From Academic Kids

Hoffa is a 1992 biopic film based on the life and mysterious death of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Jack Nicholson plays Jimmy Hoffa, with Danny DeVito playing Robert "Bobby" Ciaro as well as directing the movie. The Ciaro character was actually an amalgamation of several Hoffa associates over the years. The film also stars John C. Reilly, Robert Prosky, Kevin Anderson, Armand Assante, and J.T. Walsh.

The movie has an R rating, due to brief nudity scenes, violence, and particularly for the language. For example, the F-word was used 153 times in Hoffa [imdb (].


Most of the movie is experienced as a series of flashbacks, starting with Hoffa first meeting Ciaro, and ending just before Hoffa's disappearance.

At the beginning of the movie, Ciaro is seen standing in a parking lot of a diner. He gets into the back seat of a car, where Hoffa is seated. The pair are waiting for others to arrive in order to have a meeting. Ciaro asks Hoffa if he wants to go. We then see the first flashback.

Hoffa gets out of his car, and approaches a truck. Inside Ciaro is taking a nap. Hoffa insists that Ciaro give him a ride, while he talks to Ciaro about the benefits of joining the Teamsters. Hoffa gets out at a truck stop, after giving Ciaro his card, which he had wrote "Give this man whatever he needs" on the back. A few days later, Ciaro reports to work to find Hoffa attempting to organize the workers. When his boss finds that Hoffa rode with him, Ciaro is fired. Ciaro accosts Hoffa, but is convinced by Hoffa associate Billy Flynn (Prosky) at gunpoint not to kill Hoffa. The pair take Ciaro out to firebomb an uncooperative employer. Flynn is badly burned and later dies at the hospital.

The movie shifts back to Hoffa and Ciaro waiting in the car. They talk for a few moments about the old days when the two first met. The movie then shifts back to a Teamsters strike. When the strikers get in a fight with police, Hoffa is taken by a pair of mobsters to meet with the local Mafia boss. Ciaro, who speaks Italian, accompanies him. At the meeting, the first alliance between the Teamsters and the mob is formed. At this meeting, Hoffa meets the young mobster Carol D'Allesandro (Assante), who would be his mob ally for a number of years.

The rest of the movie deals with the rise of Jimmy Hoffa to the Presidency of the Teamsters. The movie deals with Hoffa's legal troubles from use of Teamster funds and loans to mob figures. The movie shows the Congressional hearings that Hoffa appeared before, and shows Hoffa being questioned by Robert F. Kennedy. Tension between the two men is clearly evident in the movie, and over time relations decline. It eventually leads to a shouting match between the two men.

It eventually deals with Hoffa's conviction, and briefly covers his time in prison. Afterwards the movie shows Hoffa after his release from prison, and his anger at learning that he cannot participate in union activities for ten years. D'Allesandro suggests to Ciaro that they meet at a local diner, which brings the movie to the point with Ciaro and Hoffa waiting in the car. The movie ends by giving one possible explanation of why Hoffa disappeared in the summer of 1975.

Critical response

Although not particularly well received among film critics, Hoffa earned two Oscar nominations (for Cinematography and Makeup) and a Golden Globe nomination (for Best Actor).

External links

  • IMDb entry (

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