Some DVD Info and Clarification
NCMovie Fan | 01/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Against the information provided here by Amazon, the DVD packaging and on-screen info give the rating of this film as PG (not R). There is some brief nudity and some mild swearing. Maltin's movie guide indicates the film was originally released with an R rating, but was subsequently edited to the 125 min. PG rated version featured here. The disc is widescreen anamorphic as well, not full screen as noted by Amazon (the packaging also only notes "widescreen".)"
A genuine effort in telling a true story in America
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 11/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE VALACHI PAPERS (1972) with the well known star, the late CHARLES
BRONSON, will interest those viewers with a passing curiosity on
crime phenomena, as well as fans of that actor and those interested
in the historical undercurrents of America, in matters of the
perpetual cat-and-mouse game of those operating within the legal
framework, with large sums of money at stake from commercial
operations, being the cops and robbers.
The picture is long in playing time.
The final product shows high filming quality, with unusual clarity
of the dialogs and script, a logical flow in which the story
unfolds (easy to understand.)
This movie is also not for everyone, or for the casual viewer,
considering the often vicious, homicidal behavior of the individuals
participating in the gang activities ( pistol shootouts, rub outs,
It also shows the paradox of 1st and 2nd generation Italians in
America, struggling for supreme power and financial controls
over various revenue generating rackets (protection, alcohol,
commodities, etc.) in their own ethnic group, while remaining
proud of their cultural and other heritage.
The music is tastefully chosen, and the director indeed was capable
and brave enough to show some more private, realistic and humanistic
moments by the gang members, which tends to underline the
biographical, and true nature of the story told within, vs. the
fantasy tales, and robotic nonsensical behavior too often seen in
movies released post 1990's.
There is an admirable effort in portraying scenes at the turn of the
century, and the decades following WWII, with proper automobiles,
street scenes, clothes worn by the gangsters.
Overall, this picture is a genuine effort in telling the story of a
mob family from the perspective of a low-level member who managed to
live to tell his story to the world."
Confessions of a hitman
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 01/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Valachi Papers was shot at a time when common wisdom had it that gangster pictures were box-office poison, so the very American tale of Charles Bronson's Cosa Nostra soldier spilling the beans on his life in the mob in return for protection by the Feds ended up being shot at Dinocitta in Italy with French money and an English director (Terence Young, reunited with Dr No villains Joseph Wiseman - wonderfully hammy here - and Anthony Dawson) only to end up being discounted as a Godfather ripoff when Coppola's film became a surprise huge hit. Based on Joe Valachi's Grand Jury testimony that lifted the veil on the way the mob worked and was organized after years of denial of its very existence by J. Edgar Hoover, it's a well-crafted and enjoyable saga with none of the operatic grandeur that Coppola, Leone and De Palma would bring to the genre. There's not much in the way of historical or social context, more a catalog of greatest hits and internecine feuding, but it's done with some flair and is surprisingly entertaining. Bronson makes a good lead, with decent support from Walter Chiari and Lino Ventura, both surprisingly well dubbed. Unfortunately the dire Mrs Bronson, Jill Ireland, is along too, but she's not in it enough to do any damage.
Charles Bronson telling a True Story
Jerome E. Owens | 05/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent movie I saw when it came out and again 35 years later.It's amazeing how close to the facts they made this flick.In my memory the special effects were better,lol,but the story is good.the special effects are on a par with the Gunsmoke series.I give it a A+ for story content and a B for the Acting,and another B for the effects,because they were state of the art. Good movie if you want to see a REAL-LIFE MAFIA STORY."