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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.

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

Joseph D. Pistone (book), Richard Woodley (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,647 ( 110)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Lefty
Johnny Depp ... Donnie
Michael Madsen ... Sonny
Bruno Kirby ... Nicky
James Russo ... Paulie
Anne Heche ... Maggie
Zeljko Ivanek ... Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
Gerry Becker ... Dean Blandford FBI
Robert Miano ... Sonny Red
Brian Tarantina ... Bruno
Rocco Sisto ... Richie Gazzo
Zach Grenier ... Dr. Berger
Walt MacPherson Walt MacPherson ... Sheriff
Ronnie Farer Ronnie Farer ... Annette
Terry Serpico ... 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:

Donnie Brasco. Based On A True Story. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brasco See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's version of "Lefty" Ruggiero is an amalgam of the real "Lefty" and the real "Sonny Black" Napolitano. See more »

Goofs

Pistone's hair changes between kissing his wife and going up the stairs. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [to Donnie, while sitting in his living room] A guy like you don't touch a made guy, you know what I did yesterday? I went in front of the skippers, I'm going on the record with you, nobody can touch you now, I'm your man, Jesus Christ couldn't touch you because I represent you, keep your nose clean, be a good earner follow the rules, and who knows? Maybe one day they open the books you get straightened out, become a wise guy, a made guy, I'd die with you Donnie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Robert De Niro/Destiny's Child (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

A Stranger on Earth
(1964)
Written by Sid Feller and Rick Ward
Performed by Dinah Washington
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, A Division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Fergeddaboudid!"
3 July 2000 | by The_Movie_CatSee 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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