Top 7 movies that have dealt with the mafia (the real one)

The mafia and movies have had a tenuous relationship for many years since you’ve probably seen some of the best mafia movies. But apart from what you see in the image and the subject dealt with in these works, some films have really had links with the real mafia and we invite you to discover some of them.

1. “The Godfather”: the film crew threatened by the mafia during production

The leader of one of the New York mafia families of the 70s Joe Colombo did not like the representation of Italian Americans in popular culture at all. He had already railed about the Mario Puzzo novel on which the film is based and when he learned that an adaptation was in progress, he asked his men to intimidate the team.

So the director and producer were followed by people, received words of caution and not-so-friendly phone calls. Eventually the producer agreed to meet Joe Colombo and make the changes to the script that the latter asked of him, such as removing the words “Cosa Nostra” and “Mafia” from the script because it sounded bad. The two men even became friends over time, Colombo having appreciated having the right to read the final script before filming.

2. “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”: A Fatal Friendship

Actor Jerry Orbach had played in this film of the Seventies a role which was inspired by the mafia boss Joseph Gallo. He had met the mobster at his request after the film’s release and had quickly become friends with him. Apparently the two men were eating together one day when Gallo was shot and killed, making actor Jerry Orbach an eyewitness to the murder. During the case and until his death, Orbach never gave the name or any information about the killer, as if he had truly taken a vow of omerta like real mobsters do. Disturbing.

3. “Scarface” (1932): Al Capone who comes to “advise” the team

Al Capone didn’t really like gangster films, he judged their negative vision and found that they were shit overall. When he learned that Howard Hawks was working on a movie that took some inspiration from him (and used his famous nickname) he decided to get involved in the movie without being asked.

He sent two henchmen that we don’t want to bother directly to the studio to check the script, and it was screenwriter Ben Hecht who replied to the mobsters: “if we call this film scarface it’s only for the public to believe that we’re going to talk about Capone when not at all. This is our form of racketeering called show business”. Eventually, Capone appreciated Hecht’s honesty and the movie saw him even buying a copy to watch at home.

4. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”: a film produced with dirty money

You may not know it, but if you saw this film it is completely thanks to the mafia who wanted to launder money by producing it. Besides, the profits made it possible to create a production company headed by Louis Peraino, an associate of the Colombo family (nothing to do with this Colombo, we are talking about one of the biggest mafia families).

At the time, a lot of dirty money was laundered in cinema, especially porn, and as much as you can tell the crew was very poorly paid even though the film was making big profits. The actors, for example, had received very little money and John Larroquette, who voiced the narrator in the introduction to the film, was paid with a joint rolled up by director Tobe Hooper.

5. “Les Affranchis”: an actor in the middle

Actor Tony Darrow, whose real name is Anthony Borgese (who you also saw in The Sopranos) wasn’t exactly an actor, he was a mobster. After a few years of serving the right people and befriending high-ranking organized crime figures, he had been placed at the head of a night establishment frequented by mobsters. When Martin Scorsese made his famous film, he decided to cast Tony Borgese for the role of a manager of a mafia night establishment, it can’t be invented.

6. ‘The Sopranos’: An actor with more arrests than movie roles

If you have watched the excellent series The Sopranos you may know that some actors were steeped in crime more or less before appearing on screen. This is the case of Tony Sirico whom you know as Paulie Gualtieri, an extremely important secondary character in the series.

Before becoming an actor, the gentleman accumulated nearly 30 arrests for various charges, and he had worked with the Colombo family. His only condition for doing the role when approached was that his character never become a snitch. A straight man, finally according to his own code.

7. “Mafia Blues”: De Niro who gets a little too involved in his role

In order to play a depressed mafia godfather in this comedy, Robert De Niro had decided to get heavily involved in the creation of his character, and for him it mainly involved meeting real mafiosos. So he started hanging out with Anthony Ruggiano, a man best known for his many murders in the service of the mob, like really a lot of murders. So ok, there were deaths, but thanks to this meeting, De Niro was excellent in the film, so one in the other it balances…

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