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  • Where to begin? Is it because it has two powerfully realistic performances that make the viewer forget that it's only a movie? Is it because it's filmed in my hometown? I must admit that it was because it was shot AND set in Pittsburgh that I went to see it immediately when it was released but I soon saw past all the familiar sights of the South Side to watch a drama unfold as if these were real people that I might have even known.

    Tom Hulce's portrayal of Nicky was so riveting that even without words he was able to evoke emotion that spoke volumes -- that's talent deserving of the highest accolade. He is a man-child living to please those around him; especially the one person he has depended on his whole life - his twin brother who himself is deeply committed to becoming a doctor and fearing that leaving his mentally handicapped brother to pursue his dream will mean breaking his own and Nicky's heart.

    Ray Liotta as Eugene plays out his own inner struggle to succeed but not at the expense of his brother's love with such poise that it hurt to watch when he would reprimand Nicky for not using common sense in his daily life. He wants to believe that his brother is capable of caring for himself but Nicky repeatedly gets himself into scrape after scrape. Add to the mix Larry, Nicky's partner on the garbage truck. He is the little devil that sits on Nicky's shoulder feeding him reasons to believe that his brother is "dumping him like a rock" when he begins tutoring a fellow medical student. This only upsets Nicky and forces Gino to admit that he is leaving.

    This movie speaks to many issues -- brotherly love, family ties, independence, jealousy and abuse, all delivered with understated grace. This is a top shelf film that makes one happy and sad by the end. There aren't enough movies like this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dominick (Nicky) Luciano wears a 'Hulk' T-shirt and trudges off everyday to perform his duties as a garbage man. He uses his physical power in picking up other's trash and hauling it to the town dump. He reads comic-book hero stories and loves wrestlers and wrestling, Going to WrestleMania with his twin brother Eugene on their birthday is a yearly tradition. He talks kindly with the many people he comes in contact with during his day. He reads comic books, which he finds in the trash, with a young boy who he often passes by while on the garbage route. Unfortunately, Dominick has a diminished ability to use his mind. He has a disability.

    Dominick's disability came as a result of an injury to the head in which he suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI). This injury left him slower, though it did not change his core characteristic as a strong individual who helps to protect others. Dominick is actually more able to live independently than he may seem at the beginning of the film. He lives with Eugene who is studying to become a doctor. Dominick provides the main source of income, while Eugene is off studying. Eugene must face the fact that he is to continue his education in a different city, and that he must move away from Dominick. Eugene also develops a romance which begins to separate him from his twin brother.

    The film deals specifically with domestic abuse and how this can impact individuals, families, and then society as a whole. The strain that escalates between Eugene and Dominick as Eugene realizes that he must eventually leave Nicky, exploded on their birthday night. Eugene yells at Dominick and throws him against the wall. In this moment, Eugene must confront his own fears of being like his abusive father, the father which Dominick protected him against while he himself became the victim of the abuse. This event cemented the love between the two brothers, who from then on became the best of friends. Though they needed each other, they also both needed independence and the ability to grow and develop relationship with others. The fact that they must part ways became a very real emotional strain. However, by the end of the film, Dominick is able to say good bye to his brother and wish him luck. Eugene is able to leave his brother with the confidence that he has started to make a social network of people who care about him and will help him with his independence.

    When Dominick witnesses the abuse of his friend he is forced to come face to face with the cause of his own trauma. In this state of extreme stress, Dominick almost completely shuts down. He then runs after the ambulance to the hospital to see what happened to his friend. After learning that the boy has died, he is confronted by the abusive father who, fearing his testimonial, tells him he didn't see nothing, doesn't know anything, and not to say anything, and that if he does he will kill him. Now that his own life has been threatened, he goes and find the hand gun that Larry used to kill the rats. He goes to the wake of the deceased boy and at gunpoint, kidnaps the baby of the grieving family. He runs away from the scene and hides in a building. When the police surround him, Eugene goes in the building to talk to his brother. Eugene then reveals the cause of Dominick's disability and they bring the baby back. The abusive father then wields a gun of his own threatening to kill Dominick, but Eugene stops him and Dominick tells the crowd that he saw the father throw his son down the stairs.

    Through the climactic ending, the issue of dysfunctional behavior comes into view. Though Dominick's instinct to save the baby can be understood, we also see how damaging this response is. Dominick put the baby's life and his own life in grave danger. The larger societal consequences of these events is not directly implicated, but rather shown through the films ending. Despite the more optimistic ending portrayal, another sequence of events might just have likely occurred, in which Dominick is charged with kidnapping and possession of a firearm. It is somewhat difficult to believe that this went completely unaccounted. Furthermore, even if Dominick is not charged, there may still be a stigma against him within the community, not that there wasn't one before these events. Instead, the film shows that we must be able to recognize problematic behavior and act to curb it.

    Dominick and Eugene was released in 1988, the same year as another film, Rainman, which won 5 Academy Awards. While Rainman was an achievement and helped increase the visibility with person with disabilities, it could be argued that Dominick and Eugene holds more valuable lessons for society. Whereas, Rainman demonstrated that mainstream American society might be able to learn from and care for a 'savant', if the 'savant' is the inheritor of a large estate. Dominick and Eugene show that a person with a disability might be able to care for and help save members of American society. The message of an independent person with disabilities may have been too strong for 1988. Hopefully someday society will see the strengths of individuals with disabilities, not as a threat, but as imperative for the strength of society.
  • But the rest of us, who love a good sentimental and emotional story that is a lock to get you crying..enjoy!

    Tom Hulce is magnificent as Dominick, a mentally slow trashman who loves professional wrestling and his brother, Eugene, played by Ray Liotta, who is a doctor and who works very long hours.

    Due to Eugene's work schedule, Dominick is alone a lot of the time and tends to make questionable judgment calls. He really just wants to be a good boy, to do the right thing, and to make his brother proud of him. He stops in church to pray at one point and expresses his emotions so openly and so well that the character has you crying before the damn movie even gets really started.

    Not about to give anything away here, but the movie is extremely involving and sad and heartbreaking. Those unafraid of these things will have a field day with this beautiful story, its loving characters and a great song I cannot quote here, that has nothing to do with the movie at all but is strangely appropriate..but you hear it in a bar.

    I thought Tom Hulce would be nominated for this movie, since he was for 'Amadeus' I figured that might give him the inside track to actually winning. No such luck. Liotta is just as good but has less of an emotional impact, but then he does later on. All I can say about Jamie Lee Curtis is that she doesn't have much of a part here but it was nice of her to lend her name to a small drama set in Pittsburgh about two brothers who you will never forget.
  • I want to warn you that there is a very bittersweet quality to this comment. Also, this comment will be much more meaningful to you after you have seen the movie.

    Although it is tragically sad to say, that movie bears a resemblance to my life that is so striking that it is truly scary. The rest of you will never know how accurately that movie depicts how persons who have been in situations like that act and react in their later lives.

    This could not have been a work of fiction; it had to be based on personal experience.

    My testament to the how good the movie was is shown by the fact that, although it was one of the best movies I've ever seen, watching my life portrayed on the silver screen was such a searingly painful experience that I will never be able to see it again.

    But I endorse it heartily to all others as a chance to peer into the soul of another human being to the extent that you probably never experienced before or will ever again. I know that for a fact, because that's my soul you will be observing.
  • I have seen this film twice, and will see it again . It is a wonderful movie. I guess it was released the wrong year, because it certainly deserves awards. It is the best movie of this genre that I have ever seen! It tops them all. I found it to be touching, and yet realistic. I think it will inspire those who watch it. It certainly inspired me to be more kind and compassionate towards others, especially towards those who have a handicap. The film touched my heart! If you can find this movie on television, or at the rental place,

    see it. You will not be disappointed.
  • If you have any kind of heart and compassion for people, this is a tough movie to watch, at least in the second half of it.

    It's in that segment where we see nice little kid get beaten up and then a retarded (mentally- challenged) man go off the deep end after he witnesses this brutal act against the child. It's not pleasant material.

    However, it's a good movie and the acting is good, too. The story will sit with you awhile.

    "Dominick" is the mentally-disabled guy and is played by Tom Hulce. I think this might be Hulce's best role ever. He's looked after by a med student, "Eugene," played by Ray Liotta, who became a star the following year with Kevin Costner's "Field Of Dreams."

    Dominick is a goodhearted garbage man who reads "Hulk" comic books and loves wrestling. He's the type of "slow" guy that you can't help but love and root for to live a happy life. When he freaks out, it's for several good reasons and...well, see the film for the whole story. It's worth your time but be prepared to go on real emotional roller coaster and possibly be very upset at some things you see.
  • SusanAdebisi18 February 2006
    This was on at 2 or so In the morning one Saturday a few years ago, for various reasons I don't remember the entire story but what remains are the two standout performances from the central characters. Dom has had a unfortunate lot, manipulated & literally working a rubbish job, Eugene torn between personal aspirations and duty towards his sibling. Tom Hulce' Dom doesn't plead for sympathy - It comes naturally. Ray Liotta Is a universe away from Henry Hill, displaying a soft centre In what must feel a thankless position.

    In many ways this deals with the dilemma many young carer's face - the past or the future. As It turns out, with some work the two can happily co-exist. Thoughtfully handled & sensitively played Dominick & Eugene Is difficult not to warm to.
  • DOMINICK AND EUGENE (1988) ***1/2 Ray Liotta, Tom Hulce, Jamie Lee Curtis, Todd Graff, Bill Cobb, David Strathairn. One little gem of a sleeper that was ironically released the same year as "Rain Man" with some parallel storylines: the troubling and realistic portrayal of twin brothers, one mentally challenged (Hulce believeably perfect as a man/child) and the other a brilliant medical student (Liotta in arguably his finest performance) whose love for one another is only challenged by the undying bond of guilt and responsibility. Beautifully told with a wonderful score by Trevor Jones and some heart wrenching moments by the film's end. Possibly the best told story of sibling love among brothers. Directed with a steady hand by Robert M. Young and produced by actor Mike Farrell (best known as BJ Hunnicut on TV's "M.A.S.H.")
  • This film was excellent - the emotional power of Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta's performances brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart - this film shows us that there is still hope in the world. If this film had come out at the end of 1988, instead of Rain Man, Hulce would certainly have been at least nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Definitely a must-see!
  • One of my favorite movies I saw at preview in Seattle. Tom Hulce was amazing, with out words could convey his feelings/thoughts. I actually sent Mike Ferrell some donation money to help the film get distributed. It is good. System says I need more lines but do not want to give away plot stuff. I was in the audience in Seattle with Hulce and director , a writer I think and Mike Ferrell. They talked for about an hour afterwords. Not really a dry eye in the house. Why Hollywood continues to be stupid I do not know. ( actually I do know , it is our fault, look what we watch)Well you get what you pay for guys. Get this and see it with someone special. It is a gem.
  • this is a great movie one of ray liotta's best. i saw it on hbo as a kid and i have loved it ever since. it shows that one person can make a positive difference in other people's lives.great acting and a very good storyline make this movie a must see.
  • jbartelone14 February 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    The emotional powers and characters of Dominick and Eugene are the things that Hollywood doesn't make anymore. This is one of the most emotional, sensitive, and heart-felt movies that I have ever seen! Roy Liotta, Tom Hulce, and supporting actress Jamie Lee Curtis, deliver Oscar Winning caliber performances! There are not enough words to express how great this movie is. Sure, people who are not into sentimental movies may not care as much as the rest of us about Dominick and Eugene, but for the rest of us, this movie goes right to the heart and sole of compassion and humanity. You will never forget this film, EVER!

    *****SPOILERS BELOW*****

    The simple yet eloquent story is masterfully told. Eugene is a med-school intern who faces long hours and a demanding work load at the hospital. His fraternal twin brother Dominick (born 12 minutes earlier) is a little slow and awkward because of brain damage due to a victim of abuse by their father. (A heartbreaking moment when this is found out in the film that will leave you in tears!) Eugene (a.k.a "Geno") faces a painful dilemma. He must decide whether to finish medical school, which would mean accepting his residency in another city and leave Dominick (a.k.a "Nicky") behind, or forfeit the rest of his education to take care of him. Nicky helps pay his brother's med-school tuition by working as a trash collector.

    The questions of ethics, morals, and responsibilities are masterfully blended in this landmark movie. Just when Gino thinks Nicky might be making progress toward independence, Dominick turns around and winds up doing things like helping out a drug dealer, or tying to use a faulty cord that he finds at the dump on an electrical appliance.

    Larry, is "The Character" and Nicky's partner on his garbage route who fills gullible Dominick's head with all kinds of stories like Geno and Jennifer (his girlfriend, whom he is tutoring in Clinical Pharmacology) going to Atlantic City and gambling away all their money. But deep down, you can see that Larry cares for him. On their rounds, Nicky also befriends a little boy, whom we find out has also been beaten by his father. An end result is also tragic and the pain that you see on Nicky's face when it happens, speaks volumes.

    The sensitivity that the two brothers share for each other can not be overstated enough. All Nicky wants to do is be loved and look for acceptance in anyway he can. (i.e he goes to church, loves Hulk Hogan) Geno loves Nicky more than anything in the world. But can his brother become independent enough so that Geno can pursue his dream of becoming a doctor? A brilliant film that should have gotten tons more recognition than it deserved, but unfortunately came out around the same time as Rain Man, which dealt with a similar issue. However, I like Dominick and Eugene better because it has a far stronger emotional component. Be forewarned that this movie is aimed right at the tear-ducts, so have Kleenex handy! What a film!!!!
  • Words are seriously not enough convey the emotional power of this film; it's one of the most wrenching you'll ever see, yet the ending is one of the most loving, tender, and emotionally fulfilling you could hope for. Every actor in every role is terrific, especially a wise and understated Jamie Lee Curtis, a tightly wound and anguished Ray Liotta, and a heart-stopping turn from Tom Hulce that should have had him up for every award in the book. (He's the #1 pick for 1988's Best Actor in Danny Peary's "Alternate Oscars.") The last half hour borders on melodrama, but the film earns every one of its tears--and unless you're made of stone, there will be plenty of them.
  • Of all movies I have seen, I have to say that Dominick and Eugene is the best drama movie I have ever seen. It had a good plot and I found I related well with Dominick. Tom Hulce was a great character and Ray Liotta was, too. I did have a bit of a problem with the way Dominick was treated, but then, nobody is perfect. Dominick and Eugene is a very entertaining movie and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.
  • Ray Liotta and Tom Hulce shine in this sterling example of brotherly love and commitment. Hulce plays Dominick, (Nicky) a mildly mentally handicapped young man who is putting his 12 minutes younger, twin brother, Liotta, who plays Eugene, through medical school. It is set in Baltimore and deals with the issues of sibling rivalry, the unbreakable bond of twins, child abuse and good always winning out over evil. It is captivating, and filled with laughter and tears. If you have not yet seen this film, please rent it, I promise, you'll be amazed at how such a wonderful film could go un-noticed.
  • I loved this movie! It was all I could do not to break down into tears while watching it, but it is really very uplifting. I was struck by the performance of Ray Liotta, but especially the talent of Tom Hulce portraying Ray's twin brother who is mentally slow due to a tragic and terrible childhood event. But Tom's character, though heartbreaking, knows no self pity and is so full of hope and life. This is a great movie, don't miss it!!
  • I saw Dominick and Eugene,and the movie gave me an understanding of Brotherly love and Devotion.In the movie, we find Eugene becoming the kind heart who saves his Brother. He feels torn between the Brother and individuality. What unfolds in the movie is the similarity between their father, and Mikey & little Joey's dad. In reality,many victims are just like mikey,afraid to speak about what happens.I thought Hulce(Dominick) had a great line with "If I were God,I wouldn't let that Happen to my Boy". To me, it is a metaphorical reference to what we are taught about Jesus and God in the Bible.We see Hulce crying about Christ dying, and he does not understand the meaning of Sacrifice.
  • jbdean11 February 1999
    TOM HULCE* turns in yet another Oscar-worthy performance as Dominick Luciano, the brain-damaged garbage man who's helping put his brother (Ray Liotta as Eugene) through medical school.

    This is a must-see for all movie lovers and all lovers of life and people!

    ===========> *From the small studder to the eratic dancing, to the repeated words "Oh, Jeez" whenever Nicky is in a bind, the belieavablitly of Tom's performance is so excellent that you will have to concentrate to remember that it's an actor on screen!
  • This is one rare films I can watch over & over again & cry every time. It's so intensely touching Tom Hulce gives such a moving performance. His character Nicky is pure, gentle, innocent & Hulce plays it beautifully. It's such a gem of a film & the sad part is when I tell people it's in my top ten. They have never heard of it. It's like everything else though. If it isn't trendy not a lot of people know or even consider watching it. This movie is a tradition for my mom & I whenever we watch it we always have a box of Kleenex near by. Jamie Lee Curtis gives a really good performance as Ray Liotta's girlfriend in the film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Two orphaned brothers living in Pittsburgh, one an ambitious medical student and the other a slow-witted garbage man, find the ties between them wearing thin when events begin to intrude into their self-sufficient existence. Up to a point the film is one of those odd, intimate dramas all too easily overlooked in a crowded market, with an interesting relationship at it's core: each brother is totally dependent on the other (one financially, the other emotionally) and each in his own way faces the inevitable moment of separation and independence. But who would ever guess the story might end on a spotlit fire escape with the retarded Dominick clutching a kidnapped baby, and half the armed forces of the free world mobilized against him? The overblown climax obliterates too many of the film's not inconsiderable virtues, and the sensitive performances aren't enough to stop the plot from going haywire.
  • This is one of those sweet (but not sappy) movies that seems to be viewed by only a few people. I stumbled on it recently and got a very pleasant surprise.

    Tom Hulce's incredible performance is so touching he made me cry just looking at him. Ray Liotta is his usually barely suppressed-violent self, but very appropriately so for this role.

    The only drawback to the movie was Jamie Lee Curtis' presence. Not that she did a poor job, but she just wasn't a necessary part of the powerful relationship between the two leads.

    This movie has a lot to say about many things such as independence, brotherly loyalty and the tragedy of family histories.

    Give it a try, you won't be disappointed
  • mattkratz2 October 2000
    Leonard Maltin and commenters gave this film favorable reviews, and I agree. This movie was magnificent and heartwarming, and Tom Hulce's performance was nothing short of remarkable. I gave this *** 1/2 out of ****.
  • Why did the movie have two different title names I've never know this movie to be called Nicky and gino
  • Eugene (Ray Liotta) and Dominick 'Nicky' Luciano (Tom Hulce) are twins living in Pittsburgh together. Eugene is studying to be a doctor and finds out that he got into Stanford. Nicky is mentally slow and working as a trash man paying for Eugene's school. Eugene is leery of Nicky's crass work partner Larry Higgins. Nicky wants to live with Eugene in a house by the lake but Eugene is wondering if Nicky could live by himself. Eugene starts a relationship with nurse Jennifer Reston (Jamie Lee Curtis).

    These are two good performances especially Tom Hulce. The brothers' chemistry is great. There is real dramatic complexity with their relationship. Everybody is great including Curtis. It's a good sentimental melodramatic movie. It would be nice to make Mikey more of a constant sidekick to Nicky and a more central part of the movie from the start.
  • Mentally impaired Dominick (Tom Hulce, Oscar-winner for Amadeus) is putting his intern brother, Eugene (Ray Liotta at his best), through medical school by collecting garbage. Eugene is torn between his nascent career and his responsibility for his brother. Todd Graff as Nicky's partner on the garbage truck, Larry, brings humor and sympathy to what could have been a throw-away role. I collected garbage for two Summers in my Hometown, and the scenes of Nicky and Larry chatting with the folks on their route are completely authentic. Powerful and exhilarating, with Jamie Lee Curtis as the sympathetic student who inadvertently comes between the brothers.

    "...and you have to believe in your strength, Nicky"
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