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Posts Tagged ‘Chazz Palminteri’

A Bronx Tale – Directed by & starring Robert De Niro

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Bronx Tale (1993)  Directed by and starring Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, who also wrote the screenplay based on his play of the same name, Lillo Brancato, Jr., Francis Capra and others.  A Bronx Tale is a bildungsroman of a film, following the life of a young Italian-American, Calogero Anello, from the age of about 8 to 16 years old, who looks up to both his father, Lorenzo (De Niro), a bus driver, and Sonny (Palmenteri), the local Mafia strong man, the two often in counterpoint, but not as entirely as one may imagine.  Though the setting is the Bronx rather than downtown New York City’s Little Italy, there are, quite understandably, echoes of Martin Scorsese‘s Italian-American mobsters, met in his iconic classic Mean Streets, and in his film Goodfellas, and so much the better.  Funny, touching and sad, filled with colorful characters and fine dialogue, A Bronx Tale is set in the 1960s, notably from 1960 to 1968, starting with a-capella do-wop and ending with, among others, the Beatles classic Come Together and passing through Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, John Coltrane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s rendition of All Along the Watchtower, a wonderful musical context, indicative of the social changes at work in the epoch.  De Niro is excellent, subtle, solid, sensitive and modest both behind (A Bronx Tale is his first film as director) and in front of the camera, Palminteri’s writing and acting are inspired as well, as is the strong yet sensitive performance of Lillo Brancato Jr., and, as the young Calogero, Francis Capra; in fact the entire cast offers commendable performances.  A Bronx Tale is a gangster film, yes, in a way, but much more a film about the choices and values at work in a young man’s life.  Definitely a must-see film. (PR)

(Note: A sad, and ironic note, Lillo Brancato Jr. is currently in prison, convicted of armed robbery, narrowly escaping murder charges.  He is up for parole in 2014. The Editors.)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro, Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel, and Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro.

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