After Hours

1985, Martin Scorsese, USA

Director: Martin Scorsese
Producers: Robert F. Colesberry,
  Griffin Dunne, Amy Robinson
Screenplay: Joseph Minion
Cinematography: Michael Ballhaus
Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker
Music: Howard Shore
Griffin Dunne (Paul Hackett)
Rosanna Arquette (Marcy)
Verna Bloom (June)
Thomas Chong (Pepe)
Linda Fiorentino (Kiki)
Teri Garr (Julie)
John Heard (Tom the Bartender)

Rating: M Adult themes Runtime: 97 minutes
Content note: References to sexual assault and suicide

As Martin Scorsese blesses us with his consciously elegiac late-career films, many have
been prompted to revisit his previous work. The director’s 1980s output was seen at the
time as a lull, but many are now realising just how good these films are, and, one of the key
beneficiaries of this critical reevaluation is After Hours.

After Hours is a ‘one crazy night’ film that follows Paul (Griffin Dunne), a man who gets
caught up in a series of hijinks as he tries to get home across town in scummy 1980s New
York. A prototypical yuppie navigating a city on the cusp of gentrification, he is confronted
with various characters that Reagan’s America would rather forget including artists, punks
and gay men. The series of challenges that Paul must endure means there is heaps of
space for heightened performances from its supporting cast including Rosanna Arquette,
Catherine O’Hara, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong.

Critics often underestimate how funny a lot of Scorsese’s films are: with a career defined by
explorations of lofty topics like masculinity, violence and the very concept of America, it is
understandable how an excellent genre film could get overlooked. Even when the comedic
elements of films like The King of Comedy and The Wolf of Wall Street are mentioned in
passing, they are often seen as secondary to these big themes. What is great about After
is that it is first and foremost a hilarious film.


Mar 11 2024


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