It’s a film that has garnered an array of awards, starting in 2009 for “Best of the Fest” at the Chicago International film festival. Now Chicago Overcoat, starring Frank Vincent who is known for his role as Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos, will premier on the Showtime cable network December 6th, and will also play on December 7th, 9th, 11th, 19th, 23rd, 28th and 29th.
Chicago Overcoat finds its roots in gangster movies of old made famous by James Cagney (Public Enemy, White Heat) more so than Italian mafia movies. Director Brian Caunter states, “I was more influenced for this film by the older French neo-noir gangster films like Le samourai (1967). It’s pretty much a re-make of Le samourai … a loose re-make of Le samourai. Even down to the set design for Lou’s apartment in the film.”
Showtime has contracted with production company Beverly Ridge Pictures to reserve an eighteen month period for pay TV. Further cable airing of Chicago Overcoat beyond December is at the discretion of Showtime. Producer Chris Charles also recognizes the power of foreign markets and the perception of Chicago overseas. “Europe in particular, a lot of people, the minute they hear “Chicago”, they think Al Capone.”
Understanding your target audience is a key element in the successful marketing of a film. In addition to young people, Chris Charles notes, “I think the real audience [is] Baby Boomers. We discovered that through our test screenings and our festival run. It seems like Baby Boomers can more easily identify with our main character's journey and the theme of the movie. You know, looking back on a lifetime of regret and trying to right the wrongs in your life.”
In Chicago Overcoat, Frank Vincent plays an aging hit man who has one last chance at redemption and vindication. Vincent lists comedian and musician among his many talents, but gained national notoriety on cable sensation The Sopranos.
Director Brian Caunter, when asked if he became friends with anyone in the cast reveals, “Frank and I got along real well. It was just a good relationship between Frank and I … you know, he’s got that look to him, but once he opens his mouth, he’s a sweetheart really.”