Mickey Blue Eyes is a 1999 an Anglo-American romantic comedy crime film directed by Kelly Makin. Hugh Grant stars as Michael Felgate, an English auctioneer living in New York City who becomes entangled in his soon-to-be father-in-law's mafia connections. Several of the minor roles are played by actors later featured in The Sopranos.
The film's title comes from Michael being forced to impersonate a gangster, who is spontaneously named "Kansas City Little Big Mickey Blue Eyes".
Michael Felgate is an English auctioneer living in New York where he manages the Cromwell auction house. He proposes marriage to his girlfriend Gina Vitale, but is shocked to be turned down. Gina tearfully explains that her father Frank and most of her cousins and uncles are gangsters deeply involved in a Mafia crime family, and she is worried that Michael may be sucked into their world. Michael retorts that he will not let this happen, but barely is their engagement party over before he is unwittingly involved in a money laundering scam, and soon the FBI takes an interest in him.
When one of the money laundering scams at Michael's auction house goes wrong, Gina's cousin Johnny confronts and assaults Michael. Gina grabs his gun and fires a warning shot into the ceiling, which ricochets and accidentally kills Johnny. Johnny's father Vito finds out, and he tells Frank he will kill Gina unless Frank kills Michael during his wedding speech. Unable to carry out the deed, Frank confesses what Vito has ordered him to do to Michael and the two of them turn to the FBI in return for protection. The FBI set up an elaborate operation in which Michael's execution will be faked at the wedding reception. Michael is given a hidden recording device and is tasked with trying to record Vito into admitting his criminal activity on tape before he is "executed".
Michael's plan fails, and when Vito realises that his execution is a set-up, he orders Vinnie to kill Michael. Vinnie shoots Gina in what appears to be an accident. Vito is arrested for ordering Michael's execution. As Frank and Michael mourn Gina's apparent death in the back of her ambulance, it is revealed that her death was faked as well, and that Vinnie and Gina were also involved with the FBI as a back-up plan.
Hugh Grant as Michael Felgate
James Caan as Frank Vitale
Jeanne Tripplehorn as Gina Vitale
Burt Young as Vito Graziosi
James Fox as Philip Cromwell
Joe Viterelli as Vinnie D'Agostino
Gerry Becker as FBI Agent Bob Connell
Maddie Corman as Carol
Tony Darrow as Angelo
Paul Lazar as Ritchie Vitale
Vincent Pastore as Al
Frank Pellegrino as Sante
Scott Thompson as FBI Agent Lewis
John Ventimiglia as Johnny Graziosi
Margaret Devine as Helen
Beatrice Winde as Mrs. Horton
The film earned $10,178,289 on its opening weekend, and went on to gross $33,864,342 in the US and a total of $54,264,342 worldwide.
Reviews of the film were mixed. It currently holds a 45% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 76 reviews (34 positive, 42 negative).
Links to The Sopranos
The film is notable for the number of actors who would go on to appear in the HBO TV series, The Sopranos, including:
Tony Sirico - Paulie Gualtieri
John Ventimiglia - Artie Bucco
Vincent Pastore - Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero
Aida Turturro - Janice Soprano
Frank Pellegrino - Bureau Chief Frank Cubitoso
Joseph R. Gannascoli - Vito Spatafore
Burt Young - Robert "Bobby" Baccalieri, Sr.
Tony Darrow - Lawrence "Larry Boy" Barese
Jeanne Tripplehorn went on to star in Big Love, which is also an HBO TV series.