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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Director: Sidney Lumet (Dir)
Release Date:   2007
Premiere Information:   World premiere at Deauville Film Festival: 6 Sep 2007; New York opening: 26 Oct 2007; Los Angeles opening: 2 Nov 2007
Production Date:   10 Jul--29 Aug 2006 at Hell Gate Studios, Astoria, NY, and in New York City
Duration (in mins):   116-117 or 123
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Cast:   Philip Seymour Hoffman (Andy [Hanson])  
    Ethan Hawke (Hank [Hanson])  
    Albert Finney (Charles [Hanson])  
    Marisa Tomei (Gina [Hanson])  
    Aleksa Palladino (Chris)  
    Michael Shannon (Dex)  
    Amy Ryan (Martha)  
    Sarah Livingston (Danielle [Hanson])  
    Brian F. O'Byrne (Bobby [Lasorda])  
    Rosemary Harris (Nanette [Hanson])  
    Blaine Horton (Justin)  
    Arija Bareikis (Katherine [Hanson])  
    Leonardo Cimino (William)  
    Lee Wilkof (Jake)  
    Damon Gupton (Doctor)  
    Adrian Martinez (Security guard)  
    Patrick G. Burns (Priest)  
    Alice Spivak (Receptionist)  
    Natalie Gold (Secretary)  
    Keith Davis (Attendant)  
    Mateo Gomez (Doorman)  
    Myra Lucretia Taylor (Grader)  
    Chris Chalk (Officer)  
    Sakina Jaffrey (Manager)  
    John Knox (Desk sergeant)  
    James Lally (Agent )  
    Jordan Gelber (Agent #2)  
    Megan Byrne (Nurse)  
    Marcia Jean Kurtz (Hospital receptionist)  
    Guy A. Fortt (Vendor)  
    Meredith Patterson (Andy's secretary)  
    Tom Zolandz (Junkie)  
    Paul Butler (Detective)  
    Anita Sklar (Mourner #1)  
    Josh Mowery (Mourner #2)  
    Diane Bradley (Mourner #3)  
    Richard K. Lublin (Mourner #4)  
    Bob Colletti (Ambulance driver)  

Summary: After a satisfying round of lovemaking in a Rio de Janeiro hotel room, New Yorkers Andy and Gina Hanson discuss their crumbling marriage and wonder why their sex life is so much better in Brazil. When Gina becomes excited at the prospect of moving to Brazil, Andy promises to think about ways to make the change happen. Sometime later, at a small suburban American shopping center, a masked man enters a jewelry store moments after it opens. Brandishing a handgun, the man orders the matronly store employee into a corner and begins to load a bag with cash and jewels. As the robber turns to smash open the diamond case, the woman grabs a gun hidden in a drawer and shoots him in the back. From the floor, the wounded robber shoots the woman, who returns fire, killing the intruder as he is fleeing. Outside in a waiting car, a young man in a wig and glasses panics at the robbery’s outcome and speeds away. Three days before the robbery, the young man, Andy’s brother Hank, fights with his angry ex-wife Martha about their daughter Danielle and the months of child support money he owes. That night at Mooney’s bar, the smooth-talking Andy suggests to Hank that his financial woes would be over if he participated in a victimless robbery that would net them $60,000 each. Hank nervously asks for details, but Andy, who constantly talks down to his brother, refuses to divulge specifics until Hank commits fully to the plan. The next day, during their weekly afternoon tryst, Hank tells sister-in-law Gina that he wants more out of their relationship than illicit sex. Citing his lack of money and prospects, Gina gently dismisses Hank’s dream of togetherness. Later, Hank proudly watches Danielle perform in a school play and, when pressed, agrees to buy her tickets to an expensive Broadway show. Hank, who works as a low-level property manager for the same Manhattan real estate company as payroll chief Andy, meets his brother in his office the following day and announces he wants in on the robbery. When Andy informs Hank that he will be robbing their parents’ Westchester jewelry store, however, Hank balks, even though Andy assures him their parents’ insurance will cover any losses and Doris, their elderly clerk, will be manning the store that morning. Finally, after Andy gives him a $2,000 advance using money embezzled from his employer, Hank agrees to commit the robbery. Hank then enlists friend Bobby Lasorda, who works at Mooney’s, to participate in the crime. Early the next morning after renting a car, Hank picks up Bobby at the apartment he shares with girl friend Chris and their baby and, on the way to Westchester, stops to don a wig, moustache and glasses. An experienced criminal, Bobby laughs at Hank’s disguise and, revealing he has brought a gun, insists that he will rob the store while Hank waits in the car. As Hank pulls into the shopping center, his view of his parents’ store is blocked by a delivery truck, and he cannot see who is opening the store. Moments later, he hears three shots fired and, seeing Bobby fall through the door, peels out of the parking lot, crying and cursing. Once safely away, Hank calls Andy from a public phone, telling him that everything has gone horribly wrong. Four days before, at his office, the cocaine-sniffing Andy learns that his personal bank account is overdrawn and that an auditor will be examining his payroll books that coming Monday. Quietly, Andy removes money from the company’s cash box and heads to an upscale apartment building, where effeminate drug dealer Andre injects him with heroin. Andy tells the unsympathetic Andre that, unlike his payroll accounts, nothing in his life “adds up” or connects to anything else. Later, at his chic apartment, after yet another unsuccessful attempt at lovemaking, Andy suggests to Gina that they may be able to move to Brazil. Although unaware of Andy's plans, Gina, who, like Andy, knows that Brazil has no extradition agreement with the United States, becomes excited to think that Andy might be plotting. The next day, Andy goes to see William, an old jeweler and reputed fence, and, without revealing any details of his scheme, gives the man his calling card. In his office, Andy then discusses his plans with Hank. Andy claims that because he is known at the shopping center, he cannot participate in the robbery himself and convinces Hank to commit the crime using a toy gun. The day after receiving the frantic post-robbery call from Hank, Andy joins his brother at a Westchester hospital, where they are stunned to learn that their mother Nanette, not Doris, was shot during the robbery. Without revealing their guilt, Andy and Hank comfort their father Charles in the hospital waiting room. The morning before the robbery, Charles studies for the next day’s driver’s license test and agrees to drop Nanette, who will be filling in for Doris, at the jewelry store beforehand. After passing his renewal test, Charles drives to the shopping center and learns about the robbery. Later, at the hospital, Charles tearfully tells the comatose Nanette, who is on life support, that he loves her. The next day, Charles reads about Bobby in the newspaper and wonders aloud why a thief from Brooklyn would rob a small store in Westchester. At the police station, Charles waits in vain to speak with a detective and, frustrated by the police’s seeming indifference, deliberately backs his car into a parked cruiser before driving away. Later, after a final visit with Nanette, Charles announces his decision to take her off life support and “let her go.” When the guilt-ridden Hank bolts from his mother’s wake, Charles declares to Andy that Hank has “always been a baby.” A few days before, immediately following the robbery, Hank wipes his prints off the rental car, returns the car to the dealer and gets drunk at Mooney’s. There, Hank is grilled by a furious Andy, who asks rhetorically why their mother had to be shot instead of their father. Hanks insists he left nothing behind in the rental car, but back at his dingy apartment, discovers a phone message from the rental agency informing him about a “personal item” found in the car. Realizing that the item is one of Bobby’s music CDs, Hank, fighting hysteria, tries to retrieve it from the agency the next day. Unsuccessful, Hank returns to Mooney’s, where he is accosted by Bobby’s girl friend Chris and Chris’s menacing brother Dex. Aware of Hank’s involvement in Bobby’s death, Dex threatens to expose him to the police unless he pays $10,000 to help care for Chris’s now fatherless child. After Martha laughingly refuses to lend him any money, Hank briefly contemplates overdosing on pills. At his mother’s wake, Hank departs abruptly and tries to contact Gina, who brushes him off. Hank then retrieves Bobby’s CD from the rental agency and reluctantly takes a call from Andy. Soon after the robbery, while his mother lies dying, Andy dodges anxious calls from a co-worker about his upcoming audit and pays an unscheduled visit to Andre, who angrily makes him wait for his heroin fix. Then, at Mooney’s, Andy berates Hank for involving Bobby in the robbery and not taking care of business. Later, as Nanette’s wake winds down, Charles apologizes to Andy for being a “bad father,” but unmoved, Andy accuses Charles of always favoring the more attractive but weak Hank. When Andy bitterly asks Charles if he is sure he is his son, Charles slaps him. On the drive home, Andy breaks down and rails against his family, frightening Gina with the intensity of his emotions. That evening, Andy again stops by Andre’s apartment unannounced but is turned away. Upon returning to his apartment, Andy is greeted by a grim Gina, who announces she is leaving him. Andy says nothing to dissuade her from going, and at the door, she informs him about her affair with Hank. Andy barely reacts to the admission but once alone, wrecks the apartment in frustration. Acting on a hunch, Charles, meanwhile, visits jeweler William, an old acquaintance. William bristles at Charles’ suggestion that he has always been a crook and spitefully shows him Andy’s calling card, noting that “the world is an evil place.” Stunned, Charles waits in his car outside Andy’s apartment, unaware that Gina has left him. Charles then follows Andy, who has learned about Dex’s demands, to Hank’s apartment. After Andy orders Hank to arrange a meeting with Dex at Chris’s apartment, Charles follows both brothers to Andre’s apartment building. There, in front of Hank, an armed Andy shoots and kills Andre and his dozing heroin customer, then grabs Andre’s stash of money and drugs. Trailed by Charles, the brothers head for Chris’s apartment, where Andy coldly shoots Dex. When Andy threatens to kill Chris, too, Hank protests, and Andy turns the gun on his brother, revealing that he knows about Hank’s affair with Gina. Seeing his brother’s rage, Hank begs Andy to kill him, but before Andy can fire his weapon, Chris snatches a gun that Dex had hidden in a pizza box and shoots Andy. Outside, as a helpless Charles watches, Hank runs from the building, still carrying Andre’s cash and drugs. That night Charles visits the wounded Andy in the hospital and listens quietly as Andy finally confesses his crimes. Charles assures Andy that all will be fine but, as soon as his son falls asleep, places the electrodes from Andy’s heart monitor on his own chest and smothers Andy to death with a pillow. Feigning alarm, Charles calls for help and, as a crash cart is rushed into Andy’s room, calmly heads for the exit.  

Production Company: Unity Productions  
  Linsefilm, Ltd.  
  Funky Buddha Group  
  Capitol Films  
Distribution Company: THINKFilm  
Director: Sidney Lumet (Dir)
  Joseph Reidy (1st asst dir)
  Amy Lauritsen (2d asst dir)
  John Silvestri (2d 2d asst dir)
  Marissa Kaplan (DGA trainee)
Producer: Michael Cerenzie (Prod)
  Brian Linse (Prod)
  Paul Parmar (Prod)
  William S. Gilmore (Prod)
  David Bergstein (Exec prod)
  Jane Barclay (Exec prod)
  Hannah Leader (Exec prod)
  Eli Klein (Exec prod)
  Sam Zaharis (Exec prod)
  Belle Avery (Exec prod)
  Jeffry Melnick (Exec prod)
  J. J. Hoffman (Exec prod)
  Guy Pham (Co-exec prod)
  Joel Corenman (Co-exec prod)
  Jeff G. Waxman (Co-prod)
  Austin Chick (Co-prod)
  Carol Cuddy (Line prod)
Writer: Kelly Masterson (Wrt)
  Sidney Lumet (Wrt)
Photography: Ron Fortunato (Dir of photog)
  Bruce MacCallum (A cam op)
  Peter Reniers (B cam op)
  Heather Norton (1st asst A cam)
  Angelo DiGiacomo (1st asst B cam)
  Denny Kortze (2d asst A cam)
  Adam Miller (2d asst B cam)
  Andy Voegel (Asst cam)
  Constantine Limberis (Cam utility)
  Will Hart (Still photog)
  Jerry DeBlau (Gaffer)
  Ken Dodd (Best boy elec)
  Richard T. Mitchell (Elec)
  Jerad W. Molkenthin (Elec)
  Vincent Camuto (Elec)
  Eric Leigh (Rigging gaffer)
  Kelly Rutkowski (Best boy rigging elec)
  Brooke Stanford (Generator op)
  Richard Guinness, Jr. (Key grip)
  Glen Engels (Best boy grip)
  Kenny Fundus (A dolly grip)
  Howard Davidson (B dolly grip)
  Wesley Battle (Grip)
  Kevin Casey Gilligan (Grip)
  Brent Poleski (Grip)
  Billy Kerwick (Key rigging grip)
  Joseph Viano (Best boy rigging grip)
  Gus Limberis (Film loader)
Art Direction: Christopher Nowak (Prod des)
  Wing Lee (Art dir)
  Kelly Solomon (Art dept coord)
Film Editor: Tom Swartwout (Ed)
  Jennifer Lilly (Assoc ed)
  Jennifer Lame (Apprentice ed)
Set Decoration: Diane Lederman (Set dec)
  Stephen Swanson (Leadman)
  Rafael M. Foraguada (On set dresser)
  Tom Allen (Prop master)
  Ann Edgeworth (Asst prop master)
  Jeffrey Rollins (Props)
  Jim Miller (Const coord)
  Glen Pangione (Shop craft coord)
  Frank Proscia (Key const grip)
  Joseph Proscia (Const grip)
  Chris Dolan (Const shop elec)
  Alex Gorodetsky (Scenic charge)
  Quang Nguyen (Scenic foreman)
  George Kousoulides (Cam scenic)
  Dan Dougherty (Const staff asst)
Costumes: Tina Nigro (Cost des)
  Chris Ann Pappas (Asst cost des)
  Nicole Evangelista (Cost supv)
  Kate Quinlan (Key cost)
  Arlynn Abseck (Set cost)
Music: Carter Burwell (Mus)
  Carter Burwell (Mus cond and orch)
  Michael Farrow (Scoring mixer)
  Sandra Park (Mus contractor)
  Dean Parker (Asst to Mr. Burwell)
  Clinton Recording Studios (Score rec at)
  Tony Finno (Mus copyist)
Sound: Chris Newman (Prod sd mixer)
  Gregg Harris (1st boom op)
  Warren Weberg (2d boom op)
  Dave Paterson (Supv sd ed)
  Mary Ellen Porto (Dial/ADR ed)
  Rachel Chancey (Foley ed)
  Damian Volpe (Efx ed)
  Rob Fernandez (Re-rec mixer)
  Dave Paterson (Re-rec mixer)
  Sound One (Sd services provided by)
  Thomas Kodros (Dolby Sound consultant)
Special Effects: Steve Kirshoff (Spec eff)
Make Up: Wayne Herndon (Dept head, hair)
  Diana Sikes (Hair)
  Patricia Regan (Dept head, makeup)
  Jeong-Hwa Fonklasrud (Makeup)
Production Misc: Ellen Lewis (Casting)
  Meredith Jacobson (Extras casting)
  Lindsay D. Chag (Casting dir)
  Carol Cuddy (Unit prod mgr)
  Patty Willett (Prod supv)
  Lilith Jacobs (Post prod supv)
  Jessica Lichtner (Scr supv)
  Carol Green (Unit pub)
  Daniel Strol (Loc mgr)
  Abigail Zealey Bess (Asst loc mgr)
  Alvaro Donado (Loc coord)
  Ralph Pellegrini (Loc asst)
  Jason Kadlec (Loc scout)
  Cisco Marcial (Parking coord)
  Nick Thomason (Asst prod office coord)
  Jason Fritz (Prod secy)
  James Hale (Prod accountant)
  Beth M. Schniebolk (1st asst accountant)
  Andrew Stocker (2d asst accountant)
  Patricia Porter (Payroll accountant)
  Jamie Waxman (Accounting clerk)
  Lilith Jacobs (Asst to Mr. Lumet)
  Tracy Martin (Asst to Mr. Cerenzie and Mr. Linse)
  Paula Gilmore (Asst to Mr. Gilmore)
  Frymi Biedak (Asst to Mr. Bergstein)
  Gene O'Neill (Transportation capt)
  John Canavan (Transportation co-capt)
  Wilson Rivas Company (Craft service)
  Edma Jadan (On set craft service person)
  Tribe Road Catering (Catering co)
  Andy Gilbert (Caterer)
  Chris Lewis (Office staff asst)
  Kevin Hall (Office staff asst)
  David Fischer (Set staff asst)
  Steven Oppenheim (Set staff asst)
  Daniel Cone (Set staff asst)
  Chris Gibson (Set staff asst)
  Pes Payroll (Payroll services provided by)
  Fred Milstein Cinefinance (Completion bond by)
  Marshall Wight LLP (Legal counsel by)
  Jonathan S. Marshall ([Attorney])
  Allied Irish Banks, Plc. (Prod finance provided by)
  Infatrade Group Corporation (Gap financing provider)
Stand In: John Cenatiempo (Stunt coord)
  Keith Siglinger (Mr. O'Byrne's stunt double)
  Dave Conelli (Insert car driver)
  Gregg Davis (Stand in for Mr. Hoffman)
  James Hook (Stand in for Mr. Hawke)
  Jim Lavin (Stand in for Mr. Finney)
  Stephanie Rogers (Stand in for Ms. Tomei)
Color Personnel: Abby Levine (Digital imaging tech)
  Joe Gawler (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "The Pride" and “Julia,” written by Christopher Ziter, Alexandra Bell and Jeffrey Baron, performed by The Essex Green, courtesy of Merge Records, by arrangement with Bank Robber Music; “Bad Man Blood,” written by Michael Kisur and Darren Coverdale, performed by Michael Kisur, courtesy of Barbara Jordan/Heavy Hitters Music; “Change Your Life,” “Hard to Be Easy” and “Motel California,” written by Mark Rozzo, performed by Champale, courtesy of Aloha Buffet Music; “Morning Star,” written by Mark Rozzo, performed by Maplewood, courtesy of Aloha Buffet Music; “Carolina Jasmine,” written by Steve Koester, performed by Maplewood, courtesy of Herr K Songs; “This Too Shall Pass,” written by Lonnie Rutledge, performed by Lonnie.
Composer: Jeffrey Baron
  Alexandra Bell
  Darren Coverdale
  Michael Kisur
  Steve Koester
  Mark Rozzo
  Lonnie Rutledge
  Christopher Ziter
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Capitol Films Limited 0/0/2007 dd/mm/yyyy  

PCA NO: 43235
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: Filmed with Panavision Genesis HD cameras and lenses; HD processing by Technicolor/NY

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
Subjects (Major): Betrayal
  Fathers and sons
Subjects (Minor): Alimony
  Brothers and sisters
  Drug dealers
  Fences (Criminal)
  Gunshot wounds
  Jewelry stores
  New York City
  Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  Westchester (NY)

Note: The film’s title is presented onscreen as the second line in the following traditional Irish toast: “May you be in heaven half an hour . . . before the devil knows you’re dead.” A longer version of the toast reads: “May you have food and raiment, a soft yellow pillow for your head; may you be forty years in heaven, before the devil knows you’re dead.” The end credits give thanks to the following organizations and people: The people of New York; the City of New York Mayor’s Office for Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development; NYPD, MOFT unit; and Sgt. Neil Criscuolo, NYFD. The story’s shifts in time and changing points of view are announced by title cards interspersed throughout the film. Each title card indicates which character’s point of view is being presented and how many days before or after the robbery the subsequent action occurs.
       Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was the final film of director Sidney Lumet (1924--2011). According to a 21 Oct 2007 NYT interview with Lumet, who is credited as a co-screenwriter with Kelly Masterson in HR production charts, his revision of the script included making the two male protagonists brothers instead of friends and adding the opening lovemaking scene. In a 16 Sep 2007 interview for the JAM! Movies column on the website, Lumet speculated that the character “Hank” would likely have blown his ill-gotten cash and become a drunk, while father “Charles” would have retreated to a small town and never spoken to anyone again. Lumet also commented in the interview that when he was filming the same scene told from different points of view, he used separate set-ups and different visual styles. As noted onscreen, the picture was shot using a high-definition Panavision Genesis camera at various locations in New York City and at the Hell Gate Studios in Astoria, NY. Specific New York area locations included Bayside, Queens, White Plains and Yonkers.
       Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead was made for approximately $10,000,000 and distributed by THINKFilm, a “sister” company to London-based Capitol Films, which financed the picture. According to an interview with Masterson on the Writers Guild of America West website, the film's screenplay had been completed seven years before Lumet saw the script and decided to film it.
       According to a 13 Jul 2007 HR article, an “unofficial trailer” featuring nude footage of Marisa Tomei was leaked online by a French website, but the film’s official trailer did not include the footage. Following its screening at the Deauville Film Festival in France, the picture was shown at the Toronto Film Festival on 13 Sep 2007; the New York Film Festival on 12 Oct 2007; and the Cinema Rome Film Fest on 20 Oct 2007. In addition to its inclusion on AFI’s list of Movies of the Year for 2007, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead won the Boston Society of Critics 2007 award for Best Ensemble Cast. Tomei was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Featured Actress, and Amy Ryan, who plays “Martha” in the picture, won the 2007 Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s award for Best Supporting Actress. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead marked Masterson’s first produced screenplay. He was nominated for a 2007 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Hollywood Reporter   18 Jul 2006.   
Hollywood Reporter   13 Jul 2007   p. 2, 42.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Sep 2007   p. 10, 40.
International Cinematographer's Guild   Nov 2007   pp. 57-59.
New York   29 Oct 2007.   
New York Times   21 Oct 2007.   
New York Times   26 Oct 2007   p. 1, 8.
New Yorker   29 Oct 2007.   
Rolling Stone   1 Nov 2007.   
Screen International   2 Jun 2006.   
Variety   10 Sep 2007   p. 83, 85.
Village Voice   24--30 Oct 2007   p. 72.

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