Tnx for letting me partake Rebecca!
Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jun 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A kid growing up on the streets of new York in the 60’s is torn between following a local gangster or his own father who wants him to steer clear of a life of crime.
My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about when it came out 26 years ago, yet never got around to seeing what it’s all about.
This is truly an exceptional film since it allows us to see and feel the daily tension that is rampant on the streets of New York between numerous warring factions during the 60’s.
The fact that this film was based on a one man play is amazing to hear because it in no way resembles one and was therefore expanded really well for the screen.
This was Robert De Niro’s directorial debut and he does a wondrous job with it.
He also plays one of the most pivotal supporting characters as the father of an impressionable young child who is constantly enchanted by the elaborate lifestyle of the gangsters of the neighborhood.
Chazz Palminteri is equally as great as De Niro here and does an excellent job with the role of being a gangster who wishes to take a young man under his wing.
Both De Niro and Palminteri need to take a back seat in this film since Lillo Brancato is the main lead even though his best scenes are with these two great actors.
We get to feel the torment that this character must face as he tries to decide which father figure is best suited to him especially when he himself questions where the line between right and wrong truly is.
This film goe sin some really nice directions as it attempts to show the kind of lifestyle that people in these neighborhoods needed to suffer through.
They are able to find ways to surprise us along the way while keeping things interesting from start to finish.
I’m completely shocked that I never saw this film before , but I’m now quite glad I finally did.
Bottom Line – Excellent film that really is able to capture the kind of daily tension on the streets between these various factions. DeNiro is superb in the role of a father trying to protect his young son who is enchanted by the life of the gangsters in the neighborhood. Palminteri is equally as great as the local crime boss who takes this young kid under his wing. The torment of this child over his two role models is shown really well and gives us a great impression of his uncertainty between right and wrong. The lead character is the kid played mostly by Brancato but his best scenes are the ones where he gets to play off of these two powerhouse actors playing characters vying for his love and respect. The story moves in some great directions as it further expands on the kind of lifestyle that is in store for someone growing up in this neighborhood and manages to surprise enough along the way to keep things quite interesting throughout. Can’t believe I never saw this beforehand! Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The story, written by Chazz Palminteri, is adapted from his autobiographical one-man play. His real name is Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri. Several studios approached him to purchase the film rights, with at least one offering one million dollars, but Palminteri refused to sell to them unless he could write the screenplay, and play the role of Sonny. None of the studios agreed as they wanted to hire another actor. Then Robert De Niro offered to go into a 50/50 partnership, with all of Palminteri’s conditions met, as long as De Niro could direct and play Lorenzo. Palminteri agreed, and their contract was sealed on a handshake. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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