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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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2,086 ( 57)
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:

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:

 »
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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Mike Newell, Lefty's leisure suit always got a big laugh from audiences. Al Pacino's clothes show that he's a little "no account guy that thinks he's a big deal." See more »

Goofs

During one of Pistone's meetings with other FBI agents at Katz's Deli, several Hasidim are at the restaurant. Katz's is not kosher, so Hasidim would never eat there. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [sees the front page of a newspaper documenting another crime boss was murdered, to Donnie while in his car] I never hear from my boss until he dies, then my whole life gets turned upside down!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Girls: Atom Bomb (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

What Goes Up
(1978)
Written by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons
Performed by The Alan Parsons Project
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
one scene really gives us a leg up on everything
25 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

On one level, "Donnie Brasco" might just look like another mafia movie. But it's not. It tells the story of FBI agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp), who in the late 1970s was hired to infiltrate the mafia. So, he got acquainted with hit-man Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero (Al Pacino). But lo and behold, Joe got too much into the mafia lifestyle, to the point where it dominated his life and kept him from his family. And no one ended up with a very good reward at the end.

Both Depp and Pacino are about as intense as we expect them to be, with good support from Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche and Zeljko Ivanek. With his hair all greased back, Depp looks like the ultimate mafioso. I should identify that there are two scenes that will probably make your skin crawl: the leg scene, and what they do to the Japanese waiter.

But don't get me wrong. This is a really good movie. It's certainly a less glamorized view of mafia life than most of Al Pacino's movies, and Johnny Depp was certainly showing the same flair for acting that he has brought to the screen for the past 16 years. Very well done.


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