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Donnie Brasco (1997)

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An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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1,901 ( 442)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lefty
... Donnie
... Sonny
... Nicky
... Paulie
... Maggie
... Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
... Dean Blandford FBI
... Sonny Red
... Bruno
... Richie Gazzo
... Dr. Berger
Walt MacPherson ... Sheriff
Ronnie Farer ... Annette
... Strip Club Owner
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Storyline

This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mafia of New York. Befriending Lefty Ruggiero, Pistone (under the name Donnie Brasco) is able to embed himself in a mafia faction led by Sonny Black. Ruggiero and Pistone become tight as the group goes about collecting money for 'the bosses'. Eventually, the group become big-time when Black himself becomes a boss; all the while, Pistone collects evidence. However, the trials and tribulations of the undercover work become more than Pistone can bear. His marriage falls apart, and to top it off, the mafia suspect a mole in the organization. The real dilemma is afforded to Pistone, who knows if he walks away from the mafia, Ruggiero will be the one punished. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1978, the US government waged a war against organized crime. One man was left behind the lines. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong graphic violence, pervasive strong language and brief nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brasco  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,660,216, 2 March 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,909,762

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$124,909,762
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp spent months with the real Joseph D. Pistone before shooting. Most of the time, they lifted weights together. See more »

Goofs

When Donnie is first introduced to the wise guys standing out in the cold, a Lincoln Town Car pulls up. When it stops, it's a Lincoln Mark 6. See more »

Quotes

[Lefty is banging a parking meter very loudly with a hammer, on a table in a bar]
Sonny Black: Hey, will you fuckin' stop that?
Lefty: How am I gonna get this thing open?
[looks back at the meter]
Lefty: Open Sesame!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Have I Got News for You: Episode #49.8 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart Of Glass
(1975)
Written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
Performed by Blondie
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, A Division of EMI
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Fergeddaboudid!"
3 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

For a movie that's only three years old Donnie Brasco isn't something people talk about all that much. Not exactly setting the box office alight, it's further proof that great pictures don't always translate into great financial concerns.

Maybe it's the nondescript title - "Donnie Brasco" is hardly awe-inspiring and gives little indication of what the film is about. It turns out Donnie is the undercover name for Joe Pistone (Depp), a FBI agent investigating the Mafia. He makes a connection with "Lefty" (Pacino), which, while his initial integration into the group seems to lack conviction, soon builds up a watchable father-son relationship. Criticisms of the film - such as the forced nature of Pistone's behaviour becoming absorbed into the Mafia mindset - are largely irrelevant as this is a "based on a true story" outing.

Engrossing and eminently watchable, with first-rate lead performances and able back-up from Michael Madsen, this is an overlooked and extremely worthwhile film. The only complaint? Depp's first scenes, wearing the most fake-looking moustache in the history of the movies. But it detracts little from what is a highly skilled picture. So Fergeddaboudid!


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