6.7/10
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13 user 5 critic

Boss of Bosses (2001)

The story of the rise and fall of the powerful New York City organized crime boss, Paul Castellano.

Director:

(as Dwight Little)

Writers:

(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Castellano
...
Gloria Olarte (as Angela Alvarado Rosa)
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Joseph O'Brien
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Andris Kurins
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Bruce Mouw
Richard Foronjy ...
Tommy Bilotti
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Piney Armone
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Neil Dellacroce
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Nina Castellano
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Carlo Gambino
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John Gotti
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Nino Gaggi
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Vito Genovese
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Young Paul Castellano
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Young Carlo Gambino
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Storyline

This film follows the life of Paul Castellano, a mobster who rose in the ranks of New York City's Gambino crime family with the help of his considerable intelligence until he was picked to become the reigning don of the family in the 1970s. Flush with his power, he charts a new course for the mob with the emphasis on a low profile approach exploiting quiet crime business like labour union control while promising to deal with murderous severity anyone he catches dealing with drugs. Yet for all the sureness of his position's authority, his own indiscretions in his personal life provide complications of his own. With this being combined with the growing restiveness of his underling's discomfort with his quiet approach and the FBI agents who are determined to bring him down, then the stage is set for a tragic fall. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people live by the rules. Paul Castellano died by them.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

19 July 2005 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Boss  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I'm Your Boogie Man
Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Co.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
How do I explain it to them?
2 December 2017 | by See all my reviews

Boss Of Bosses explores the life of Paul Castellano who for a few years the top of the heap in his chosen occupation. Chazz Palminteri gives us a good and interesting performance in the title role which follows Castellano from his boyhood on the Lower East Side to that fateful day outside Spark's Restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. An interesting irony all things considered.

It's an interesting phenomenon in that the more successful you are as a gangster the more you attract the attention of law enforcement. The seeds of your own destruction are built right into criminal activity. Castellano added a few more.

The phrase "a good earner" came into our language in the film Goodfellas. If that was the only criteria for success than Castellano may have been the most successful of all, save for Meyer Lansky who never got convicted for a major crime. Castellano when taking over the Gambino crime family thought first and foremost of earnings. He forbade drug dealing and tried to steer his crime family into the more lucrative profession of the building trades and he was making more money with much less risk.

But as he complained for what he was doing he needed a few guys from Harvard Business School. How do you explain it to guys who got into the business with their main qualifications the ability to bust a few heads? As he grew away from the rank and file Castellano set himself up for trouble.

This same story was told in films where John Gotti and Sammy Gravano were the lead characters. Now told from Castellano's point of view it has all the elements of a Greek tragedy. Palminteri is a most tragic figure indeed.

I did like the trio of FBI agents who went after Castellano. Headed by Daniel Benzali the rest of the trio included Clancy Brown and Jay Sanders. Their activities included bugging Castellano's home on Staten Island and no doubt got a few jollies from his love making to his young Hispanic mistress. Twas rumored Castellano practically went into a second childhood over her.

Paul Castellano's rise and fall are part of our gangland lore now and it's a story well told in Boss Of Bosses.


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