Mad Dog and Glory [1993]

Now here's a switcheroo: In a movie about a mild-mannered police photographer who is befriended by a swaggering gangster, Bill Murray plays the gangster and Robert De Niro plays the photographer. Directed by John McNaughton from a script by Richard Price, this comedy-drama has its moments but never quite lifts off. De Niro plays a shy type nicknamed Mad Dog who accidentally saves Murray's life. In gratitude, Murray "gives" him a girl, Glory (Uma Thurman), who is supposed to satisfy his needs and make him feel good. Instead, the photographer falls in love with her. When the gangster wants her back, the photographer says no, triggering an unlikely showdown. Murray is scarily funny as a mobster who wants to be a standup comic, but De Niro plays this nonentity as, well, a nonentity. Thurman is luminous; who wouldn't want to fight over her? --Marshall Fine

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