Touchstone and Beyond: A History of Disney’s “Corky Romano”

When a mob family needs to infiltrate the FBI, they send their little-known brother, who is anything but the tough as nails criminal that one would expect. This is Chris Kattan’s comedy masterpiece, Corky Romano.

The Plot

The Romano family is in serious trouble. The FBI has all the evidence they need to convict Francis, Paulie, and Peter Romano and send them to jail for the rest of their lives. Since they are all out of options, they turn to the one person they never thought they would ask. The only person who could infiltrate the FBI is Francis’ son Corky.

Corky is an assistant veterinarian who would do anything for his father. This bumbling good hearted soul goes undercover in the FBI in hopes of finding and destroying the evidence against his family, but he starts to impress his boss, Agent Shuster and his partner, Agent Russo.

While his brothers give him a hard time, and Agent Davis treats him like garbage, Corky manages to save the day, and solve a few crimes.

The Good

I am not embarrassed to admit this, but I laughed constantly throughout this movie. Chris Kattan throws himself into every scene and plays up the physical comedy to the nth degree. Kattan manages to assault the senses of the viewers with his will to do anything for a laugh, which usually results in his character getting beat up constantly.

Aside from the physical comedy, Kattan manages to create a character that is likable, and able to pull off his undercover role with some skill, while not betraying the true nature of the character.

The supporting cast is stacked. Peter Falk, Peter Berg, Chris Penn, Richard Roundtree, and Fred Ward. They all play straight man to Kattan’s lunacy, and throughout most of the film they all have the look on their face that says, “how did I get in this film”? It only makes the movie even funnier.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are lots of jokes that would never be considered appropriate for today.

The movie is stupid, so if you can’t put your brain aside and just go with the plot, then Corky Romano is not for you.

Beyond the Film Facts

  • The film was nominated for a World Stunt Awards.
  • The film was racing against the clock of an upcoming actor’s strike. Reportedly the movie was written in 10 days in May, began production in June and wrapped in August. (This explains so much about the plot.)
  • According to Robert Pattinson, he ranks Corky Romano as one of his favorites.
  • In Chris Kattan’s autobiography, he claimed that Paul Thomas Anderson did some uncredited rewrites to the script. I wonder what Paul Thomas Anderson would say to this claim.
  • Corky’s smiling bumbling nature was not how Kattan was originally going to play the character. Only after Disney executive Peter Schneider fell asleep during the first bit of footage did Kattan get directed to add some zing to his character.
  • Critics were not kind to the film. I know, shocking right?

The Streamy Award

{The following four categories are based on a Film Reel scale.

1 Reel-Watch on your Smartphone, 2 Reels-Tablet Time, 3 Reels-Travel Entertainment, 4 Reels-Big Screen Event}

I never thought I would like Corky Romano, and I was pleasantly surprised. I mean it is no Citizen Kane, (now that is a GREAT film) but the character is endearing, the comedy is adequate, and I laughed a lot. If a movie can make me laugh consistently then it’s a pretty good movie to me.

Corky Romano gets a 2 Reels rating. It’s not the film you need to see on the biggest screen, but it will make you laugh and help pass the time while you are traveling somewhere.

Cast and Crew

  • Chris Kattan as Corky Romano
  • Peter Falk as Francis ‘Pop’ Romano
  • Peter Berg as Paulie Romano
  • Chris Penn as Peter Romano
  • Richard Roundtree as Howard Shuster
  • Matthew Glave as Agent Davis
  • Vinessa Shaw as Agent Russo
  • Fred Ward as Leo

Directed by Rob Pritts

Produced by Touchstone Pictures / Robert Simonds Productions  

Release Date: October 12, 2001

Budget: $11 million

Box Office Gross

Domestic: $23,980,304

Worldwide Total: $25,272,752

Coming Soon

Next week a look at Patrick Swayze’s attempt to be a good dad, while staying out of jail in Father Hood.