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The Valachi Papers (1972)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  6 January 1972 (France)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,750 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 11 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maria Reina Valachi
Walter Chiari ...
Gap
...
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ...
Ryan (as Gerald O'Loughlin)
Amedeo Nazzari ...
Gaetano Reina
Fausto Tozzi ...
Pupella Maggio ...
Letizia Reina
Angelo Infanti ...
Guido Leontini ...
Tony Bender
María Baxa ...
Donna
Mario Pilar ...
Salierno
Franco Borelli ...
Buster
Alessandro Sperli ...
Giuseppe 'Joe the Boss' Masseria (as Alessandro Sperlì)
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Storyline

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 Richard Jones <rjo339@swbell.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The syndicate. Genovese. Anastasia. Luciano. Masseria. Lucchese. Maranzano. The way they lived - The way they died. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 January 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cosa Nostra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In return for using the penitentiary grounds of the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, the production made a large contribution to the prison's recreation fund. See more »

Goofs

After Maranzano's death, when Valachi is offered a hideout in the attic, during the conversation between him and the mother of the deceased, the window down the middle is seen to be a shade of black, but the next scene you find that there is daylight gleaming through it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ruth Gordon/Chuck Berry (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Confessions of a hit-man
22 January 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Valachi Papers was shot at a time when common wisdom had it that gangster pictures were box-office poison, so the very American tale of Charles Bronson's Cosa Nostra soldier spilling the beans on his life in the mob in return for protection by the Feds ended up being shot at Dinocitta in Italy with French money and an English director (Terence Young, reunited with Dr No villains Joseph Wiseman – wonderfully hammy here - and Anthony Dawson) only to end up being discounted as a Godfather ripoff when Coppola's film became a surprise huge hit. Based on Joe Valachi's congressional committee testimony that lifted the veil on the way the mob worked and was organised after years of denial of its very existence by J. Edgar Hoover, it's a well-crafted and enjoyable saga with none of the operatic grandeur that Coppola, Leone and De Palma would bring to the genre. There's not much in the way of historical or social context, more a catalogue of hits and internecine feuding, but it's done with some flair and is surprisingly entertaining. Bronson makes a good lead, with decent support from Walter Chiari and Lino Ventura, both surprisingly well dubbed. Unfortunately the dire Mrs Bronson, Jill Ireland, is along too, but she's not in it enough to do any damage.

Cinema Club's UK widescreen transfer and Sony's US DVD are the only two versions worth picking up, however.


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