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Donnie Brasco (1997)

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An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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1,894 ( 86)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
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Walt MacPherson ...
Ronnie Farer ...
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Storyline

This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mafia of New York. Befriending Lefty Ruggiero, Pistone (under the name Donnie Brasco) is able to embed himself in a mafia faction led by Sonny Black. Ruggiero and Pistone become tight as the group goes about collecting money for 'the bosses'. Eventually, the group become big-time when Black himself becomes a boss; all the while, Pistone collects evidence. However, the trials and tribulations of the undercover work become more than Pistone can bear. His marriage falls apart, and to top it off, the mafia suspect a mole in the organization. The real dilemma is afforded to Pistone, who knows if he walks away from the mafia, Ruggiero will be the one punished. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mafia | fbi | money | racial slur | singer | See All (182) »

Taglines:

Donnie Brasco. Based On A True Story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong graphic violence, pervasive strong language and brief nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brasco  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,660,216 (USA) (28 February 1997)

Gross:

$41,954,997 (USA) (13 June 1997)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to writer Paul Attanasio, Johnny Depp's 1994 arrest for destroying a hotel room helped him get cast. People thought he was "dark and dangerous." See more »

Goofs

When Donnie first visits Lefty at his apartment, Lefty is watching a 1990s TV surrounded by blank VHS tapes. See more »

Quotes

Lefty Ruggiero: Anywhere you go, all around the world, all the best cooks are men.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Air Doll (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Roman Guitar
Written by Bruno Cherubini (as Bruno), Eldo Di Lazzaro (as Di Lazarro)
Performed by Lou Monte
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superb mafia drama. Deeper, and rings truer than most.

First rate mafia drama connects on a deeper level than most. Its cinematography may not have the moody, noirish atmosphere that makes The Godfather so appealing, but despite its slick Hollywood look, it seems to attain such penetrating truth (this, perhaps, has a little to do with its being based on a book by the real life main character). The central situation of the aging mafia man taking under his confidence and vouching for an undercover FBI agent, and that a bond forms between the two men is a great one. The performances are absolutely superb. Particularly the two men who the story centres on, Joe Pistone, a.k.a Donnie Brasco (Johnny Depp, going for realism in this role, is incredible. It begins and ends with a closeup of his eyes - this movie would be nothing without him) and mafia man "Lefty" (Pacino, who gives us one of his finest characterisations - best bit, his close-up after Donnie is asked to shake hands by a certain character on a certain boat). The vividness of the characters in this movie seems to owe a great deal to the superb screenplay (again, credit to the real-life source material). Recurring catch-phrases make it easy for us to get to know characters, and wonderful little touches give the story such a resonance, and make it ring true: like Lefty's smoking inside the car when driving with Brasco and accusing Brasco of trying to kill him with the draft when he opens a window to let some smoke out, and the portrait of Lefty, the opposite of how we imagine a mafia veteran, as a vulnerable, often emotional man.

Deserves at least four stars. Recommended to anyone (except, obviously kids, for a few scenes unsuitable to them).


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Explain why the FBI bosses visited the pool room near the end frogca
Anybody feel sorry for Lefty? mastersslave74
A few questions codeinemassacre
Why go to your death? ladydesdemonna
Pacino or Depp? sobol4ever-1
in the begining of the movie,,, just wondering ransid86
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