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

Director Terence Young once said that "The Godfather (1972) is the most expensive trailer ever made - a trailer for our film [The Valachi Papers (1972)]! Young added that "The Valachi Papers (1972) is no 'spin-off' trying to cash in on the phenomenal success of The Godfather (1972)". Young said, in comparison to that movie, that for this film, "we are really much closer to The French Connection (1971). We are the other side of that coin - you could call us 'The Italian Connection'!". See more »

Goofs

During a car chase scene, the cameras back out too far from the antique cars, and you can see modern (circa late 60's - early 70's)cars in the street with them. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bob Newhart Show: Old Man Rivers (1973) 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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