MovieChat Forums > Lost in Yonkers (1993) Discussion > Miscast Dreyfus ruins movie?

Miscast Dreyfus ruins movie?


Just doesn't seem the gangster type.

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Agreed. Who would have been better?

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At first glance, I agree, but then this is a Neil Simon story, and the Mob characters are definitely "Gangster Light." Dreyfus has that goofy, not-real-bright quality of someone who sort of fell into a life of crime because he was too unmotivated to do anything else, and he's benign enough to play against 2 kids without being too threatening. Now, if this was The Sting or The Hustler Dreyfus wouldn't work. Paul Newman, like Richard Dreyfus, was also physically smaller, blond, and capable of being goofily funny, but he brought a sinister undertone and charismatic intensity to gangster characters without even trying.
I actually like Richard Dreyfus in the role, but it took a second to adjust to him in it, because I associate him with more erudite, nerdy roles. What I don't get is why Mercedes Ruehl had second billing to him; this was her film.

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A life lived in fear is a life half-lived
... Strictly Ballroom

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Just finished watching on TCM, and was not won over by Dreyfus. He played it too broadly. You could see him hamming it up.

I saw the original Broadway production with a then-unknown (or mostly unknown) Kevin Spacey in the role, and he was fantastic. Though he got the comedy right, he was also entirely believable as a petty gangster. Think of him as Kaisar Sose (or however you spell that) and you get the idea.

Both Ruehl and Irene Worth were also on stage, and they too were incredible. I was especially blown away by Worth. I knew women like that from when I was a kid.

Any thoughts on what the grandmother would have done after the events in the film? How did she live her life with Bella gone? Almost too sad to contemplate...

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He isn't his usual presence in this one. But he was OK.

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At a glance, I thought it was Paul Newman on the cover and was about to watch it. Good thing I took a second look. That would have been a pretty big letdown

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Dreyfuss did not feel right in the part and rather hammed it up.

It's that man again!!

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haha, yeah he plays it like an actor. His hands are too measly

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