The mobster Jackie DiNorscio is shot by his own cousin at home while in probation but survives. Later he is arrested dealing drugs and sentenced to thirty years in prison. The prosecutor Sean Kierney proposes a deal to Jackie, immediately releasing him if he testifies against the Lucchese family and other mafia families but Jackie does not accept to rat his friends that he loves. When the trial begins, he asks the judge Finestein to defend himself without the assistance of a lawyer.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The court case on which this film is based is the longest criminal case in United States judicial history. See more »
(at around 15 mins) Ben says that the "C" in RICO stands for "conspiracy." In actuality, RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. See more »
They got no case. That's why they charge you under RICO
[Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act]
. Whenever the government's got no case, they charge you under RICO.
See more »
When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)
Written by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay
Used by permission of EMI Mills Music, Inc.
Performed by Louis Prima
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under License from EMI Film & Television Music See more »
I went to a preview screening of this film, so the version I saw may not make it onto the screen. I was pretty hesitant when I heard that Mr. Diesel was in it. I have to report that he did justice to the role. OK, he was no young Al Pacino, but he was certainly better than the old Al Pacino would be in the role. And Pacino has to be the patron saint of the film. His performance could have been loud, it could have been slick, instead he adds surprising depth to an essentially obnoxious character.
The story isn't surprising, but it does carry a bit of a cultural wallop, and Deisel, using dialog drawn from actual courtroom testimony is able to convey a real sense of outrage over being societal discrimination. It is a testimony to Lumet's direction, that the film never veers into the didactic or preachy.
The real surprise to me was Annabella Sciorra. The print I saw had no credits, so I wasn't expecting her and it took me a bit to place her face. She was electrifying. She truly lit up the screen in her 5 minutes. In an extended dialog with Diesel as her husband, she goes from dispassion, to jealousy, to outrage, to sexual hunger in the most nuanced and natural performance I have seen in a long while. Sciorra is a major talent and needs to get some larger roles, maybe even a few where she isn't the Wife/Fiancée of a N.J. mobster.
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