Gangster Sonny is the big man in the Bronx neighborhood of an Italian small boy named Calogero. A shooting witnessed by the boy (nicknamed C) is the starting point of a lasting bond between the gangster and the boy. Father (bus driver Lorenzo), however, disapproves. C grows up under the wing of both men, torn between his own natural honesty and his fascination with Sonny. C's neighborhood cronies get involved in theft, use of guns, and racial fights. When C falls for an African American girl, things don't get any easier. C's leap to manhood is marked by tragedy, but also by his recognition of the many faces of love. Written by
Horacio Abeledo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Robert De Niro had trouble finding a suitable actor to portray Eddie Mush, he asked Chazz Palminteri if they could find the real Eddie Mush to play himself. They found Eddie Montanaro in the same neighborhood still losing bets. After casting him, they became worried that Eddie Mush would "jinx" the film. On Montanaro's first day of filming, it rained. See more »
The Beatles' "Come Together" is playing in Sonny's bar just before and during the "biker" scene. This song would not have been available on a jukebox, radio or anywhere else in 1968. It was not recorded until July 1969, and was not released until the fall of 1969. See more »
Here is a realistic-looking and an involving story of the street life in New York City's Bronx section in the 1950s and 1960s. Excellent acting and a good job of re-creating the era and site's atmosphere are main things going for this film. Also the soundtrack is very, very good. The main problem I have with the film is the fact that a cold-blooded killer is made to be the hero - a guy that you root for! Unbelievable.
Playing that killer is Chazz Palminteri, who outperforms the more famous and great actor and co-star Robert De Niro. Actually, the co-star is Lilo Brancoto, who was recently in the news for allegedly committing a major crime himself.
Anyway, supposedly this is Palminteri's story of his childhood and features him as a young boy and then as a 17-year-old. He has a straight father (De Niro) but looks up to the area's Mafia leader "Sonny" (Palminteri), who takes the kid under his wing for not ratting on him when he witnessed him killing someone.
It may have a bad message, and gives a couple shots at the Catholic Church along the way, but the characters and the story keeps one tuned to the screen for the full two hours. It was good to see De Niro play the honest, hard-working bus driver who wants his kid to have character and not emulate the local hoods.
This is a not a movie for those who wince at the f-word because it's used frequently. This is more of man's movie, really, with males dominating and some good advice on dating and what to look for in women! "Sonny," despite being a killer, is shown to be a caring, compassionate guy who cares about young "Calogero" (Brancoto, and earlier as a 9-year-old played by Francis Capra).
There are so many mixed messages in here - good and bad - it would make your head swim, but it is a crime film very much worth investigating.
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