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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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Give Back

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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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