'Charley Partanna is a hit man for a New York crime organization headed by the elderly Don Corrado Prizzi, whose business is generally handled by his sons Dominic and Eduardo and by his longtime right-hand man, Angelo, who is Charley's father.
At a family wedding, Charley is quickly infatuated with a beautiful woman he doesn't recognize. He asks Maerose Prizzi, estranged daughter of Dominic, if she recognizes the woman, oblivious to the fact that Maerose still has feelings for Charley, having once been his lover. Maerose is in disfavor with her father for running off with another man after the end of her romance with Charley.
Charley discovers that the mysterious woman, Irene, is a "contractor" who, like himself, performs assassinations for the mob. He flies to California to spend time with her and quickly falls in love. Unaware she is married, Charley also carries out a contract to kill Irene's husband, Marksie Heller, for robbing a Nevada casino. She repays some of the money Marksie stole and in Mexico marries Charley.
Charley is unaware that Irene is suspected by the mob of having the rest of the money Marksie took. A jealous Maerose travels there on her own to establish for a fact that Irene has double-crossed the organization. The information restores Maerose to good graces somewhat with her father and the don.
Dominic, acting on his own, wants Charley out of the way and hires someone to do the hit, not knowing that he has just given the job to Charley's own wife. Angelo sides with his son, and Eduardo is so appalled by his brother's actions that he helps set up Dominic's permanent removal from the family.
Irene and Charley team up on a kidnapping that will enrich the family, but she shoots a police captain's wife in the process, endangering the organization's business relationship with the cops. The don is also still demanding a large sum of money from Irene for her unauthorized activities in Nevada, which she doesn't want to pay. In time, the don tells Charley that his wife's "gotta go."
Things come to a head in California when, acting as if everything is all right, Charley comes home to his wife. Each pulls a weapon simultaneously in the bedroom. Irene ends up dead, and Charley ends up back in New York, missing her, but consoled by Maerose.'
Jack Nicholson as Charley Partanna
Kathleen Turner as Irene Walker
Anjelica Huston as Maerose Prizzi
Robert Loggia as Eduardo Prizzi
John Randolph as Angelo "Pop" Partanna
William Hickey as Don Corrado Prizzi
Lee Richardson as Dominic Prizzi
Michael Lombard as Rosario "Finlay" Filangi
C. C. H. Pounder as Peaches Altamot
George Santopietro as Plumber
Ann Selepegno as Amalia Prizzi
Lawrence Tierney as Lt. Hanley
Vic Polizos as Phil Vittimizzare
Dick O'Neil as Bluestone
Sully Boyar as Casco Vasorne
Stanley Tucci as Soldier
Original Movie Posters;
Whilst I was watching the film I began to note down key imagery and quotes that I thought I could use in the production of my poster.
Whilst watching the film I had sketched down some ideas. With these ideas, I began to digitally mock them up. The original idea was to make a love heart out of guns, however, when I began playing with this in illustrator it didn't work. I could not find a gun that was the right shape to make the heart out of and when I tried to manipulate the gun vectors they became too distorted and didn't look good.
My other option I had thought about was using the imagery of a dinner suit. This is an image that is prominent throughout the movie. The addition of the pink carnation, another motif in the film, would also fulfill the brief by providing the second colour.
Using a photograph of a dinner suit I drew around it in illustrator. This gave me the basis for my poster.
I imported a photograph of a pink Carnation into Illustrator and live traced it to give it this effect. I wanted this effect as it created an almost cartoon style to the flower.
With both key elements of the poster designed, I added text. I wasn't sure how much information to include so I produced a variety of different options.
When I was looking at the posters I thought they needed something else so I also experimented with different textures to see how they looked. Having played around with the image quite a bit I still thought something was missing. My thinking was that the flower was not as strong as it could be. To change this I increased the contrast of the flower and added a halftone effect to finish it off.