6.5/10
2,842
31 user 26 critic

The Valachi Papers (1972)

Gangster Joe Valachi is a marked man in the same joint where mob boss Don Vito Genovese is imprisoned and he's forced to co-operate with the DA in exchange for protection.

Director:

Terence Young

Writers:

Stephen Geller (screenplay), Peter Maas (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Joe Valachi
Lino Ventura ... Vito Genovese
Jill Ireland ... Maria Reina Valachi
Walter Chiari ... Gap
Joseph Wiseman ... Salvatore Maranzano
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Ryan (as Gerald O'Loughlin)
Amedeo Nazzari ... Gaetano Reina
Fausto Tozzi ... Albert Anastasia
Pupella Maggio Pupella Maggio ... Letizia Reina
Angelo Infanti Angelo Infanti ... Lucky Luciano
Guido Leontini Guido Leontini ... Tony Bender
María Baxa María Baxa ... Donna
Mario Pilar Mario Pilar ... Salierno
Franco Borelli Franco Borelli ... Buster
Alessandro Sperli Alessandro Sperli ... Giuseppe 'Joe the Boss' Masseria (as Alessandro Sperlì)
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Storyline

When Joe Valachi (Charles Bronson) has a price put on his head by Don Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura), he must take desperate steps to protect himself while in prison. An unsuccessful attempt to slit his throat puts him over the edge to break the sacred code of silence. Written by Richard Jones <rjo339@swbell.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not "as good" as THE GODFATHER . . . . It's better. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

6 January 1972 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Cosa Nostra See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Fono-Roma)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real life husband-and-wife Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland played husband-and-wife characters Joseph and Maria Reina Valachi. See more »

Goofs

At his first interrogation, Valachi states his date of birth as 1903. Valachi was born in 1904. See more »

Quotes

Tony Bender: "Cut it off!" Bender to his two henchman as they grab Gap to get a "present" for Don Vito's girlfriend.
See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive an 'X' certificate the UK cinema version received heavy cuts to scenes of violence including the castration scene, bloody shootings, and the meat hook killing. Video and DVD releases restore the cuts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bob Newhart Show: Old Man Rivers (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Polish mafia film I've seen
13 October 2007 | by birckSee all my reviews

I give this a 7 stars because it was made the same year as Godfather I, so it didn't benefit from all the film-industry wisdom that followed that production. Rather, this is a character study of one mafioso, which is a separate issue from the operatic, all-systems-GO no-holds-barred approach Coppola was able to employ in The Godfather. it's a smaller film, and should be compared to, say, Mobsters (1991), which deals with the same period and some of the same characters as V.P. Charles Bronson's Valachi is adequate. He's a workaday, uneducated, down- home mob guy, and Bronson plays him as if he were Polish, with a job that he goes to every day, where everyone talks Italian. Because it is through his eyes that we see his world, some of the other characters become more vivid, e.g., Joseph Wiseman as Salvatore Maranzano. When I compare the casting of the incomparable Joseph Wiseman in this role as opposed to, say, Michael Gambon in the same role in Mobsters, or Anthony Quinn as an equally old-school rival in the same film, I wonder: None of these actors are Italian -American or even simply Italian; why do some of them work, and the others don't? Granted that Wiseman, Quinn and Gambon are all consummate professionals and true craftsmen as actors, if anyone mentions Salvatore Maranzano and the Castellammarese gang war of 1929, the face that will come to my mind is that of Joseph Wiseman. He and Charles Bronson make this film worth seeing.


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