The Robert De Niro Action Classic On Netflix Everyone Needs To See

By TeeJay Small | Published

Robert De Niro in Midnight Run

By now, you’d have to be living under a rock to have missed Robert De Niro’s extensive catalog of film and television appearances. The 80-year-old actor currently holds over 100 IMDb credits dating back to 1965, in a historic career that has something for everyone. One iconic De Niro film, 1988’s Midnight Run, is available to stream on Netflix.

A generation has seen it parodied, but Robert De Niro’s classic Midnight Run is now available on Netflix.

Midnight Run is a classic action-comedy buddy cop film from Beverly Hills Cop and Scent of a Woman filmmaker Martin Brest. The movie was so popular with critics and audiences alike that it spawned a trilogy of direct-to-television sequels. Though none of the sequels included principal cast members from the original, such as Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, the films have all gone on to be mid-1990s staples for any action-comedy fans growing up during that time.

The original film stars Robert De Niro as bounty hunter Jack Walsh, who a bail bondsman enlists to locate and transport an accountant who has embezzled millions of dollars for the Chicago mob. The accountant, played by Charles Grodin, nicknamed The Duke, is a highly eccentric figure and on the run from multiple law enforcement agencies and his criminal underworld associates.

Midnight Run

Robert De Niro’s character in Midnight Run is known to be a strong silent type, making him the perfect bounty hunter for such a sensitive mission- or so it would seem. As the pair make their way across the country, navigating each other’s ‘odd couple’ dynamic and evading foes, they begin to form something of an unlikely friendship.

The studio wanted a star alongside Robert De Niro, so they tried to force Martin Brest to gender-swap The Duke and cast Cher in the role.

In addition to Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run also stars Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Richard Foronjy, Robert Miranda, and The Sopranos‘ Joe Pantoliano. Studio executives from Paramount Pictures, who originally owned the distribution rights to the film, had initially demanded another big-name performer to work alongside De Niro in place of the lesser-known Charles Grodin, much to director Martin Brest’s chagrin. The studio even tried to force Brest to gender-swap the accountant character in order to allow famed singer-songwriter Cher to lead the film.

After rejecting both Cher and the late Robin Williams for the role of The Duke and going against the studio’s wishes to cast Grodin in the film, Paramount Pictures dropped the project, jeopardizing the entire production. Luckily, Universal agreed to purchase the rights and agreed to allow Grodin to star alongside Robert De Niro in the film, resulting in the beloved final project we have today. Midnight Run is perhaps best known for a number of classic improv comedy scenes which see De Niro and Grodin put their excellent chemistry to good use.

Midnight Run

Midnight Run was a massive creative and commercial success, accumulating a certified fresh critical score of 95 percent on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. The film made over $81 million at the global box office against an estimated production budget of only $30 million and sparked a number of parodies and homages across many popular films and television series of the ’90s and early 2000s. Robert De Niro has also expressed interest in revisiting the franchise in the future with his production company, Tribeca Productions.

Since the massive success of Midnight Run, Robert De Niro has gone on to perform in dozens of incredible Hollywood classics, including Goodfellas, Casino, Heat, Jackie Brown, Silver Linings Playbook, The Irishman, and many, many more. The 80-year-old star shows no signs of slowing or stopping either, having appeared in a leading role in three films this year alone, with another seven projects in various active stages of production listed on his IMDb.

Midnight Run was a huge success for Robert De Niro, making over $81 million at the box office and a cult classic on VHS.

Some of Robert De Niro’s upcoming projects include a number of television mini-series titled Nada, Mr. Natural, and Zero Day, which is also set to star Jesse Plemons and Lizzy Caplan. De Niro also has another mob movie on the horizon titled Wise Guys, which will see the star in a dual performance as both Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, two real-life mafia bosses who engaged in an all-out mob war in the late 1950s.

Since Robert De Niro’s filmography stretches far and wide, there are dozens of classics to parse through when searching through the leading man’s extensive catalog. Midnight Run is a must-watch for any fans of De Niro’s work, especially for those who enjoy seeing the tough-as-nails actor in the comedy niche. Midnight Run, is currently available to stream on Netflix.