Midnight Run

Monday, March 20, 2023

Screening followed by a conversation between critics Matt Zoller Seitz and his longtime writing collaborator Alan Sepinwall (TV: The Book, The Sopranos Sessions), who has named Midnight Run as his favorite movie of all time.


Released fairly deep into an ’80s run of action-driven buddy comedies, Midnight Run is one of the very best, thanks mainly to the central relationship between chatty mob accountant Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin), who embezzled millions from a Chicago mobster and skipped out on his $450,000 bail, and terse, brutal bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert DeNiro), who’s been hired to nab the The Duke and bring him in. Written by George Gallo (29th St.) and directed by Martin Brest (Going in Style, Scent of a Woman), it’s a rollicking chase that follows Jack and the Duke from Chicago International Airport, where the accountant gets them ejected from a plane by declaring that he has multiple phobias (“You’re gonna suffer from fistophobia if you don’t shut the f*** up,” Walsh snarls), through the American Midwest and Southwest by car, freight train, and on foot. This is the first Hollywood blockbuster to properly showcase DeNiro’s chops as a knockabout comedian in an Abbott-and-Costello vein, but it’s Grodin’s alternately snide, probing, and openhearted reactions to his costar’s fits of rage that make Midnight Run a classic film about friendship and a master class in comedy teamwork. The stacked supporting cast includes Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Joe Pantoliano, Fran Brill, Wendy Phillips and, as mob boss Jimmy Serrano, the great Dennis Farina, who should have gotten a special Oscar for Outstanding Achievement in Delivering Weird Threats. 


Presented as part of the series Movies with MZS – Spring 2023


Please note: due to unforseen technical issues, we are unable to screen a 35mm print as previously announced. Instead, the screening will be on DCP.
  • Year 1988
  • Running Time 126 minutes
  • Director Martin Brest
  • Cast Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.