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John Gotti, the head of a small New York mafia crew breaks a few of the old family rules. He rises to become the head of the Gambino family and the most well-known mafia boss in America. He is known as the Dapper Don for his expensive taste in suits, and the Teflon Don because none of the FBI charges against him will stick. Life is good, but suspicion creeps in, and greed, rule-breaking and his high public profile all threaten to topple him. Written by
Brian Rawnsley <email@example.com>
This movie features two actors with real life associations to real New York mobsters: Marc Lawrence, who portrays Carlo Gambino, was friends with Charles "Lucky" Luciano. He would visit him in Italy where Lucky was deported to after his release from prison. And Anthony Quinn, who portrays Neil Dellacroce, was friends with Frank Costello (Lucky's former under boss) after Costello had retired from the mob. See more »
When Frank DeCicco's car is blown up it is across the street, but it later appears in front of the club. See more »
Story's the same but the players change. Gangsters battle their way to fortune - and for Gotti, some fame, and ultimately the fortune weakens ties and sows doubt about motives and loyalty. Gotti was a hard-working, charming mobster and his commitment took him to the top of the Gambino crime family but when you get to the top, you have to be the most rational to stay there for a long time. Missteps can easily let in who you thought were your allies and there's a reason people aren't mob bosses long.
The film features great acting by Armando Assante, William Forsythe, and Anthony Quinn as the head of the Gambino family. Quinn owns the scenes he is in. Assante makes the Teflon Don charming but also so vain that little slights set him off. Forsythe is electric and the air of menace around him is practically a character in and of itself.
As always, it takes good writing to bring an exciting story to the screen and so writers Gene Mustain, Jerry Capeci, and Steve Shagan deserve credit for showing the excesses of the life of the Teflon Don and for not stinting on the brutality of life as a mafioso. The wealth and power that mob bosses get ultimately does them in as they start to believe their own legends. Mustain, Capeci, and Shagan show the hard work but also the violence that brings them down hard.
Gotti ruled NYC for a while and as a kid at the time I heard his name a lot. This film is a good primer for learning about the life and times of John Gotti.
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