Mad Dog and Glory

Directed by John McNaughton. Starring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Bill Murray, Kathy Baker, David Caruso. (1993, R, 97 min.)

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., March 5, 1993

After his shocking film debut in 1989 with the unforgettable Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, word came out that McNaughton's next project would be a Martin Scorsese-produced project entitled Mad Dog and Glory scripted by Richard Price, the esteemed novelist (The Wanderers, Clockers) and screenwriter (The Color of Money, Sea of Love). In the four years since then, McNaughton has tried his hand at both cheesy sci-fi (The Borrower) and an Eric Bogosian concert film (Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll), neither of which held out the promise of his initial venture into filmmaking. Mad Dog and Glory, thankfully, finds the director in remarkable form, crafting an engrossing new film out of what might have been, in less competent hands, simply another Hollywood formula movie. When timid Chicago PD evidence technician Wayne “Mad Dog” Dobie (DeNiro) inadvertantly saves the life of local mob boss Frank Milo (Murray), he finds himself on the receiving end of “Glory” (Thurman), a gorgeous, week-long “thank-you” gift from the mobster. At first, put off by the appearance of this vision in his cramped, tidy apartment, DeNiro and Thurman eventually begin to hit it off; the ice thaws, the chill warms up, and before you know it, love is in the air. And the seven days are almost over. As in his previous films, McNaughton has an uncanny mastery over reality: this film -- the locations, the people, the emotions -- rings true. The city is a gritty, violent place, and the ironically named “Mad Dog” is a lonely soul, small bark and even less bite -- suspension of disbelief is an easy thing here. Murray, hot off Groundhog Day, his freshest comedy in years, is less of a comic (though it's interesting to note that his gangster character moonlights as a stand-up) than a witty, unctuous small-timer. To top it off, the film ends on an blessedly unsure note: will this newborn love survive? Maybe, maybe not. It's nice to know that sometimes not all your decisions are made for you by Hollywood.

More Robert De Niro Films
The Comedian
De Niro plays an aging insult comic

Steve Davis, Feb. 3, 2017

Hands of Stone
Robert De Niro returns to the ring in this Roberto Durán biopic

Josh Kupecki, Aug. 26, 2016

More by Marc Savlov
A Dark Song
Black magic goes awry in this taut thriller

May 26, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The next installment of this franchise that no one asked for

May 26, 2017


Mad Dog and Glory, John McNaughton, Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Bill Murray, Kathy Baker, David Caruso

This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)