Prizzi's Honor (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Prizzi's Honor (1985)




Critic Consensus: Disturbing and sardonic, Prizzi's Honor excels at black comedy because director John Huston and his game ensemble take the farce deadly seriously.

Movie Info

Richard Condon's delicious black comedy was lovingly translated to the screen by legendary director John Huston in one of his last movies. The Prizzis are a powerful family of mobsters, as devoted to their code of honor as they are to bending laws and breaking skulls. Charley Partanna (Jack Nicholson), a Prizzi hit man, is not quite so honorable, at least where affairs of the heart are concerned. While attending a mob wedding, he throws over his longtime sweetheart Maerose Prizzi (Anjelica Huston) in favor of gorgeous Irene Walker (Kathleen Turner). Supposedly a tax consultant, Irene is actually a paid killer like Charley--and this endears her to him all the more. But when it turns out that Irene has betrayed the Prizzis, Charley finds himself on the horns of a dilemma: does he kill Irene or marry her? Fortuitously, Irene helps Charley make up his mind by attempting to kill him. The film's strongest suit is its matter-of-fact approach to Charley and Irene's profession; in the movie's most memorable scene, the two lovers calmly discuss their dinner plans while disposing of the corpse of their latest victim. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, Prizzi's Honor won Best Supporting Actress for Huston's daughter Anjelica, playing the "art imitates life" role of Nicholson's cast-off girl friend. The win made Anjelica, John, and Walter Huston the only three generations of one family all to win Oscars.


Jack Nicholson
as Charley Partanna
Kathleen Turner
as Irene Walker
Robert Loggia
as Eduardo Prizzi
Anjelica Huston
as Maerose Prizzi
William Hickey
as Don Corrado Prizzi
John Randolph
as Angelo Partanna
Lee Richardson
as Dominic Prizzi
Michael Lombard
as Filargi `Finlay'
Lawrence Tierney
as Lt. Hanley
CCH Pounder
as Peaches Altamont
Ann Selepegno
as Amalia Prizzi
Erasmus C. Alfano
as Cigar Smoker
Vic Polizos
as Phil Vittimizzare
Ruben Gonzalez
as Man at Mexican Wedding
Dick O'Neill
as Bluestone
Sully Boyar
as Casco Vascone
Antonia Vasquez
as Theresa Prizzi
Tomasino Baratta
as Opera Singer
John Calvani
as Don's Bodyguard
Murray Staff
as Gallagher
Joseph Ruskin
as Marxie Heller
Seth Allen
as Gomsky
Dominic Barto
as Presto Ciglione
Ray Serra
as Bocca
Tom Signorelli
as Photographer
Raymond Iannicelli
as Photographer
Ray Iannicelli
as Photographer
John Codiglia
as Policeman
Debra Kelly
as Bride and Groom at Mexican Chapel
Scott Campbell
as Bride and Groom at Mexican Chapel
Beth Raines
as Airport Clerk
Michael Sabin
as Charley at 17
Michael Tuck
as Anchorman Fred
Kenneth Cervi
as Bodyguard
Marlene Williams
as Mrs. Calhane
Joe Kopmar
as Cigar Smoker
Peter D'Arcy
as Cigar Smoker
Thomas Lomonaco
as Cigar Smoker
Alexandra Ivanoff
as Soprano in Church
Skip O'Brien
as Bartender
Bill Brecht
as Cigar Smoker
Danielle Frederick
as Woman at Mexican Wedding
Jonathan L. Arland
as Man at Mexican Wedding
Luis Accinelli
as Man at Mexican Wedding
View All

Critic Reviews for Prizzi's Honor

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (4)

John Huston's Prizzi's Honor packs love, sex, and murder -- and dark comedy -- into a labyrinthine tale.

February 5, 2008 | Full Review…

As usual, Turner works hard and manages to lend some conviction to a shoddily written part, but she can't connect with Nicholson, whose obscure hamminess leaves him isolated on some other planet.

February 5, 2008 | Full Review…

A very stylish walk with love and death.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is the most bizarre comedy in many a month, a movie so dark, so cynical and so funny that perhaps only Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner could have kept straight faces during the love scenes.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

John Huston's best film in years.

February 28, 2020 | Full Review…

A dark comedy, to be sure, but it all ends on a surprisingly dour note that it never quite earns.

June 4, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Prizzi's Honor


A hit man falls in love with a counterpart who robs his employers. Anjelica Huston's icy but damaged mob daughter earns this film a full star in my book, not mention the Oscar it won Huston. With a cool, reserved vulnerability, her performance is captivating. The rest of the film is not as good. The love story plot is horribly developed. There is very little chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner, and the characters senselessly dive into a relationship that is based on so little that it makes one wonder why they would give up so much for its sake. The eventual plot twists are formulaic and predictable. Overall, the film makes no sense as a drama, and though it's meant to be a comedy, I don't get the joke.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

John Huston has a little fun with the by now typical New York family crime tale when one of their main killers spots a beautiful blonde at a Mob wedding and is instantly smitten. There's a catch though ... she's a contract killer too. Nicholson and Turner are good enough for charm and Huston's daughter gets to shine too, enough to win Best Supporting Actress for that year.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


For as much as I remember Prizzi's Honor getting talked up when I was a kid, as an adult I've got to ask what the hell the big goddamn deal was about. The story sets up an interesting premise but takes some major lapses in logic (even if the only mafia movie you've ever seen is The Godfather) and ties things up W A Y too conveniently at the end. The performances were either hammy and over the top (I'm talking to you, Nicholson) or downright negligible (*cough*KathleenTurner*cough*.) The only exception was Anjelica Huston whose foxy magnificence was grossly underused. I actually almost turned Prizzi's Honor off in the first half hour, but by the time the credits rolled I was sort of glad I didn't, but I've got the feeling that John Huston was counting on nonexistent charm to carry this story where there was never really anything there.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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