Before the Devil Knows You're Dead


1h 57m 2007

Brief Synopsis

Andy, an overextended broker, lures his younger brother, Hank, into a larcenous scheme: the pair will rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the store owners are Andy and Hank's actual mom and pop and, when the seemingly perfect cr

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Fred Milstein
Distribution Company
ThinkFilm
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Synopsis

Andy, an overextended broker, lures his younger brother, Hank, into a larcenous scheme: the pair will rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the store owners are Andy and Hank's actual mom and pop and, when the seemingly perfect crime goes awry, the damage lands right at their doorstep.

Crew

Arlynn Abseck

Set Costumer

G. A. Aguilar

Stunt Coordinator

Tom Allen

Property Master

Belle Avery

Executive Producer

Jane Barclay

Executive Producer

Jeffrey Baron

Song

Wesley Battle

Grip

Alexandra Bell

Song

David Bergstein

Executive Producer

Abigail Zealey Bess

Assistant Location Manager

Frymi Biedak

Assistant

Carter Burwell

Original Music

Carter Burwell

Music Conductor

Carter Burwell

Music

John Canavan

Transportation Co-Captain

John Cenatiempo

Stunt Coordinator

Michael Cerenzie

Producer

Lindsay D. Chag

Casting Director

Rachel Chancey

Foley Editor

Austin Chick

Coproducer

Austin Chick

Other

Daniel B Cone

Assistant

David Conelli

Driver

Joel Corenman

Co-Executive Producer

Darren Coverdale

Song

Carol Cuddy

Line Producer

Carol Cuddy

Unit Production Manager

Howard Davidson

Dolly Grip

Gregg Davis

Stand-In

Jerry Deblau

Gaffer

Angelo Digiacomo

Assistant Camera

Kenneth Dodd

Best Boy Electric

Christopher Dolan

Electrician

Alvaro Donado

Location Coordinator

Daniel Dougherty

Assistant

Ann Edgeworth

Assistant Property Master

Glen Engels

Best Boy Grip

Nicole Evangelista

Costume Supervisor

Michael Farrow

Music Scoring Mixer

Robert Fernandez

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Tony Finno

Music Publisher

David Fischer

Assistant

Jeong-hwa Fonklasrud

Makeup

Rafael M Foraguada

On-Set Dresser

Ron Fortunato

Director Of Photography

Jason Fritz

Production Secretary

Ken Fundus

Dolly Grip

Joe Gawler

Color Timer

Chris Gibson

Assistant

Andrew J Gilbert

Caterer

Kevin Gilligan

Grip

Paula Gilmore

Assistant

William S. Gilmore Jr.

Producer

Alexander Gorodetsky

Scenic Artist

Richard Guinness

Key Grip

James Hale

Production Accountant

Kevin Hall

Office Assistant

Gregg Harris

Boom Operator

Will Hart

Photography

Wayne Herndon

Hair

Janette Jensen Hoffman

Executive Producer

James Hook

Stand-In

Lilith Jacobs

Assistant

Lilith Jacobs

Post-Production Supervisor

Meredith Jacobson-marciano

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Edma Jadan

Craft Service

Jason Kadlec

Location Scout

Marissa Kaplan

Dga Trainee

Billy Kerwick

Rigging Grip

Steve Kirshoff

Special Effects Coordinator

Michael Kisur

Song

Michael Kisur

Song Performer

Eli Klein

Executive Producer

Thomas Kodros

Consultant

Steve Koester

Song

Denny Kortze

Assistant Camera

George Kousoulides

Scenic Artist

Jennifer Lame

Apprentice Editor

Amy Lauritsen

Assistant Director

Jim Lavin

Stand-In

Hannah Leader

Executive Producer

Diane Lederman

Set Decorator

Wing Lee

Art Director

Eric Leigh

Rigging Gaffer

Abby Levine

Film Lab

Christopher Lewis

Office Assistant

Ellen Lewis

Casting

Jessica Lichtner

Script Supervisor

Jennifer Lilly

Associate Editor

Constantine Limberis

Camera Utility

Brian Linse

Producer

Sidney Lumet

Other

Bruce Maccallum

Camera Operator

Cisco Marcial

Coordinator

Tracy Martin

Assistant

Kelly Masterson

Screenplay

Jeffry Melnick

Executive Producer

Adam Miller

Assistant Camera

James V Miller

Construction Coordinator

Fred Milstein

Production Insurance

Richard T Mitchell

Electrician

Jerad Molkenthin

Electrician

Chris Newman

Sound Mixer

Quang Nguyen

Scenic Artist

Tina Nigro

Costume Designer

Heather Norton

Assistant Camera

Christopher A. Nowak

Production Designer

Gene O'neill

Transportation Captain

Steven Oppenheim

Assistant

Glen Pangione

Construction

Chris Ann Pappas

Assistant Costume Designer

Sandra Park

Music Contractor

Dean Parker

Assistant

Paul Parmar

Producer

Dave Paterson

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Dave Paterson

Supervising Sound Editor

Ralph Pellegrini

Location Assistant

Guy Pham

Co-Executive Producer

Brent Poleski

Grip

Patricia Porter

Accountant

Mary Ellen Porto

Adr/Dialogue Editor

Frank Proscia

Grip

Joseph Proscia

Grip

Kate Quinlan

Key Costumer

Patricia Regan

Makeup

Joseph Reidy

Assistant Director

Peter Reniers

Camera Operator

Stephanie Rogers

Stand-In

Jeffrey Rollins

Props

Mark Rozzo

Song

Kelly Rutkowski

Best Boy Electric

Lonnie Rutledge

Song

Lonnie Rutledge

Song Performer

Beth M Schniebolk

Accounting Assistant

Keith Siglinger

Stunt Double

Diana Sikes

Hair

John Silvestri

Assistant Director

Kelly Solomon

Art Department Coordinator

Brooke Stanford

Generator Operator

Andrew D Stocker

Accounting Assistant

Daniel Strol

Location Manager

Tom Swartwout

Editor

Nick Thomason

Coordinator

Joseph Viano

Best Boy Grip

Damian Volpe

Sound Effects Editor

Jamie Waxman

Accountant

Jeff Waxman

Coproducer

Warren Weberg

Boom Operator

Patty Willett

Production Coordinator

Sam Zaharis

Executive Producer

Christopher Ziter

Song

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Production Company
Fred Milstein
Distribution Company
ThinkFilm
Location
New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Articles

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD - Sidney Lumet's Overlooked 2007 Noir on DVD


2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead shows director Sidney Lumet still at the height of his powers. It has a great cast but lacks a powerhouse box office name, which is perhaps why it was overlooked last Oscar® season. Also, its story of crime and tragedy may have been too downbeat for audiences that prefer the hip No Country for Old Men with its hints of black humor. Image's DVD is an excellent opportunity to catch up with this superior thriller.

Synopsis (no spoilers): To fund his heroin habit, real estate finance manager Andy Hanson (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) has been stealing from his company. An upcoming audit forces him to extreme measures. Andy cons his younger brother Henry (Ethan Hawke) into robbing the little jewelry store owned by their parents Charles and Nanette (Albert Finney & Rosemary Harris). Henry can't keep up alimony payments to his ex-wife Martha (Amy Ryan of Gone Baby Gone) and suffers from low self-esteem, a problem that Andy exploits to coax Henry into pulling off the robbery on his own, on a Saturday when neither Mom nor Dad will be in the store. But Henry chickens out and secretly enlists a tough-guy pal, Bobby Lasorda (Brian F. O'Byrne of Bug). Without being asked, Bobby brings a gun along on the job ...

An engaging ensemble film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a genuine neo-noir in that it goes beyond style to engage with the noir concerns of culpability and fate. The resentments and failings between the brothers congeal into a classic trap that begins with a 'simple' crime and ends in almost total ruin.

Siblings Andy and Henry Hanson's shameful adventure is far from glamorous. They're just sympathetic enough to hold our interest, even while making disastrous personal decisions. Andy is already a thief and a casual junkie. His expensive habit makes him impotent, and he compensates with his puzzled wife Gina (Marisa Tomei) with promises of an escape to paradise in Brazil. Sensing that something's up, Gina hates Andy all the more for not leveling with her -- she knows, for instance, that Brazil has no extradition treaty with the United States.

Andy is also enough of an egotist to think that he can manipulate his weak brother Henry, a man who can't face his responsibilities. Henry crumbles when he can't come up with the promised money to send his spoiled nine year-old daughter to see The Lion King on stage. Henry and Gina are keeping an even worse secret from Andy. That these foolish brothers think they can pull off a perfect 'all in the family' crime all but guarantees that they'll end up in the soup.

The disastrously unsuccessful robbery is only the first stop in a grueling chain of personal tragedies. Wracked with guilt, Andy and Henry only add to their problems. Andy still faces an audit that will surely send him to jail; he's avoiding phone calls from work. Henry is soon cornered by Bobby Lasorda's wife Chris and brother in-law Dex (Aleksa Palladino & Michael Shannon), who expect cash in exchange for their silence. Hovering above both boys is their father Charles, a good man traumatized and angered by what's happened (it would be unfair to explain why) to the point that he's smashing police cars because the cops won't investigate the robbery further.

Plaudits are in order for first time screenwriter Kelly Masterson, who arranges his narrative in a staggered series of out-of-sequence bites. The popular Pulp Fiction spawned a rash of movies that splinter time, more often than not to disguise pedestrian narratives by withholding information or creating a 'puzzle' that the viewer must assemble for themselves. The script does fool us a couple of times, as when it initially hides the identity of Henry's hooded accomplice. But Masterson and director Lumet employ the fractured format to stay focused on a particular character through complicated situations. We see a number of scenes twice, from differing points of view. Gina receives and curtails a cell phone call in the middle of a funeral reception. Only later do we see who is calling, when part of the scene replays from a different point of view.

The best thing about Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is that director Lumet doesn't allow the story extremes to get out of hand. This isn't the old noir film Quicksand, in which a purloined $20 bill snowballs into an unlikely manhunt for kidnapping and murder. Andy and Henry sink into trouble in carefully measured steps, so that when people are finally pointing guns at each other, nothing seems silly. In fact, we don't see how it could have turned out any other way. The film balances aberrant character behavior with the necessities of living: when the elderly Charles Hanson pursues his own kin with murder on his mind, he still has to find a parking space.

Sidney Lumet has a fine record with films about crime and personal relationships. His earlier Family Business assembles the unlikely team of Sean Connery, Matthew Broderick and Dustin Hoffman. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead has little comedy and isn't built on star power, but it's a solid entertainment.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a despicable man that we nevertheless recognize as real, and Ethan Hawke's loser hero reveals a new layer of weakness every time he falls apart. Albert Finney is masterful as a family man in the throes of despair, who must face a greater horror when he discovers exactly what has own son has done. Marisa Tomei begins the movie with a series of (necessary?) nude sex scenes that perhaps point to her contentious position between the two brothers. She has a good scene walking out on Andy, and becoming enraged when he doesn't react.

The estimable Rosemary Harris is only on for a few minutes. Amy Ryan's bitter ex-wife takes pleasure in watching Henry squirm. Aleksa Palladino, Michael Shannon and Bobby Lasorda form another unfortunate family unit that has the misfortune to deal with the Hansons. And the impressive Leonardo Cimino (Moonstruck, Dune) turns a bit part as a fence for stolen jewelry into a key role -- he alone seems to understand the evil that's ripped the Hanson family in half.

Image's disc of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a good-looking 1:85 enhanced widescreen encoding of a film shot on HD. Only a few bright exteriors give this away. Image is also releasing the film on Blu-ray disc; that version won't be for sale until May 6.

The disc is flush with extras. The energetic Sidney Lumet joins with Ethan Hawke and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for a friendly commentary track that gets a tad sparse by the end but still carries more than its share of interesting observations. A lengthy making-of featurette examines the film from all sides and gives a full picture of Lumet's shoot on the New York streets. The highly organized director works out of a plain office, believes in full rehearsals and shoots quickly. He loves HD because it allows him to move that much faster, often finishing his day's work early. The actors clearly adore him, knowing that working on a Lumet film is a special privilege.

The package rounds off with a good trailer, formatted for an even wider 2:35 aspect ratio. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead deserves all the attention it can get; thriller fans shouldn't miss it.

To order Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, go to TCM Shopping

by Glenn Erickson
Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - Sidney Lumet's Overlooked 2007 Noir On Dvd

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD - Sidney Lumet's Overlooked 2007 Noir on DVD

2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead shows director Sidney Lumet still at the height of his powers. It has a great cast but lacks a powerhouse box office name, which is perhaps why it was overlooked last Oscar® season. Also, its story of crime and tragedy may have been too downbeat for audiences that prefer the hip No Country for Old Men with its hints of black humor. Image's DVD is an excellent opportunity to catch up with this superior thriller. Synopsis (no spoilers): To fund his heroin habit, real estate finance manager Andy Hanson (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) has been stealing from his company. An upcoming audit forces him to extreme measures. Andy cons his younger brother Henry (Ethan Hawke) into robbing the little jewelry store owned by their parents Charles and Nanette (Albert Finney & Rosemary Harris). Henry can't keep up alimony payments to his ex-wife Martha (Amy Ryan of Gone Baby Gone) and suffers from low self-esteem, a problem that Andy exploits to coax Henry into pulling off the robbery on his own, on a Saturday when neither Mom nor Dad will be in the store. But Henry chickens out and secretly enlists a tough-guy pal, Bobby Lasorda (Brian F. O'Byrne of Bug). Without being asked, Bobby brings a gun along on the job ... An engaging ensemble film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a genuine neo-noir in that it goes beyond style to engage with the noir concerns of culpability and fate. The resentments and failings between the brothers congeal into a classic trap that begins with a 'simple' crime and ends in almost total ruin. Siblings Andy and Henry Hanson's shameful adventure is far from glamorous. They're just sympathetic enough to hold our interest, even while making disastrous personal decisions. Andy is already a thief and a casual junkie. His expensive habit makes him impotent, and he compensates with his puzzled wife Gina (Marisa Tomei) with promises of an escape to paradise in Brazil. Sensing that something's up, Gina hates Andy all the more for not leveling with her -- she knows, for instance, that Brazil has no extradition treaty with the United States. Andy is also enough of an egotist to think that he can manipulate his weak brother Henry, a man who can't face his responsibilities. Henry crumbles when he can't come up with the promised money to send his spoiled nine year-old daughter to see The Lion King on stage. Henry and Gina are keeping an even worse secret from Andy. That these foolish brothers think they can pull off a perfect 'all in the family' crime all but guarantees that they'll end up in the soup. The disastrously unsuccessful robbery is only the first stop in a grueling chain of personal tragedies. Wracked with guilt, Andy and Henry only add to their problems. Andy still faces an audit that will surely send him to jail; he's avoiding phone calls from work. Henry is soon cornered by Bobby Lasorda's wife Chris and brother in-law Dex (Aleksa Palladino & Michael Shannon), who expect cash in exchange for their silence. Hovering above both boys is their father Charles, a good man traumatized and angered by what's happened (it would be unfair to explain why) to the point that he's smashing police cars because the cops won't investigate the robbery further. Plaudits are in order for first time screenwriter Kelly Masterson, who arranges his narrative in a staggered series of out-of-sequence bites. The popular Pulp Fiction spawned a rash of movies that splinter time, more often than not to disguise pedestrian narratives by withholding information or creating a 'puzzle' that the viewer must assemble for themselves. The script does fool us a couple of times, as when it initially hides the identity of Henry's hooded accomplice. But Masterson and director Lumet employ the fractured format to stay focused on a particular character through complicated situations. We see a number of scenes twice, from differing points of view. Gina receives and curtails a cell phone call in the middle of a funeral reception. Only later do we see who is calling, when part of the scene replays from a different point of view. The best thing about Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is that director Lumet doesn't allow the story extremes to get out of hand. This isn't the old noir film Quicksand, in which a purloined $20 bill snowballs into an unlikely manhunt for kidnapping and murder. Andy and Henry sink into trouble in carefully measured steps, so that when people are finally pointing guns at each other, nothing seems silly. In fact, we don't see how it could have turned out any other way. The film balances aberrant character behavior with the necessities of living: when the elderly Charles Hanson pursues his own kin with murder on his mind, he still has to find a parking space. Sidney Lumet has a fine record with films about crime and personal relationships. His earlier Family Business assembles the unlikely team of Sean Connery, Matthew Broderick and Dustin Hoffman. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead has little comedy and isn't built on star power, but it's a solid entertainment. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a despicable man that we nevertheless recognize as real, and Ethan Hawke's loser hero reveals a new layer of weakness every time he falls apart. Albert Finney is masterful as a family man in the throes of despair, who must face a greater horror when he discovers exactly what has own son has done. Marisa Tomei begins the movie with a series of (necessary?) nude sex scenes that perhaps point to her contentious position between the two brothers. She has a good scene walking out on Andy, and becoming enraged when he doesn't react. The estimable Rosemary Harris is only on for a few minutes. Amy Ryan's bitter ex-wife takes pleasure in watching Henry squirm. Aleksa Palladino, Michael Shannon and Bobby Lasorda form another unfortunate family unit that has the misfortune to deal with the Hansons. And the impressive Leonardo Cimino (Moonstruck, Dune) turns a bit part as a fence for stolen jewelry into a key role -- he alone seems to understand the evil that's ripped the Hanson family in half. Image's disc of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a good-looking 1:85 enhanced widescreen encoding of a film shot on HD. Only a few bright exteriors give this away. Image is also releasing the film on Blu-ray disc; that version won't be for sale until May 6. The disc is flush with extras. The energetic Sidney Lumet joins with Ethan Hawke and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for a friendly commentary track that gets a tad sparse by the end but still carries more than its share of interesting observations. A lengthy making-of featurette examines the film from all sides and gives a full picture of Lumet's shoot on the New York streets. The highly organized director works out of a plain office, believes in full rehearsals and shoots quickly. He loves HD because it allows him to move that much faster, often finishing his day's work early. The actors clearly adore him, knowing that working on a Lumet film is a special privilege. The package rounds off with a good trailer, formatted for an even wider 2:35 aspect ratio. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead deserves all the attention it can get; thriller fans shouldn't miss it. To order Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, go to TCM Shopping by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Ensemble Cast by the Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC).

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Supporting Actress (Amy Ryan) by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Released in United States Fall October 26, 2007

Released in United States November 2, 2007

Released in United States on Video April 15, 2008

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States October 2007

Shown at Deauville Festival of American Cinema (Premiere) August 31-September 9, 2007.

Shown at New York Film Festival September 28-October 14, 2007.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Cinema of Our Time) September 27-October 12, 2007.

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 4-17, 2007.

Shown at Hamptons International Film Festival (Spotlight) October 17-21, 2007.

Shown at Rome Film Festival (Cinema 2007/Special Event) October 18-27, 2007.

Released in United States Fall October 26, 2007 (NY, LA)

Released in United States November 2, 2007 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video April 15, 2008

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Deauville Festival of American Cinema (Premiere) August 31-September 9, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 28-October 14, 2007.)

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2007 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Cinema of Our Time) September 27-October 12, 2007.)

Released in United States October 2007 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 4-17, 2007.)

Released in United States October 2007 (Shown at Hamptons International Film Festival (Spotlight) October 17-21, 2007.)

Released in United States October 2007 (Shown at Rome Film Festival (Cinema 2007/Special Event) October 18-27, 2007.)