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Three Retired Gangsters Will Open 48th Chicago Fest; Arkin, Pacino & Walken Are 'Stand Up Guys'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 6, 2012 at 12:14PM

The 48th Chicago Int'l Film Festival will open with "Stand Up Guys" on October 11, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Julianna Margulies. Chicagoans Fisher Stevens directed and Tom Rosenberg produced. The Lionsgate film's debut will receive an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run...
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Stand Up Guys

The 48th Chicago Int'l Film Festival will open with "Stand Up Guys" on October 11, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Julianna Margulies. Chicagoans Fisher Stevens directed and Tom Rosenberg produced. The Lionsgate film's debut will receive an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run in NY and LA in December expanding throughout the country January 11.

Rosenberg calls the film's leading men "a powerhouse trio on screen," adding that "audiences are truly in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience." Chicago founder and director Michael Kutza says this is "without a doubt the most exciting opening night for the Chicago International Film Festival in many years.”

A synopsis for the action comedy is below. Chicago fest information is here.

Val (Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates.  His best friend Doc (Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon reteam with another old pal, Hirsch (Arkin).  Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by.  And despite their age, their capacity for mayhem is still very much alive and well - bullets fly as they make a hilariously valiant effort to compensate for the decades of crime, drugs and sex they’ve missed. But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he’s been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out.  As the sun rises on the guys’ legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.