Jerry and Tom


Middle 40-60% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

1998 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Joe Mantegna, Sam Rockwell, Maury Chaykin, ted Danson, Charles Durning, William H. Macey

Non-Cast Credits

Saul Rubinek, Elinor Reid, Vivienne Leebosh, Michale Pascornek, Joe Mantegna, Ralph Zimmerman, Andre Link, Rick Cleveland, Paul Sarossy, Sloane Klevin, David Hacke, David Buchbinder


Like its cartoon namesake, Jerry and Tom plays with the aesthetics of violence. This very impressive feature debut by Saul Rubinek is so fresh and appealing, sparkling with irony and wit, that one can't help but laugh. Indeed this black comedy is loaded with farce, calculated zaniness, and deadpan wisecraclcs that transform it from simple genre into one of the most fun yet substantive features we've seen this year.

For Tom (Joe Mantegna) and his young associate Jerry (Sam Rockwell), being used car salesmen is only part time. They are actually mob hit men. When Tom teaches Jerry the ways of the profession: "First time is happenstance. You just happened to be there. Second time is coincidence. Third time is your choice..."as well as personal lessons�Never point a muzzle at a loved one"

- we realize that this isn't your normal gangster flick. For old pro Vic (Charles Durning), whose past can be hinted at with two words, "grassy knoll," teaching young hit men the professional code is as important as technique. But life isn't predictable, and Tom worries when Jerry begins to find it a little too easy to practice his craft.

Marvelously restrained and with a superlative script, Jerry and Tom is bursting with a spirit of exuberance and self-conscious parody. With great cameos (William Macy, Ted Danson, snd Peter Riegert) and terrific lines ("Four words, �Hunks, hunks, burning love..."), this is a memorable first feature from a filmmaker with a great future.


Geoffrey Gilmore (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.