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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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2,343 ( 148)
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

Al Pacino loved being able to use all of the rich Mafia slang throughout the film. Writer Paul Attanasio captured mob dialect so accurately, because he had Joseph D. Pistone's wire taps. See more »

Goofs

When Sonny hits Nicky (after Nicky makes the "parking meters" remark), he clearly punches him in the forehead, but Nicky grabs his nose as if he's been hit there. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [to Donnie, sitting on the couch in his home] I got cancer of the prick.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Hit (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Latin One
(1976)
Written by Robert Espinosa, Andre Baeza, Michael Lespron, Edgar Rodriguez,
Jerome Salas and Brian Magness
Performed by El Chicano
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gangster movie No. 1
26 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

In a world filled with overheated, and frequently overpraised, gangster movies, it seems to me that Mike Newell's 'Donnie Brasco', the story of a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate the mob, is arguably overlooked. Based on real life events, it contains great performances from Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, a complex but coherent plot, addresses universal themes (divided loyalties, the evolution of human relationships and behaviour) and the ending is genuinely moving. Perhaps it's not fast-paced enough for devotees of the genre; more likely it "fails" this audience for its very success in portraying the mafia as fundamentally pathetic, whereas most gangster pictures at least partly buy into the glamorous myth. But for me, this a superior film to Scorcese's 'Goodfellas', with a faint note of very black comedy that sounds behind the slaughter. Recommended.


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