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Suicide Kings

Promotional film poster
Directed by Peter O'Fallon
Written by Don Stanford
(Short Story)
Josh McKinney
(screenplay)
Starring Christopher Walken
Denis Leary
Henry Thomas
Johnny Galecki
Sean Patrick Flanery
Jay Mohr
Distributed by Live Film
Artisan Entertainment (DVD)
Release date(s) September 6, 1997(Toronto Film Festival)
April 17, 1998 (USA)
Running time 106 min
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $5 million
Gross revenue $1,740,156 (domestic)[1]

Suicide Kings is a 1997 American movie, starring Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery, Johnny Galecki, Jay Mohr, Jeremy Sisto, and Henry Thomas. It was based on Don Stanford's short story, The Hostage, and directed by Peter O'Fallon.

Contents

Plot Details

Moving in a non-linear fashion, the movie follows the exploits of a group of young 20-something rich kids who are plotting a kidnapping in order to save the sister of one of the friends. The movie opens with Charlie Barret (Walken) walking to his private table in a restaurant, only to see three young men sitting at his table - Avery (Henry Thomas), Max (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Brett (Jay Mohr). Charlie happens to know Avery's father, and after an initial reluctance, is willing to go with the boys for a 'night on the town'.

As the scene progresses, it shifts back and forth to the planning of what they're going to do to Charlie - they plan to kidnap him by strapping him to his seat and use some chloroform to knock him out. Naturally, things don't go as smoothly as they wanted, and Charlie tries fighting back - but eventually succumbs and passes out.

When Charlie wakes up, he sees himself surrounded by a third and a fourth friend, T.K. (Jeremy Sisto), dressed in a doctor's uniform, checking his vital signs. It's soon revealed that Charlie 'used' to be Carlo Bartolucci, a mob figure. The boys then explain that Avery's sister, Elise, has been kidnapped, and that the kidnappers (Frank Medrano and Brad Garrett) are demanding $2 million ransom for her release. They figure that Charlie still has connections to get that kind of money to the gangsters, and they want his cooperation. To ensure that Charlie knows how serious they are, Charlie is shown his pinkie finger, complete with a signet ring, cut off and floating in a bowl of ice - since the same was allegedly done to Avery's sister.

Charlie flies into a rage, stating "I'm looking at dead men." However, he eventually agrees to help them. He contacts his lawyer, who in turn contacts Lono (Leary), Charlie's bodyguard, asking him to track Charlie down. Lono goes about his own investigation, asking for (and in some cases beating out) information from people, including the hostess, Jennifer (Nina Siemaszko) who usually waits on Charlie, and a friend of Charlie's, Lydia (Laura San Giacomo). During the course of these conversations, an added backstory is shown about both Lono and Charlie, including how Charlie got his signet ring.

Charlie, meanwhile, tries to take the boys' naïvete to his advantage. A fifth friend, Ira (Galecki) shows up — they are in his father's house, and Ira didn't know anything about what they had planned. Charlie starts playing the boys off of each other, slowly getting information out of them, including how they got into this mess in the first place. After much cajoling and piecing information together, Charlie learns that Avery was actually the one responsible for his sister's kidnapping. The boys had, the previous summer, spent a wild weekend in Atlantic City, where they dropped tens of thousands of dollars on various bets. Avery had gotten in over his head wagering on a basketball game, and had to come up with a way to pay off his $50,000 debt. The two mobsters approached him and told him they would kidnap his sister and take the "ransom" as payment for the debt.

Lono eventually makes his way to Ira's house and has Charlie removed from his restraints, around the same time that the money is sent to the two thugs. The next day, Charlie and Lono meet up with the two gangsters who had kidnapped Avery's sister, around the same time that Avery learns that his sister is not at the hospital where she is supposed to have been. Charlie and Lono figure out that Elise had come up with a plan to fake the kidnapping and ask for a $2 million ransom; the thugs would get $1,000,000 for playing along, while Max and Elise would walk away with the rest. Charlie and Lono track Max and Elise to a boat off a tropical island where, although Charlie understands their reasons for conning him, he has Lono kill them both and reclaim the money.

Cast

Actor/Actress Role
Christopher Walken Carlo Bartolucci/Charlie Barret
Denis Leary Lono Veccio
Henry Thomas Avery Chasten
Sean Patrick Flanery Max Minot
Nathan Dana Aldrich Marcus
Jay Mohr Brett "Brad" Campbell
Jeremy Sisto T.K.
Frank Medrano Heckle
Brad Garrett Jeckyll
Johnny Galecki Ira Reder
Laura San Giacomo Lydia
Laura Harris Elise Chasten
Nina Siemaszko Jennifer

Alternate endings

The film also features two alternate endings. In one of them, Charlie allows Max and Elise to live happily ever after with their $1 million. In the other, Charlie allows them to live, but takes his money and Lono shoots holes in the boat, causing it to slowly sink. However, test audiences didn't like these endings as much, feeling that Max and Elise needed to pay for the grief they had put everyone through.

References

External links

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