Many Saints of Newark: 6 Movies to Watch If You Enjoyed The Sopranos Prequel - Bliteoc

Many Saints of Newark: 6 Movies to Watch If You Enjoyed The Sopranos Prequel

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The Sopranos is widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time. The HBO crime drama tells the story of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), an Italian-American mobster in New Jersey who struggles with the responsibilities of being a husband, father and the leader of a powerful crime family. The origins of the Soprano family’s involvement in Mafia life are explored in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film that takes a look at the DiMeo crime family. Here are some more films that explore the intricacies of family responsibility and betrayal by the men behind the scenes of the Mafia in the mid-to-late 20th century.

Goodfellas Explores The Brutality And Glamor Of Crime Family Life

Much like Tony Soprano, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) became involved in a life of crime at a young age. Based on the memoir Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, Goodfellas chronicles the true story of Hill’s life as a teenager in the mob and his subsequent rise to power. Director Martin Scorsese taps into the brutality and the glamor of life within a crime family, as well as the devastating effects that it can have on familial relationships. The 1990 film earned Joe Pesci an Academy Award for his outstanding portrayal of the unhinged gangster Tommy Devito.

The Godfather Is A Classic Mobster Film

Francis Ford Coppola’s classic mobster trilogy is a must-see for fans of Mafia family films. Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is in charge of the Corleone crime family, one of the Five Families running New York in the 1940s. Al Pacino takes the role of Michael Corleone, the Don’s youngest son who goes from having no interest in Mafia life to rapidly following in his father’s footsteps as a merciless Mafia boss. The Godfather dramatizes Italian-American culture, the importance of loyalty to family, and the frightful consequences of getting on the bad side of a mob leader.

Carlito’s Way Features A Puerto Rican Criminal

Carlito’s Way shifts away from the classic Italian-American Mafia trope and instead follows Puerto Rican criminal Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) following his release from prison. Carlito chooses to leave his life of crime behind but finds this is much more difficult than he thought. His attempts to make the right choices are frequently tested as he struggles to let go of his past and has his patience tested by a brash young gangster played by John Leguizamo. The film also touches on Carlito’s romantic relationship with a dancer named Gail (Penelope Ann Miller) and the difficulties they face individually while trying to make their relationship work.

The Irishman Taps Into A True Story

Also inspired by a true story, The Irishman reunites Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a contract killer for a crime family. Murder, betrayal and corruption take center stage as Sheeran gets more involved with the Bufalino crime family and the infamous Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), who wields power over a local labor union. The Irishman was made using a digital de-aging technique that allowed De Niro, Pesci and Pacino to play both younger and older versions of themselves rather than casting entirely different actors for flashback scenes.

A Bronx Tale Mixes Crime With A Coming-Of-Age Tale

De Niro made his directorial debut with the coming-of-age film A Bronx Tale in 1993. Based in the 1960s, the film tells the story of Calogero (Lillo Brancato, Jr.), a boy who becomes part of a Mafia crew at a young age after witnessing local crime boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri) murder another man. Racial tensions arise as Calogero falls for an African-American girl, which ignites the ongoing hostility between the African-American and Italian-American communities in the Bronx. The corruption of innocence and relationships between fathers and sons are key themes in this film as Calogero attempts to balance his personal life with the dangerous family that he has chosen.

Donnie Brasco Follows An Undercover Agent Joining A Crime Family

The 1997 film Donnie Brasco finds undercover agent Joseph Pistone (Johnny Depp) joining the Bonanno crime family under the alias Donnie Brasco. He gains favor from veteran gangster Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino), who takes “Donnie” under his wing and unknowingly provides him with plenty of information about New York mob activity. Complications arise when Pistone becomes attached to his new life in the Mafia and begins to neglect his wife and family. This nail-biter of a film explores temptation as Pistone struggles with the fine line between being an undercover cop and indulging in a thrilling life of crime.

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