The true story of Danny Greene, an impoverished but charismatic young Irish-American who rises to power as president of the longshoreman's local union and is charged with corruption but evades serious jail time by becoming an FBI informant. With fearless nerve he joins forces with a Mafia gangster to rise to power in Cleveland's underworld, gaining the reputation of a Robin Hood-like figure with nine lives as he escapes countless assassination attempts.Written by
Val Kilmer joined the production after he declined the opportunity to run for Governor of his home state of New Mexico. See more »
In a wide shot of the alley shown before Danny talks to the gamblers, a skyscraper with a brightly-lit DTE Energy sign at its pinnacle is visible in the background. DTE Energy didn't exist until 1995, 20 years or so after the scene takes place. See more »
I was surprised at how this was a really well told story.
It was made in 2011, but took place in the mid 70s. It is the story of Danny Greene an Irish mobster who would not sell out to the Italian mafia as they fought over turf in Cleveland.
And the Director, Jonathan Hensleigh did a great job on the direction and script. Too many who knew him, Danny had a 'good' side and a bad side and it was represented in the movie. Danny served Turkeys at holidays, saved an old lady from an explosion, yet easily planted a bomb to eliminate adversaries.
Jonathan told the story in 70's film language which has a lot of natural lighting, some hand held camera, realistic scenes, and sort of a cinema-verite feel to the movie. This made the film seem like a documentary but without the ponderous narrator and constant talking heads. Hensleigh told the story with action and character. The lighting, film stock, and camera work was reminiscent of The French Connection, a gritty 70's film.
Ray Stevenson was almost a look alike for the real Danny Greene and added to the realism of the story.
Even the fights were very realistic. There was no whack, thwack of a bamboo rod on leather as is typically overdone in movies. Those fights are a realism unmatched in cinema. a) they did not go on forever, with high kicks and constant up and down moments for the hero. b) sound of fist heating a chin was very real. Fights aren't an array of sound effects. c) most real fights end pretty quickly as in the movie, a few punches and the guy is down and you beat him up, he doesn't keep popping up like a whack a mole after being knocked out. Thank goodness the fights didn't go on forever with 'artsy' camera angles.
The feel of this movie was gritty, and matched the grittiness of the story and labor (garbage and longshoreman activities) and you didn't feel the supporting cast was acting but that you were watching a mafia spy cam on their activities. See the extra features and the movie is pretty much the real story. The supporting cast of name actors had them nicely blended into the background and not upstaging the main character. Nicely done.
I liked the incorporated newsreel footage, and forgot about all those explosions in the 70s in Cleveland. Funny how bombs are the "weapon"of choice for criminal types.
Thank goodness Scorsese did not direct this movie as it would have been over lit and much more hyped up and with those whack fist effects and other posed scenes.
And people died in these explosions, they didn't run ahead of them like Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford to "beat" the blast.
If want to learn about the historic story of mobster vs. mobster in the 70s and an icon of resistance...this is the movie.
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