Based on the book Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley, this movie loosely tells the story of Pistone (Johnny Depp), an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family under the alias Donnie Brasco by gaining the trust of aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino).
The intriguing thing about the movie is that as Pistone/Donnie disappears into the world of crime, he wonders if he’s even a federal agent any longer. He also realizes that his actions will cause the death of Ruggiero, a man who he has come to consider a friend.
By the end, the Donnie Brasco operation got the law over 200 indictments and 100 convictions. Today, Pistone lives with his wife under an assumed name in an undisclosed location — with a $500,000 open contract for his death — and continues to consult for the government and Hollywood.
While Lefty takes off his jewelry and tells his wife, “If it was going to be anyone, I’m glad it was him,” the real life Lefty was arrested by the FBI on the way to his own murder. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and running an illegal gambling operation. He received early parole in 1992 after he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died in 1994.
It’s wild that a gangster movie was directed by the same man who made Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mike Newell. The script was written by Paul Attansio, who also wrote Sphere, Disclosure, The Sum of All Fear, Quiz Show and The Good German.
Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1990s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Housesitter, White Palace, One True Thing, The Devil’s Own, The Matchmaker, Anaconda, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Freshman and The Deep End of the Ocean. You can get it from Deep Discount.