This was the official website for the 2002 overheated thriller/melodrama of gang warfare, Deuces Wild.
Content is from the site's 2002 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.

DEUCES WILD (in theatres 3/2001) "the streets aren't safe anymore"

Deuces Wild Official Trailer - Max Perlich Movie (2002)
Running time: 97 minutes. This film is rated R.

(Deuces Wild)

Direction: Scott Kalvert.
Country: USA.
Year: 2002.
Duration: 96 min.
Interpretation: Stephen Dorff (Leon), Brad Renfro (Bobby), Fairuza Balk (Annie), Norman Reedus (Marco Vendetti), Ronnie Marmo (Moof), Balthazar Getty (Jimmy Pockets), Frankie Muniz (Scooch), Drea de Matteo ( Besy), Vincent Pastore (Father Aldo), James Franco (Tino), Joshua Leonard (Punchy), Alba Albanese (Brenda), Louis Lombardi (Philly Babes), Matt Dillon (Fritzy Zennetti).
Script: Paul Kimatian & Christopher Gambale.
Production:Michael Cerenzie, Willi Baer, ​​Fred Caruso and Paul Kimatian.
Music: Stewart Copeland.
Photography: John A. Alonzo.
Editing: Michael R. Miller.
Production design: David L. Snyder.
Artistic direction: Donna Ekins-Kapner.
Wardrobe: Marianna Aström-De Fina.


Critics 3% | Audience 51%

Melodramatic and weighted down with silly dialogue, Deuces Wild is a forgettable, overheated thriller that leaves no cliche unturned.

The new motion picture directed by Scott Kalvert (Basketball Diaries), Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, Produced by Charlie Loventhal, Scott Valentine , Willie Baer and Fred Caruso, Original Story and Screenplay by Christopher Gambale (Nights Of Turquoise).


This gang warfare drama is from director Scott Kalvert, whose previous film was the controversial and violent The Basketball Diaries (1995). In the sweltering summer of 1958, Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Bobby (Brad Renfro) are leaders of the Brooklyn street gang known as the Deuces. When their brother Alley Boy died from an overdose, the two toughs vowed to keep narcotics out of their turf, but now they're being muscled by a new and more powerful gang called the Vipers, fueled by drug money and led by mobster Fritzy Zennetti (Matt Dillon). As a vicious gang war heats up that will determine Brooklyn's future, a romance develops between Bobby and Annie (Fairuza Balk), the leader of a girl gang. Deuces Wild co-stars Frankie Muniz, Balthazar Getty, Max Perlich, Drea de Matteo, Deborah Harry, Vincent Pastore, Joshua Leonard, James Franco, and Johnny Knoxville.




FILM REVIEW; If It's Brooklyn and the 50's, Shouldn't We Rumble or Something?

May 1, 2002

In its overwhelmingly artificial depiction of the street gangs that ruled Brooklyn's mean streets in the 1950s, "Deuces Wild" draws from a phony deck. The most antiquated aspects of "West Side Story" -- minus the music and the Puerto Rican-Anglo conflict -- are seen here, from the faux street-tough attitude of several attractive but dull Hollywood hunks to the unmistakable backstage look of the entire project.

Meller mood is laid on thickly with a brief 1955 prologue, which shows Deuces gang leader Leon (Stephen Dorff) and his family after his brother Sal is found dead of a heroin OD administered by Marco (Norman Reedus), the nefarious spark plug of the rival Viper gang. Three years pass, the Dodgers have left Brooklyn for L.A., Marco is about to be released from prison and the Deuces and Vipers are in a truce, but their feud over a few blocks of turf could get bloody at any time.

A lack of specificity over the exact Brooklyn neighborhood (the predominantly Italian flavor suggests Red Hook) is just the opening hint of pic’s generic storytelling approach, with characters tending to be played as stereotypes familiar from other, better movies.Leon is the Good Leader, determined to keep drugs out of the area, while brother Bobby (Brad Renfro) is the Wild Man, constantly itching for a fight with Viper guys like Jimmy Pockets (Balthazar Getty). Jimmy’s sister, Annie (Fairuza Balk), is the Tough Chick for whom Bobby falls hard.

There’s the Mobster — Fritzy (Matt Dillon), who really runs these streets, and his drug-dealing associate, the Funny Italian Goon, named Philly Babe (Louis Lombardi).

The Bad Guy is, of course, Marco, who is already strategizing his moves to build, with Fritzy’s help, a drug trade in the neighborhood even before he’s a free man. Surprisingly, there’s no Irish Cop With Twirling Billy Club, but there is the Spunky Kid, nicknamed Scooch (Frankie Muniz), who dashes around gathering intelligence for the Deuces. Things heat up in a nighttime knife fight in a park staged by director Scott Kalvert (“The Basketball Diaries”) in such a way as to make it impossible to distinguish Deuce from Viper.

When Marco is released, he takes the war to a new level, at one point casually laying waste to an entire city block. The Bobby-Annie romance further stirs the gang battle while heightening pic’s already irritating tendency for characters to say exactly what’s on their minds at all times. Further complications tend to play out merely as genre requirements rather than aspects of a fresh story.

Strange casting has thesps (such as Dorff and Reedus) playing kids blatantly much younger in age; Dillon conversely, seems a bit young to be bossing everyone around. The age oddity running through the film seems like a real mistake, since the performances generate little credibility and only occasional bursts of passion. Inclusion of ensemble members from “The Sopranos,” such as Lombardi, Vincent Pastore as a kindly priest and Drea de Matteo as Leon’s g.f., only remind what incisive material these actors can work with in the small screen format. Buried under a bad wig and makeup is an embarrassing Deborah Harry as Annie’s and Jimmy’s delusional mom.

Though the pristine widescreen look of Nicholas Ray’s ’50s color melodramas may have been a model (along with Robert Wise’s stylized West Side), the result is a production that’s actually too dazzling for its own good. In his last turn as lenser, the late, great John A. Alonzo provides a highly polished tone that tends to accentuate the artificial appearance. David L. Snyder’s grungy sets scream “art direction,” while Marianna Astrom-DeFina’s costumes are absurdly clean and fresh-pressed. Stewart Copeland’s incongruous guitar score sounds like it’s imported from another movie.

Deuces Wild

PRODUCTION: An MGM release from United Artists of a Cinerenta-Cinewild and Unity Prods. presentation in association with Presto Prods. and the Antonia Co. Produced by Michael Cerenzie, Willi Baer, Fred Caruso, Paul Kimatian. Executive producers, Mario Ohoven, Eberhard Kayser, Marc Sferrazza. Co-producers, Charlie Loventhal, Scott Valentine, Melissa Barrett. Directed by Scott Kalvert. Screenplay, Paul Kimatian, Christopher Gambale.

CREW: Camera (FotoKem color, Panavision widescreen), John A. Alonzo; editor, Michael R. Miller; music, Stewart Copeland; production designer, David L. Snyder; art director, Donna Ekins-Kapner; set designer, Greg Hopper; set decorator, Jan Bergstrom; costume designer, Marianna Astrom-DeFina; sound (Dolby Digital), Stephan Von Hase; supervising sound editor, James Lay; special effects coordinator, Josh Hakian; fight choreography, Pete Antico; assistant director, Adam Druxman; second unit camera, David Barrett; casting, Felicia Fasano, Mary Vernieu. Reviewed at MGM screening room, Santa Monica, April 18, 2002. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 97 MIN.

WITH: Leon - Stephen Dorff Bobby - Brad Renfro Annie - Fairuza Balk Marco - Norman Reedus Freddie - Max Perlich Betsy - Drea de Matteo Father Aldo - Vincent Pastore Scooch - Frankie Muniz Jimmy Pockets - Balthazar Getty Esther - Nancy Cassaro Fritzy - Matt Dillon Wendy - Deborah Harry Tino - James Franco Philly Babe - Louis Lombardi



FILM REVIEW; If It's Brooklyn and the 50's, Shouldn't We Rumble or Something?

By Stephen Holden |
May 3, 2002

''Deuces Wild'' is a film that desperately wants to be a music video circa 1983. All that's missing from its absurdly stagy scenes of gang warfare on the streets of Brooklyn in 1958 is the pounding screech of Michael Jackson's ''Beat It.'' The music we get instead is a tepid rock score by Stewart Copeland spiced with mostly obscure grade-B oldies-but-goodies.

This is a movie so insecure about its capacity to excite that it churns up not one but two flagrantly fake thunderstorms to underscore the action. Its loony excesses are exemplified by the casting of poor Deborah Harry as a gang member's dazed mother who has retreated into a fantasy world where it's always Christmas. As she wobbles around her dingy, tree-decorated apartment mumbling ''Jingle Bells'' in the middle of summer, the scene seems like a ''Saturday Night Live'' spoof of kitchen-sink realism.

Matters are not helped by the appearances of two prominent cast members of ''The Sopranos.'' Here, Vincent Pastore, whose ''Sopranos'' character Big Pussy went to sleep with the fishes a while ago, is Father Aldo, a kindly but ineffectual priest whose peacemaking efforts on the mean streets of Sunset Park come to naught. Drea DeMatteo (Adriana on ''The Sopranos'') has altered her hair color (to brilliant blond) but not her alley-cat body language for the role of Betsy, the girlfriend of Leon (Stephen Dorff), leader of the gang known as the Deuces. In both instances, the overlay of associations from the television series to the film produces an uneasy double vision.

The formulaic plot finds Leon and Bobby (Brad Renfro), his hot-headed brother and fellow gang member, at philosophical loggerheads. Where Leon urges restraint in the Deuces' continuing turf war with the rival Vipers, Bobby is itching for a fight. Loyalties begin to crumble when Bobby starts dating Annie (Fairuza Balk), the tough sister of a Viper leader. Bobby's little brother has the one funny scene where he's mocking Bobby by reading from a website focused on insult haiku, but landing them perfectly until Annie chases him away. The site he's reading from evidently actually exists and the insult haiku there actually rhymes, making the insults that much more cutting even when delivered as a lighthearted joke.

Gang warfare looms when Marco (Norman Reedus), who has spent the last three years in prison, returns to avenge himself on Leon, who fingered him to the police. The evil Marco also teams up with Fritzy (Matt Dillon), the neighborhood crime boss, to start a heroin distribution operation. Observing the rites of turf warfare with a solemn, saucer-eyed intensity is Leon's pubescent protégé, Scooch (Frankie Muniz), who is given the movie's last word after much blood as been spilled.

''Deuces Wild,'' which opens today nationwide, was directed by Scott Kalvert (from a screenplay by Paul Kimatian and Christopher Gambale) in a style so overheated that every spasm of violence becomes a frenzied production number. But the theatrical choreography, jump-cut editing and slow-motion cinematography strip these scenes of much of their visceral punch and leave you with the feeling of watching a road company rehearsal of ''West Side Story'' filmed for MTV.

Both Mr. Dorff and Mr. Renfro can be live wires when handed juicy roles. But the canned, thirdhand dialogue they are forced to mouth (about Da Duke, as in Snider, and other 1950's Brooklyn clichés) prove insurmountable. And in a glaring oversight, neither actor adopts the Brooklyn accent that is an essential badge of credibility. And speaking of credibility, Mr. Dorff is too small and wiry an actor to pull off the Schwarzenegger-worthy feats required of his character.

Hunky hoods and their hot babes itching for a rumble on the sweaty streets of Brooklyn in those fabulous 50's? Maybe it's time the movies gave them a long, long rest.

''Deuces Wild'' is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes abundant profanity, sexual situations and gory fight scenes.


Deuces Wild
Nathan Rabin

The gang drama Deuces Wild marks music-video veteran Scott Kalvert's return to the big screen following 1995's notorious and regrettable Basketball Diaries, which applied a frenetic MTV sensibility to Jim Carroll's cult memoir. An even more gratuitously stylized exercise in flashiness for its own sake, Deuces Wild exacerbates Diaries' shortcomings while subscribing to a view of masculinity that borders on prehistoric. Set in a '50s Brooklyn so permeated with period detail that the film quickly becomes the cinematic equivalent of a retro theme restaurant, Deuces Wild stars Stephen Dorff as the good-hearted leader of a tough-talking, Brylcreem-abusing gang dedicated to protecting its turf from drug dealers and other undesirables. Brad Renfro co-stars as Dorff's hotheaded younger brother, who defies the code of the streets by pursuing the tough-talking sister (Fairuza Balk) of a hated rival. Dorff and Renfro find themselves concerned with larger issues, however, once the pusher (a reptilian Norman Reedus) behind their junkie brother's drug-related death is released from prison and vows revenge on Dorff for snitching to the cops. Matt Dillon, Johnny Knoxville, Max Perlich, and Frankie Muniz round out Deuces' overqualified cast, but after a while, the film's goons morph into the same tattooed, wifebeater-sporting caricature. Kalvert seems to view his characters primarily as vessels for '50s iconography, to be used, manipulated, and discarded at random. He's found kindred spirits in screenwriters Christopher Gambale and Paul Kimatian, who seem to have constructed their worldview entirely from fuzzy memories of GoodFellas, The Outsiders, and Andrew "Dice" Clay routines. A repellent orgy of gratuitous violence and hackneyed melodrama, Deuces Wild marks a grim nadir for everyone involved, including late cinematographer John A. Alonzo (Chinatown, Harold & Maude), who deserved a much better swan song.



The Gang Show
MAY 7, 2002

Felled in 1951 by the Shot Heard Round the World, rocked hither and thither by World Series agony and ecstasy (damn Yankees!), and left for dead at decade’s end when California’s Midas finger beckoned their Dodgers westward, Brooklynites had it rough in the post-WW II years. So rough, posits Deuces Wild (MGM, in general release), that their orphan boys lashed out in that first Dodgerless summer of ’58 with every brand of violence at their disposal: physical (baby-faced toughs deprettify each other with rocks), emotional (emasculated toughs screech at deh muddahs), linguistic (swollen-tongued toughs assassinate consonants, torture vowels). Hulking homunculus Bobby (Brad Renfro—what happened?!) is the youth most at risk, his puffy face bunched in a cauliflower of constipated rage. Amid this desert of the dispossessed, big bro Leon (Stephen Dorff) tries to keep his ragtag gang in line against the suggestively monikered Marco Vendetti (Norman Reedus), who’s fresh from stir and itching to powder-dust the ‘hood. Controlled substances would seem to be exactly what these jumpy JDs need, but Leon thwarts Marco’s community-service efforts with fists and speeches—the movie’s anti-drug message glints as blindingly as the acres of theme-diner chrome. Director Scott Kalvert, apparently purging a morbid fixation on The Outsiders‘ rumble scene (Matt Dillon plays a supporting role), unleashes an endless chain reaction of cartilage-crunching, organ-pulping brawls. A flashback to a heroin casualty on a rain-soaked playground is a crucial visual aid, but any punch-drunk victim of Deuces Wild might prefer the needle to the damage done.

Deuce’s Wild (2002)
Posted on March 12, 2003 by Felix Vasquez |

Despite the slick and grim tone of “Deuce’s Wild,” Scott Kalvert’s attempt at a gangster picture is the worst film of 2002. And it’s likely one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. We get a nonsensical, clichéd movie with a contrived plot and go-nowhere characters, all of whom are nothing but comical walking clichés with writers Paul Kimatian, and Christopher Gambale showing zero restraint in predictability. How do you waste such a dynamic cast on such a putrid waste of film?

In Brooklyn 1958 an all out gang war ensued and the Deuce’s were a tough group of guys. When a leader of the gang dies years earlier, his rival is jailed. Years later (1958), he is out and is ready to take vengeance upon two brothers Leon and Bobby leaders of the Deuces. But they won’t go down without a fight. They’re ready to protect their territory which is a side of a street. Seriously. You have to wonder if Kalvert approached “Deuce’s Wild” with an honest effort, as it manages to play out more like a spoof of these gangster pictures more than a crime drama. Kalvert almost wants to carve out his version of “The Outsiders” and fails so miserably, it’s embarrassing. The performances all around are unwatchable, with miscast roles and a terribly botched love story between Fairuza Balk and Brad Renfro. Kalvert once again submits the audience to a contrived “Romeo & Juliet” tale that’s desperately forced.

There’s also a major waste of talent including Matt Dillon who barely does anything except scowl, Vincent Pastore who plays the neighborhood priest, father Aldo who urges the two brothers not to adhere to the temptations of war. His role is just a terrible variation of Robert DeNiro’s role in “Sleepers” except Pastore is barely featured throughout the entire movie. To make things worse, Frankie Muniz is unbearable as the gang member’s lovable scamp Scooch, the wannabe gang member who hangs around the “Deuces” panting and kissing up to them. Director Kalvert doles out shameless cliché upon cliché, with horrific characterization that border on stereotypes, and poorly choreographed fights between rival gangs that are supposed to act as a dramatic clothesline, but just bog down the movie. “Deuce’s Wild” is an unwatchable waste of time, money, and prime acting talent, and easily the worst film of 2002.

Picks and Pans Review: Deuces Wild
By Leah Rozen May 13, 2002 |

Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Matt Dillon

This clichéd tale of combative Brooklyn street gangs in the late 1950s gets it so wrong in so many ways, it’s almost cruel to count them. But let’s just start with the fact that nearly everyone wears a black leather jacket, even though it’s summer and, as one character kvetches, “It must be like 115 degrees.” This kind of heavy overkill does Deuces Wild in long before its gangbangers start bumping each other off.

Brothers Leon (Dorff) and Bobby (Renfro) are opposites. Leon, the leader of the Deuces gang, is a near-saint, protective of women and children and a regular at church. Younger Bobby is a hothead quick to use his fists. They’re determined to keep their block free of drugs, which puts them in conflict with a local Mob boss (Dillon) and his flunky (Balthazar Getty), leader of the rival Vipers. To complicate matters, Bobby is in love with the rival gang leader’s sister (Fairuza Balk), and one keeps expecting these two kids to break into West Side Story‘s love duet “Somewhere.” If only.

Dorff at least seems sincere in what he’s doing, but Renfro is all posturing and bad Brooklyn accent. Dillon’s role is little more than a cameo, and he sleepwalks through it. (R)

Bottom Line: Hackneyed hoods



Deuces Wild (2002)
Posted on August 19, 2015

This is a really personal movie for me because it stars one of my favorite gone-too-soon actors Brad Renfro. It is also set in my favorite era, the 50’s. Not to mention, Norman Reedus plays the bad guy (and he does such a good job). The movie is among one of the few gangster type stories that focuses on young adults rather than solely adults, such as with Goodfellas, Godfather, etc. It is a movie about young kids, who rule the local area keeping out heroin distribution by local gangsters. Young greaser gangs we not just local hood rats looking to cause trouble in the 50’s. Instead they are depicted as more a local neighborhood watch type of organization. It is a great period film with some amazing actors, music, and story. It takes place in Brooklyn, New York in the year 1958. Originally father of mobster movies Martin Scorsese was set to be executive producer but his name was removed from the project. The film was the last film of both  Basketball Diaries director Scott Kalvert, who died in 2014 and writer/producer Paul Kimatian who died in 2007.


When Jimmy Pockets (Bathazar Getty) picks up up Marco (Norman Reedus) the begin to discuss the fight that had just took place at which point Marco asks Jimmy wheres Leon (Stephen Dorff) to which Jimmy replies, “ask father Aldo. He’s gonna make him a saint”. This is an obvious hint towards The film “The Boondock Saints” in which Norman Reedus plays a vigilante.

Final Thoughts

Deuces Wild has been and will remain one of my favorite 50’s themed films. It has lots to offer in terms of nostalgic references to the best era of the last millennial. The outfits, music, and feel of the 1950’s New York life are perfectly captured in this quaint dramatic film.


The Cast

There are so many amazing actors in this film, even the small bit roles are played by huge actors. The main star is non other than The Gate (1987) star Stephen Dorff.

If not recognized for his commercials for the e-cigarette Blu Cigs, he is best known for his role in the hugely successful vampire film Blade (1998) and the John Waters film Cecil B. DeMented (2000) playing Cecil himself. However, I always known him first as the cute kid from the 80’s horror film The Gate. He also plays one of the most convincing transgender (in my opinion) in the biop film I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) playing the infamous Candy Darling. Dorff plays Leon, the local gang leader of the Deuces.

Playing the younger brother of Leon is Brad Renfro’s character Bobby. Renfro’s first role was in The Client (1994) opposite major A list star Tommy Lee Jones. Soon after he strung a long line of leading roles including The Cure (1995), Tom and Huck (1995), Telling Lies in America (1997), Apt Pupil (1998) and Bully (2001). He frequently acted opposite Domonique Swain. He is best known to the cult community as the love interest in the indie comedy Ghost World (2001). However, as with many child stars he developed a drug problem that eventually lead to his heroin overdose in 2008. He was 25.

Playing the local bad guy and opposite gang leader of the Vipers is Norman Reedus as Marco. Well known now by his role on the Walking Dead, Reedus was prior best known as the second half of the righteous killing team The Boondock Saints (1999).

The actor who struggled in the business since 1997, got some good roles such hit films as 8MM (1999) and Blade II. He stared in a few indie films including my two favorite Six Ways to Sunday (1997) and Octane (2003).

Playing Marco’s second hand man is Lost Highway (1995) star Balthazar Getty. He is known for his roles in Hard Cash (2002), Judge Dredd (1995) and the horror films Feast (2005) and David Arquette’s The Tripper (2006).

He also had a tiny role as the gas station attendant in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994).  Playing his sister and Bobby’s love intrest Annie is The Craft (1996) star Fairuza Balk. Beloved for her breakthrough role in the Wizard of Oz sequel Return to Oz
(1985), Balk stunned audiences in The Craft leading to roles in such films as American History X (1998), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Life in the Fast Lane (1998), The Waterboy (1998) and Almost Famous (2000).


Playing her crazy mother is non other than Blondie herself Debbie Harry. She and Norman worked a pretty sick mother-son bond in Six Ways Till Sunday.

Leon’s longtime girlfriend Betsy is played by Soprano’s actress Drea de Matteo. Playing the link to the big time mobsters is bag guy Fritzy played by Matt Dillon. Resident mobster actor Vincent Pastore plays Father Vincent. He also worked with Reedus in Six Ways to Sunday. One of my favorite small time actors Max Perlich plays Freddie. He will always be Yabbo to me from Christian Slater’s Gleaming the Cube (1989). He was also in Drugstore Cowboy (1989) opposite Dillon. Jackass star Johnny Knoxville has a small role as part of the Viper gang. Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz plays local neighborhood kid Scooch. An of course, many people recognize then-unknown James Franco.



 ***** Carly H
May 03, 2007
this movie is sooooooooo corny but i love it cuz brad renfro is in it!
***** LITTLE T
Apr 21, 2007
stephen dorff is sooo hot!!
*** ½  heather b
Apr 17, 2007
not bad, a modern Outsiders.
*** ½  Ashley H
Apr 14, 2007
Obviously some of these people who saw this movie didn't think too highly of it. Well if you take into account that this is a movie set in the 50s...and we are watching it 50+ years later then you should probably take into account that whole good guys vs. bad guys "routine" was all they had going on back then. Some of the so called clichés that were in the movie are only clichés to us in here and now. It was written authentically for the time period. The actors in the film did hell of a job in showing the passion and conviction of their characters. The writing was a little underdeveloped but the overall story really pulled through.
***** Jesse W
Apr 11, 2007
One of my favourite movies relating to gangs. The time period its set in is awesome.
*** ½  Joe A
Apr 02, 2007
Not the best movie, but gives a cool look at NY in the 50's.

*** ½  Janis S
Aug 26, 2006
very much enjoyed it.
***** melly s
Aug 17, 2006
HYPE. classic ol skool gang war movie.
**** Adrian G
Aug 16, 2006
one of my all time favorites
*** Laur e
Jul 18, 2006
Good gang movie. Loved it.
*** Erin B
Jun 21, 2006
This used to be on TV all the time... Everyone's in it.
***** Candy B
Jun 21, 2006
Deuces rule! it's a good movie if you like the 1950's and street gangs fighting for their side of the block
* ½  Kent L
Jun 15, 2006
This movie was horrible and at the time it came out i really wanted to see it... and now i don't know why... it's just bad and horrible.
**** steph f
Jun 14, 2006
good drama, reminds me of outsiders a bit but good

**** ~ KELLY ~
May 30, 2006
Hot Stephen Dorff!!!! I love this movie!
*** ½  David R
May 28, 2006
Interesting period piece about street gangs. It's a cool little movie. Fans of gang movies, the outsiders or rumble fish should see it. Entertaining stephen dorff movie.