Entertainment Fact or Ficition - The Departed


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The Departed

10.  The scene where Frank Costello throws cocaine on hookers was one of many bizarre ideas contributed by Jack Nicholson. It was Nicholson's idea to have one black woman and one white woman in that same scene with him. He also suggested wearing a strap-on for the scene with Matt Damon in the porn theater. And he picked the scene when Frank Costello attends the opera.

9.  The first Warner Bros. Best Picture Oscar winner without Morgan Freeman costarring since Amadeus (1984). The Best Picture Winners in between those from the studio are Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004).

8.  The first Best Picture Oscar-winner of the 21st century that wasn't released on VHS in the United States, and the first to be released on the short-lived HD-DVD format. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment had already phased out VHS by 2006, therefore, the film was initially released on DVD, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD the following year.

7.  There are two phone numbers used in the film. The first is Billy's phone number is 617-869-1469 (It appears when Colin Sullivan answers the phone). This is actually a real Boston number used by Sprint Spectrum. If someone calls it, you will get a generic voice mail box which is full. The other number is 311-555-2368, which was actually a phone number used in telephone-company publications.

6.  Mark Wahlberg easily fell back on his native accent. Martin Scorsese joked it was so thick they'd need subtitles.

5.  Vera Farmiga stars in Orphan (2009), produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.

4.  Leonardo DiCaprio visited Boston and met with people tied to the Irish Mob.

3.  Jack Nicholson wears both a robe and a tie that have leopard print.

2.  Dignam states "I'm the guy who does his job, you must be the other guy." Years later, Mark Wahlberg starred in the movie The Other Guys (2010).

1.  William Monahan has stated that Sgt. Dignam's first name is Sean.



Throughout the film, Martin Scorsese used Xs mostly shown in the background to mark characters for death; examples include shots of Costigan walking through the airport while talking to Sgt. Dignam, Queenan falling to his death (on the building's glass windows as Queenan falls to the ground), and Sullivan in his office discussing the flow of information with Costello (the X is created by the light shining through the window). This is a homage to Howard Hawks' classic film Scarface (1932).

Many scenes with Jack Nicholson were improvised. Nicholson was given the opportunity to do whatever he wanted to add to the character's unpredictability. The scene where Billy and Frank are talking was loosely scripted, and many surprises happened in it, including Frank pulling out the gun.

Martin Scorsese wanted to shoot the film in Boston, where the story is set. But due to concerns on setting up production and politics, the producers chose New York City to double for Boston because of the state's 15% tax credit. The bulk of the movie was shot in New York City while a six-week shooting schedule was split in two for Boston, shooting the first half in June and the second half in August. After the success of this film, Massachusetts created a 25% tax credit for filmmaking.

Martin Scorsese expresses the highly unpleasant experience in making the film. He states "Moral Ground Zero, I call it, all the characters killed at the end, basically everyone, and there was no place to go, after that. You know, I hardly did any press for that film. I was tired of it. I felt it was maddening. I mean, I like the picture," he continues, "but the process of making it, particularly in the post-production, was highly unpleasant. I don't care how much I'm being paid, it'll kill me. I'll die. Very simply."

Steven Spielberg said that he and Martin Scorsese were going to have a Q and A conversation with each other to talk about the film. However, it never happened.

As research for his character's occupation, Matt Damon worked with a Massachusetts State Police unit out of Boston. He accompanied them on routine patrols, participated in a drug raid and was taught proper police procedures like how to pat down a suspect.

Roughly 50 percent of the $90 million budget went to the actors' salaries.

The only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

When the film won the Oscar for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese said that he was surprised the film had won. Scorsese said that because the film is such a tough, nasty, and violent film he never thought about the idea of awards while he was filming it.

Mark Wahlberg based his performance on the police officers who'd arrested him about two dozen times in his youth, and the reactions of his parents who had to come bail him out with their grocery money.

The Departed (2006)
R | 2h 31min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 6 October 2006 (USA)

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: William Monahan (screenplay), Alan Mak
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson