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The Funeral is a 1996 American crime-drama film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini, Vincent Gallo, Benicio del Toro and Gretchen Mol.

The Funeral
The Funeral movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbel Ferrara
Produced byMary Kane
Written byNicholas St. John
Music byJoe Delia
CinematographyKen Kelsch
Edited byMayin Lo
Jim Mol
Bill Pankow
Distributed byOctober Films
Release date
  • August 28, 1996 (1996-08-28) (Italy)
  • November 1, 1996 (1996-11-01) (U.S.)
Running time
99 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,412,799 (worldwide)[2]

The story concerns the funeral of one of three brothers in a family of gangsters that lived in New York City in 1930s. It details the past of the brothers and their families through a series of flashbacks.

Chris Penn won the best supporting actor award at the 1996 Venice Film Festival for his performance.



The film begins with the funeral of one of the three Tempio brothers. These men are violent criminals. Mourning the passage of their beloved brother Johnny are Chez and Ray. Ray is cold and calculating. Chez is hot tempered. Flashbacks show us that Johnny was more sensitive. Exposure to communist meetings as a spy sway Johnny's opinions.

The chief suspect in Johnny's murder is rival gangster Gaspare Spoglia.

Ray and Chez swear revenge. Ray's wife, Jeanette, opposes the campaign of retribution and the violence it will bring, while Chez' wife, Clara, struggles to deal with her husband's obsessive nature.

As it turns out, Johnny was not murdered by rival gangsters, but by a man who first claimed Johnny had raped his girlfriend, but who later admits, just before Ray kills him, that he wanted revenge because Johnny had beaten him up in front of his girlfriend and friends.

As he buries the dead murderer, Chez reflects on his brothers' lives before the tragedy. He then returns to Ray's house and shoots and kills Ray and all of his bodyguards. Chez then shoots Johnny, lying dead in the casket, before putting the gun in his own mouth and committing suicide as the family women wail over Ray's dying body.



Reception from critics was positive, as The Funeral holds a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.


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