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
Both Lillo Brancato, who plays Calogero, & Katherine Narducci, who played his mother, starred in The Sopranos (1999). See more »
When C gives Sonny his car back after his date it is late at night. A few minutes later when he is arguing with his father in his bedroom there is daylight coming through the window.
It is not "sunlight" coming through the window into the bedroom as C speaks with his father. It is actually white or "incandescent" light coming though the window, into the room. The white colored light emanates from the many streetlights, lining the curbs, that are mere feet from the building/windows. Besides the tall streetlights lining the curbs, there are also smaller light fixtures, with the same colored bulbs, hanging at minimum intervals from the individual building themselves. See more »
He's wrong, it don't take much strength to pull a trigger but try getting up every morning day after day and work for a living, let's see him try that, then we'll see who the real tough guy is, the working man is the tough guy, your father's the tough guy!
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Oh, what a wonderfully small and intricate film this is! How I love and cherish the world I am pulled into every time I see this film. Robert De Niro's directorial debut proves strong and lively, evidenced by how he stuck to a topic close to home; a young, impressionable Italian kid growing up little Italy in the late 60's. As the naive protagonist Calogero, or 'C' as he is nicknamed, Lillo Brancato gives a great performance as a young man torn between the working-class honesty displayed by his strict father and the ruthless world of organized crime demonstrated by the neighborhood crime boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri adapted his own play and cast himself as a burly, laid back, world weary know-it-all).
One key element that snags you in is the narration. Like equally personal films of its stature (Scorsese's gangster trilogy, "Taxi Driver," "Election," "Bringing Out The Dead", "SLC Punk!"), the voice-over guiding brings you in even further into the already detailed landscape and story presented. I don't really consider this a mafia movie, it's much more of a coming-of-age tale. However, the background De Niro provides is so intimate and thorough that you wish for another film chronicling the life of Sonny.
I have to admit that, for a debut, De Niro's judicious use of music seemed to rival that of Spike or Scorsese in turns of effectiveness. First of all, De Niro kept a much more grass roots approach, sticking to doo-wop, soul, rock, "mobster pop" (Dean or Frank) and a little jazz. Whereas Scorsese will use anything at his disposal ("Casino" had two Devo tunes in it), De Niro really seems to search for what really makes the scene. My favorite is the scoring of a street fight scene to "Nights In White Satin"... De Niro must of knew before we did it was all in the violins. De Niro said he knew this type of story had been done before and didn't want to repeat anything, so he viewed Scorsese's mobster trilogy to see what already had been done. It's obvious he paid attention.
Even De Niro himself knows a little Italy gangster film is not complete with at least a surprise-ending cameo from you know who...
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