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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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