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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maria Reina Valachi
Walter Chiari ...
Gap
...
...
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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 January 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cosa Nostra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production suddenly ended its New York leg of the production earlier than scheduled to complete the rest of the filming in Italy. Of the production's move from New York to Italy, director Terence Young said: "We had two units working five hours a day, and finished our five weeks' New York Schedule in three. We were very well treated by the New YorkIitalians . . . [but] . . . It was disturbing to have to leave New York and move to Rome earlier than we had planned. In our eighteen days on location we had shot what we had scheduled for approximately four weeks. I had been hoping we could shoot there for about another ten days. But this is a crazy business we're in. As soon as we made the move to Rome, I began to find special virtues in having made the change". See more »

Goofs

During the chase scene which takes place during the 1920s in New York, a car goes into the river and in the background the twin towers of the World Trade Center under construction can be clearly seen. This is one of the most famous period reconstruction mistakes in film history. See more »

Quotes

Tony Bender: "Cut it off!" Bender to his two henchman as they grab Gap to get a "present" for Don Vito's girlfriend.
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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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