MAINLY IN NEW YORK

Certain exterior shots were filmed on location in Boston, but most of the interior scenes were shot on sets in New York City.


10. SULLIVAN’S CONDO ISN’T A CONDO AT ALL

Scenes there were filmed at the Suffolk University Law School library.


11. “GIMME SHELTER” IS SCORSESE’S UNOFFICIAL GANGSTER THEME SONG

Before The Departed, Scorsese had previously used the Rolling Stones song in Goodfellas and Casino. It seems Billy Costigan loves the Stones, too; the CD that he mails to Sullivan is housed in the case for the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street.


12. A REAL-LIFE FORMER DETECTIVE WAS AN ADVISOR ON THE MOVIE

Former Boston Police Department detective Tom Duffy was a technical consultant on the film. During his time on active duty he was specially assigned to Boston’s Whitey Bulger/Irish Mob investigation. He also has a cameo: He plays the Governor of Massachusetts.


13. IN THE DEPARTED, X MARKS THE SPOT

Whenever anybody is killed onscreen or talks about murder, Scorsese had a hidden “X” positioned somewhere in the frame as an homage to the 1932 version of Scarface (one of Scorsese’s favorite movies) which does the same thing.


14. THERE’S ALSO A MUSICAL HOMAGE TO SCARFACE

In that movie, whenever Tony (played by Paul Muni) killed someone he would whistle the sextet from the Gaetano Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor. This is the same opera that Jack Nicholson’s character attends in The Departed.


15. SCORSESE WON HIS FIRST (AND SO FAR ONLY) OSCAR FOR THE MOVIE

Scorsese was nominated for the Best Director Oscar five times before he won for The Departed. He’s been nominated twice again since then for directing Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…