The Bronx, New York, 1960. 9-year-old Calogero grows up admiring and fascinated by the local mob boss, Sonny. Calogero's father, Lorenzo, wants to have nothing to do with the mob and does his best to keep his son away from Sonny and mob business. However, it may prove a losing battle.Written by
The street in front of the Chez Bippy bar is 30th Avenue in Astoria Queens, New York. Now called the American Sports Center, and is located at 4402 30th Avenue, Astoria, New York 11103. See more »
After Lorenzo gives Sonny the money back and leaves the bar and Calogero asks where his money is Lorenzo hits Calogero, the voice-over of "C" says that was the last time his father spoke to Sonny. The last time Lorenzo speaks to Sonny is after "C" returns the car and then Sony slaps "C" and Lorenzo confronts Sonny about why he hit his son. See more »
Here is a realistic-looking and an involving story of the street life in New York City's Bronx section in the 1950s and 1960s. Excellent acting and a good job of re-creating the era and site's atmosphere are main things going for this film. Also the soundtrack is very, very good. The main problem I have with the film is the fact that a cold-blooded killer is made to be the hero - a guy that you root for! Unbelievable.
Playing that killer is Chazz Palminteri, who outperforms the more famous and great actor and co-star Robert De Niro. Actually, the co-star is Lilo Brancoto, who was recently in the news for allegedly committing a major crime himself.
Anyway, supposedly this is Palminteri's story of his childhood and features him as a young boy and then as a 17-year-old. He has a straight father (De Niro) but looks up to the area's Mafia leader "Sonny" (Palminteri), who takes the kid under his wing for not ratting on him when he witnessed him killing someone.
It may have a bad message, and gives a couple shots at the Catholic Church along the way, but the characters and the story keeps one tuned to the screen for the full two hours. It was good to see De Niro play the honest, hard-working bus driver who wants his kid to have character and not emulate the local hoods.
This is a not a movie for those who wince at the f-word because it's used frequently. This is more of man's movie, really, with males dominating and some good advice on dating and what to look for in women! "Sonny," despite being a killer, is shown to be a caring, compassionate guy who cares about young "Calogero" (Brancoto, and earlier as a 9-year-old played by Francis Capra).
There are so many mixed messages in here - good and bad - it would make your head swim, but it is a crime film very much worth investigating.
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