When Joe Valachi (Charles Bronson) has a price put on his head by Don Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura), he must take desperate steps to protect himself while in prison. An unsuccessful attempt to slit his throat puts him over the edge to break the sacred code of silence. Written by
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The syndicate. Genovese. Anastasia. Luciano. Masseria. Lucchese. Maranzano. The way they lived - The way they died.
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Did You Know?
The "Cosa Nostra", the Italian criminal syndicate in Sicily, which is also known as "The Mafia", translates into the English language as "Our Thing". Director Terence Young
commented that "actually, the word 'Mafia' is never used by Italians because it is a word used only by outsiders. Italians talk about it as the Cosa Nostra, and we show how it came into being". Young stated that the terms "Mafia" and "Cosa Nostra" were both used on the movie's sound track. Moreover, Young maintained at the time of the film's launch that Joseph Valachi was "the only time when an insider in the Cosa Nostra broke his oath and told his story". See more
The closing narration states that Vito Genovese died six months earlier than Joe Valachi. In fact, Genovese predeceased Valachi by more than two years. See more
"Cut it off!" Bender to his two henchman as they grab Gap to get a "present" for Don Vito's girlfriend.
Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant