Carlito’s Way (1993): De Palma’s Crime Drama, Starring Al Pacino, Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller

Brian De Palma directed Carlito’s Way, an ultra-violent crime drama, based on the novels Carlito’s Way (1975) and After Hours (1979) by Judge Edwin Torres.

The superb secondary cast includes Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, Jorge Porcel, Joseph Siravo and Viggo Mortensen.

The film stars Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante, a Puerto Rican criminal who vows to go straight and then retire in paradise.

However, his criminal past proves difficult to escape, and he unwittingly ends up being dragged into the same activities that got him imprisoned in the first place.

David Koepp’s scenario is mostly based on “After Hours,” but used the the first novel’s title in order to avoid  confusion with Scorsese’s 1985 film of the same name.

Carlito’s Way received a mixed response from critics, with a similar lukewarm result at the box office, but has subsequently become a cult film.

Penn and Miller received Golden Globe nominations for their performances.

A 2005 prequel, titled Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power, based on the first novel, went direct-to-video.