A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
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 <email@example.com>
Once in a while you see a movie that absolutely nails a time and place, and 'A Bronx Tale' is one of those movies. This coming-of-age story about a young Italian boy growing up in the heart of Little Italy in The Bronx in the 1960's is Robert DeNiro's directorial debut, and it's an auspicious one. Everything about the story rings true; the neighborhood, the mobsters, his family and friends, the gambling; all of it. I visited 187th Street in the Bronx just 2½ months ago, and I could easily imagine everything happening there, even though the bulk of the movie was filmed in Astoria, Queens. I also saw the Broadway play starring Chazz Palmintieri less than 4 weeks ago.
The principal character is a young boy named Calagero, and the movie is the story of how his life was molded by his experiences growing up in the neighborhood. Through a serendipitous event, he is befriended by a neighborhood mobster, Sonny, who takes him under his wing. His hard-working bus-driver father opposes the relationship and confronts the gangster at one point. But Calagero's friendship with the gangster continues to flourish through his teen years. As he reaches his mid-teens in the late 60's, his racist friends lean towards troubles beyond the usual teenage rowdiness and try to drag Calagero with them. A large subplot is the interracial romance he pursues with a girl from school. It seems doomed from the outset, due to pressures from all their friends and families, and society itself. Everyone except Sonny.
It took me a few months to fully appreciate this movie. Everything about it is so *honest*. It is at times, happy, sad, funny, crazy, romantic, terrifying and nostalgic. I won't reveal the dramatic ending, but I will spill one bean. The author of this semi-autobiographical story is also named Calagero, but he's better known as 'Chazz' Palmintieri, who is also the star. It rates as one of the better movies I've ever seen. Salut, Signor DeNiro.
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