The film is based on After Hours, but used the title of the first novel to avoid it being confused with Martin Scorsese's 1985 film of the same name, and focuses on Carlito's activities once he is released from prison. Carlito Brigante, a fictional Puerto Rican criminal vows to go straight and to live life as a law-abiding citizen. However, his past will not let him, and he unwittingly ends up being dragged into the same criminal activities that got him imprisoned in the first place.
The film received a mixed response from critics, with a similar lukewarm result at the box office, but has subsequently been better received by both critics and film fans. Both Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller received Golden Globe nominations for their performances. A prequel called Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, based on the first novel, was filmed and released direct-to-video in 2005.
Away from the club, Carlito looks up Gail (Penelope Ann Miller), a former girlfriend, and they meet up with some awkwardness. Lalin (Viggo Mortensen), a former friend, arrives in the club wearing a "wire" in an attempt to get evidence against Carlito. This is dealt with quickly, and Carlito follows up on a comment made by Lalin about Gail in a stage show. Gail is discovered dancing, not in a play but rather on stage, in a strip show. Their relationship eases somewhat after that, as Carlito proves tolerant of it and some of the anxiety Gail had is lifted.
Kleinfeld, now doing cocaine and drinking extensively, meets with a mob boss client, Tony "Tony T" Taglialucci (Frank Minucci). He believes that Kleinfeld stole a million dollars from him that was supposed to be used for a payoff. He gives Kleinfeld an ultimatum; help him break out of prison, or have a mob hit put on him. Meanwhile, Blanco grows frustrated with Carlito's rejection of champagne, and events escalate when Kleinfeld sparks a love-interest with Blanco's girlfriend, Steffie (Ingrid Rogers). After Carlito tells Benny what he thinks of him, Benny manhandles Steffie, spurring Kleinfeld to pull out a gun in Benny's face and threaten to kill him on the spot, causing chaos. Carlito is forced to take action and, with the help of Pachanga, takes Benny out the back where Pachanga and one of the guys from the club (Jon Seda) beat him up. Carlito threatens to kill Benny if he is seen in the club again, and then orders Pachanga to let him go, as Carlito has rejected the violence of his youth.
Kleinfeld begs Carlito for his help with the escape attempt for Tony T. However, in the escape attempt, the increasingly erratic Kleinfeld kills both Tony T. and his son. Carlito realizes the severity of the transgression and decides that the only thing to do is to grab the money and leave town with Gail. Carlito is taken into Norwalk's office where he hears a tape of Kleinfeld offering to testify against Carlito. They know that Kleinfeld and Carlito were involved in the incident with Tony T., and in fact there was already an attack on Kleinfeld, which has put the lawyer in the hospital. The prosecutor offers Carlito a deal; testify against Kleinfeld and he can walk. Carlito refuses and goes to the hospital to learn the truth from Kleinfeld. On the way in he notices a suspicious man dressed as a police officer. Kleinfeld admits to selling out Carlito and while pretending to help Kleinfeld with his gun, Carlito deftly unloads it and leaves. The police officer turns out to be Tony T.'s other son, Vincent "Vinnie" Taglialucci (Joseph Siravo), who has come to finish off Kleinfeld. With his gun unloaded, Kleinfeld has no chance, and is fatally shot in the head.
Carlito returns to the club intent on getting the money and getting out. Once there, however, he is greeted by a group of Italian gangsters led by Pete Amadesso (Richard Foronjy), and Vinnie Taglialucci, who spotted Carlito earlier in the hospital. The Italians know that he is involved, but before they have a chance to do anything, Carlito manages to slip out through a back way. A wild chase ensues where the Italians pursue him throughout the city subway system and into Grand Central Station, where the train Carlito and Gail will be taking is waiting. Carlito nearly manages to give them the slip, but is spotted and drawn into a wild gunfight where he manages to kill off all of his pursuers, except Vinnie, who is then shot by police. However, as he meets up with Pachanga and Gail, Carlito is ambushed by someone he did not expect: Benny Blanco, who shoots him in the abdomen with a silenced gun. Pachanga admits to be working with Blanco to set Carlito up, to lookout for his own future, just before he himself is shot by Blanco, who then runs off.
A dying Carlito hands Gail the money and tells her to escape with their unborn child, and live a new life elsewhere. The film ends with Carlito being wheeled away on a gurney as he stares at a billboard with a Caribbean beach and a dancing woman frozen in shot. He thinks about his wishes for Gail to get out and his own death. The billboard then comes to life and the woman, who is Gail, starts dancing as he slowly closes his eyes.
Pacino went to producer Martin Bregman with a view of getting a Carlito film made. First thing on the list was to get a script written that would portray Carlito Brigante's world and provide a suitable showcase for Pacino's talents. David Koepp had just finished writing the script for Bregman's forthcoming The Shadow when producer Michael S. Bregman suggested him to write the script for Carlito's Way. The decision came that the screenplay would be based on the second novel After Hours. Carlito at this stage would match closer with Pacino's age. Although based on the second novel, the title Carlito's Way remained, mainly because of the existence of Martin Scorsese's movie After Hours. Bregman would work closely with Koepp for two years to develop the shooting script for Carlito's Way.
Koepp wrestled with the voice-over throughout the writing process. Initially the voice-over was to take place in the hospital, but De Palma suggested the train station platform. The hospital scenes were written 25, 30 times because the actors had trouble with the sequence, with Pacino even thinking that Carlito would not go to the hospital. With one final re-write Koepp managed to make the scene work to Pacino's satisfaction. In the novels Kleinfeld does not die, but De Palma has a huge sense of justice and retribution. He could not have Carlito killed off and have Kleinfeld live.
At one point, The Long Good Friday director, John Mackenzie, was linked with the film. When Carlito's Way and its sequel After Hours were optioned, Martin Bregman had Abel Ferrara in mind. However, when Bregman and Ferrara parted ways, De Palma was brought in. Bregman explained that this decision was not about "getting the old team back together", rather than making use of the best talent available. De Palma, reluctantly, read the script and as soon as Spanish-speaking characters cropped up he feared it would be Scarface all over again. He said that he did not want to make another Spanish-speaking gangster movie. When De Palma finally did read it all the way through, he realized it was not what he thought it was. De Palma liked the script and envisioned it as a noir movie. Bregman supervised casting throughout the various stages of pre-production, and carefully selected the creative team who would make the film a reality. This included production designer Richard Sylbert, editor Bill Pankow, costume designer Aude Bronson-Howard and director of photography Stephen Burum.
Initially, filming began on March 22, 1993, though the first scheduled shoot, the Grand Central Station climax, had to be changed when Pacino turned up on crutches. Instead, the tension-building pool hall sequence, where Pacino accompanies his young cousin Guajiro on an ill-fated drug deal, started the production. Because the film was heavily character based and featured little action, the early pool sequence had to be elaborate and set up right. A huge amount of time was spent setting it up and filming it. After the film studio had viewed a cut of the pool hall sequence, a note was passed onto the crew stating that they felt the scene was too long. De Palma spent more time adding to the sequence and with the help of editor Bill Pankow made it work. The producers came back saying "much better shorter."
Apart from that poster sequence (shot in Florida), the entire movie was filmed on location in New York. De Palma roamed Manhattan, searching for suitable visual locations. A tenement on 115th Street became the site of Carlito's homecoming; the barrio scene. The courtroom, in which Carlito thanks the prosecutor, was shot in Judge Torres's workplace, the State Supreme Court Building at 60 Centre Street. The Club Paradise was initially in a West Side brownstone as the model for the book's postprandial premises. But this was considered too cramped for filming. A multi-level bistro club designed by De Palma took shape at the Kaufman-Astoria Studios in Long Island City, in a style of 1970's art deco disco.
Tony Taglialucci's escape from Rikers Island, a night shoot mid-river was considered impossible. Instead, the production used a Brooklyn shipyard where Kleinfeld's boat was lowered into an empty "lock" into which river water was pumped. Smoke machines and towers of space lights were installed. To achieve the rough and choppy nature of the East River a WOW Wave Ball (a sophisticated Belgian device, which churns up controlled waves) was used. The ZOW Wave Sphere from Portugal was originally considered, as it is a far more sophisticated device and can shape waves based on the target water temperature, salinity and ocean floor depth. However, the CEO of ZOW Waves, Fernando Trerrero, was indicted on (what some considered trumped-up) conspiracy charges just before principal shooting of the Rikers Island escape scene was to begin, and as such the ZOW Sphere was unable to be delivered on time. Belgian's WOW team was ready to take over, and eventually became the de facto wave generating spherical device supplier to the film industry.
For a climactic finale, De Palma staged a chase from the platform of the 125th Street IRT Station to the escalators of Grand Central Terminal. For the shoot, trains were re-routed and timed so that Pacino and his pursuers could dart from car to hurtling car. The length of the escalator scene during the climactic shoot out at Grand Central Station caused a headache for editor Pankow. He had to piece together the sequences so that the audience would be so tied up in the action that they would not be thinking about how long the escalator is going on for.
On the Siskel & Ebert show, Ebert gave the film a rating of B+ while Siskel gave it a C+. Owen Gleiberman (from Entertainment Weekly) described the film as "a competent and solidly unsurprising urban-underworld thriller" and is "okay entertainment," but went on to say that the plot would have worked better "as a lean and mean Miami Vice episode." The film currently has a fresh rating of 81% on the Rotten Tomatoes review site.
Bregman was surprised about some of the negative reviews, but stated that some of the same reviewers have since "retracted" their views upon further discussions of the film. A few weeks before the film's premiere, De Palma told the crew not to get their hopes up about the film's reception. He correctly predicted that Pacino, having just won an Oscar, would be criticized; Koepp, having just done Jurrassic Park, would "suck"; Penn would be "brilliant" because he had not done anything for a while; and he himself, having not been forgiven for The Bonfire of the Vanities, would not quite be embraced.
Carlito's Way premiered with an opening weekend box office taking of over $9 million. At the end of its theatrical run, the film had grossed over $36 million domestically and $63 million worldwide. Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller both received Golden Globe nominations for their respective roles as Kleinfeld and Gail. The post cinematic appreciation of the film was later highlighted when the French publication Cahiers du Cinema named it as the Best film of the 1990s.
Carlito's opening monologue from the beginning of the film is used in Jay-Z's "Intro/A Million And One Questions/Rhyme No More" track off his sophomore album "In My Lifetime, Vol.1". Carlito's (Al Pacino) dialogue from the pool room sequence, "Okay I'm reloaded!", "Think you big-time?, You gonna die big time!" and "Here comes the pain!" are used in Jay-Z's "Brooklyn's Finest" track from his debut album "Reasonable Doubt" , and the Farmer Boys' single Here Comes the Pain.
|2.||Carlito And Gail||04:05|
|5.||You're Over, Man||02:09|
|6.||Where's My Cheesecake?||02:12|
|9.||There's An Angle Here||02:18|
|1.||I Love Music||The O'Jays|
|2.||Rock The Boat||The Hues Corporation|
|3.||That's The Way I Like It||KC And The Sunshine Band|
|4.||Rock Your Baby||Ed Terry|
|5.||Parece Mentira||Marc Anthony|
|7.||TSOP-The Sounds Of Philadelphia||MFSB|
|8.||Got To Be Real||Cheryl Lynn|
|11.||El Watusi||Ray Barretto|
|12.||Oye Como Va||Santana|
|13.||You Are So Beautiful||Billy Preston|
Edwin Torres' first novel Carlito's Way was filmed and released direct-to-video in 2005, under the title Carlito's Way: Rise to Power. Although critically panned, Torres did give the film his blessing and considers it to be quite an accurate adaptation of the first half of his novel, with a planned sequel for the second half in the works. It stars Jay Hernandez as Carlito, with Mario Van Peebles, Michael Joseph Kelly, Luis Guzmán, Jaclyn DeSantis, Sean Combs, Burt Young, and Domenick Lombardozzi also appearing. The story is set in 1969, as three prisoners, Earl (Van Peebles), Rocco (Kelly) and Carlito (Hernandez), control their criminal empire within their cell. Upon their release, they soon take control of the drug trade in Spanish Harlem.
The back way/ When driving the scenic route to Summit County, stake out the essentials: coffee, cops and bathrooms
Mar 23, 2000; It's where the buffalo roam and the antelope play. Where you can find a latte but only if you know where to look.Where high...