The Departed Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary

The Departed made its USA debut on October 6th 2006.

The Departed, a brutal saga of corruption that won legendary director Martin Scorsese his very first Oscar, celebrates its 15 anniversary. It is a remake of the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs. The almost male cast features superstars like Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Alec Baldwin. Producer Brad Pitt was initially attached to play the part of Sullivan. Still, he felt the character should be played by someone younger. The role eventually went to Damon.

The Departed Poster

This movie showcases the most revered actors in Hollywood at the top of their game.

You can tell Jack Nicholson is having the time of his life playing unhinged Irish mob boss Frank Costello. But it’s Mark Wahlberg who really steals the show. Every word that comes out of his mouth is crude and hysterical. To put it in the words of Martin Sheen’s character Captain Queenan, “Staff Sergeant Dignam has a style of his own. I’m afraid we all have to get used to it.” Wahlberg would end up being the only one to see an Oscar nomination acting.

Dicaprio was nominated that year for Best Actor for Blood Diamond instead (after being nominated for The Departed at the Golden Globes). An interesting bit of Oscar trivia is that Leonardo Dicaprio was nominated and lost plenty of times like Scorsese. But he finally won Best Actor for The Revenant in 2015 by defeating his rival from this film, Matt Damon (who was nominated for The Martian).

The Departed 15th Anniversary

To go along with the stellar cast, The Departed also features an unforgettable soundtrack. It includes classic rock songs like Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones and Comfortably Numb by Roger Waters. One could say Dropkick Murphy’s I’m Shipping Up to Boston is the film’s unofficial theme song.

When it came out in 2006, it was hailed as an instant classic. Many critics, including Richard Roeper and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, named it their top film of the year. After six nominations for Best Director, Martin Scorsese finally took home Oscar gold. The film also won Best Picture. Entertainment Weekly said Scorsese makes a bona fide classic every decade, and The Departed kept that streak alive for the 2000s. 

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Writer, native Texan, DBZ fanatic, and budding Oscars historian

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