10 things you probably never knew about The Departed

Martin Scorsese's crime thriller is now a decade old.

The Departed
The Departed The film is now ten years old. Image Warner Bros. Pictures

The Departed isn’t just a great Martin Scorsese – it’s a crime drama boasting arguably the best cast in recent memory.

Martin Scorsese’s crime drama told the story of mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and his planting of a mole (Matt Damon) in the Massachusetts police department. At the same time, the police assign a state trooper (Leonardo DiCaprio) to go undercover in Frank’s gang.

To celebrate this momentous milestone, here are ten things you might not know about modern-day classic The Departed.


1

Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro A Martin Scorsese favourite. Image Samir Yordamovic/Getty Images

Robert DeNiro was initially cast in the role of Frank Costello but eventually dropped out in order to direct and star in The Good Shepherd.

2

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese Accepting his Best Director Oscar for The Departed. Image Michael Caulfield/Getty Images

Martin Scorsese won his first and (so far) only Oscar for this movie. He has been nominated 8 times.

3

The Departed stars
Nicholson, Damon, DiCaprio, Wahlberg Martin Scorsese's dream team for The Departed. Image Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

That incredible cast didn’t come cheap. Roughly about 50% of the film’s $90 million budget went on the actor’s salaries.

4

Pitt and Cruise
Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in 1994 Image Ron Gallella/Getty Images

The film was originally supposed to star Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the roles that eventually went to DiCaprio and Damon.

5

Departed
Arm-breaker Ray Winstone, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio. Image Warner Bros Pictures

The F word is said a total of 237 times throughout the movie. Somehow that’s still less than half of The Wolf of Wall Street’s 569 times.

6

Jack Nicholson
Big time gangster Jack Nicholson in The Departed. Image Warner Bros Pictures

Jack Nicholson was allowed to improvise most of his scenes – including the scene where Billy and Frank talk and he pulls out the gun, DiCaprio had no idea he was going to do that.

7

Martin Scorsese at the Oscars
Oscar winner Scorsese winning his overdue Academy Award. Image Getty Images

The film won Oscars in four categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Mark Wahlberg was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but didn’t win.

8

Jack Nicholson in Departed
Cops and robbers Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon in The Departed. Image Warner Bros Pictures

Frank Costello is loosely based on real-life gangster Whitney Bulger. Bulger was on the run from the authorities when The Departed was released, he was eventually apprehended in 2011 after being on the run for 16 years.

9

Mark Wahlberg in The Departed
Quick draw Mark Wahlberg in The Departed. Image Warner Bros. Pictures

Whenever anybody is killed onscreen, Scorsese had a hidden “X” positioned somewhere in the frame as an homage to the 1932 version of Scarface which does the same thing.

10

Infernal Affairs movie
Infernal Affairs The movie that inspired The Departed. Image Media Asia Films

The film is a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller called Infernal Affairs.

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Loaded digital reporter Oli Palmer has been writing about film/TV since 2013. Follow Oli on Twitter at @olipalmer