Starring: Danny Aiello, Anthony LaPaglia, Lainie Kazan
Director: George Gallo
“29th Street” is the semi-autobiographical account of the life of Frank Pesce (who stars in the role of his own brother in the movie), a directionless, young Italian-American who hits it lucky when he is entered in the first ever New York State lottery.
Everyone is convinced that Frank is going to win such has been the amazing luck he has experienced during his life. Compare this to his hard-working, blue collar father who has endured, rather than enjoyed, his.
While the screenplay is solid and deals well with the opposing issues of love and resentment, it’s the two central performances that primarily shine. Anthony LaPaglia (playing Frank) became my favourite actor once I saw this movie in 1992. His ability to play different shades, delivers goosepimples as he delivers his lines. It’s a masterful performance by a man as relatively inexperienced as he was then.
Screen veteran Danny Aiello (playing his father), is perfectly cast as an honest but occasionally maladroit man whose influence over his family visibly decreases by the day.
“29th Street” is an engaging sleeper hit.