The Funeral is a 1996 movie about gangsters and the violent, nasty, and brutish lives they lead. The gangsters themselves are violent, nasty, and brutish. And if there's any take-away from this film, it's contained in the old adage, "He that lives by the sword, dies by the sword." It's New York. The year is 1939. The Tempio brothers work for the mob, and don't have an issue with committing hideous acts of violence. The eldest, Ray (Christopher Walken), is a model of self-control and rational decision-making. The middle brother, Chez (Chris Penn), suffers from serious anger-management issues; his wife, Clara (Isabella Rosselini), fears for his sanity. The kid brother, Johnny (Vincent Gallo), is the most thoughtful of the three; he attends Socialist meetings and is seriously concerned about the rights of workers to organize in unions.
The Funeral of this film's title is that of Johnny, who is murdered by a gangster named Gaspare (Benicio del Toro). Johnny's funeral forms the backdrop for a series of flashbacks that demonstrate just how these men reached the levels of violence and paranoia at which they live. As the film moves into the present, Ray and Chez commit themselves to seeking violent vengeance on their brother's murderer.