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Based on a true tale of power, corruption and murder, Christopher Walken stars in the story of the largest lynching in American history...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Parkerson
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Gaspare Marchesi
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Sheriff Bill Villere
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Thomas Semmes
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Vincent Provenzano
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D.A. Luzenberg
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Giovanni Provenzano
George Martin ...
Judge Baker (as George N. Martin)
Pierrino Mascarino ...
Antonio Marchesi
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Dominic O'Malley
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Gerry Mendicino ...
Charles Mantranga
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Storyline

Based on a true tale of power, corruption and murder, Christopher Walken stars in the story of the largest lynching in American history...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of brutal violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vendetta - Das Gesetz der Gewalt  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

The Jack Daniels bottle O'Malley is pouring whiskey from is equipped with a modern day barcode. See more »

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A permanent stain on the reputation of New Orleans
30 December 2012 | by (Leesburg, FL) – See all my reviews

Theodore Roosevelt was contemptuous of races and nations he considered inferior. When a mob in New Orleans lynched a number of Italian immigrants, Roosevelt thought the United States should offer the Italian government some remuneration, but privately he wrote his sister that he thought the lynching was "rather a good thing" and told her he had said as much at a dinner with "various dago diplomats . . . all wrought up by the lynching."

This was the attitude of America in 1891. The New York Times on March 14, 1891, published an article describing the events in this film with the following headline: CHIEF HENNESSY AVENGED; ELEVEN OF HIS Italian ASSASSINS LYNCHED BY A MOB. The attitude of the whites in New Orleans can best be summed up by the comments from one businessman, "I would rather have a thousand Chinamen, than one Italian.

This information is critical to understanding the movie, the truth of which is well documented. It was not just African Americans that suffered lynching after the Civil War, many Italians suffered the same fate across the country, but mostly in the South.

Timothy Prager's script hewed very closely to Richard Gambino's book. The performances were outstanding, particularly Christopher Walken, Joaquim de Almeida, and Clancy Brown, in the short time he was on screen. Alessandro Colla and Megan McChesney provided a romantic distraction amid the chaos. This was their only screen roles, and they did very well.

I am grateful to Alan DiFiore, Mark Israe,Sue Jett,Gary Lucchesi,Tony Mark, Nicholas Pileggi, and Gary A. Randall for making this important film.


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