Witness to the Mob (1998)
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Audience Reviews for Witness to the Mob
Boss of Bosses told us the story of Paul Castalano, Gotti profiled the Dapper Don, and finally Witness To The Mob is the story of mob enforcer, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. Unlike the other two films, for some inexplicable reason, Witness To The Mob was made for network television. While the film turned out to be very accurate, it was also twice as long as the other two and lacked the typical violence associated with a mafia movie. Sammy Gravano was John Gotti's second in charge, an enforcer, who eventually turned states evidence and testified against the Mob. He was an interesting guy, but should his bio film really be longer and more in depth than that of John Gotti's? NYPD Blue's Nicholas Turturro stars and while his performance didn't blow me away, he wasn't nearly as bad as I thought he would be. The story is further given credibility by it's supporting cast, which is the same people you've seen in every mafia movie since the late 80s. There were actually seven members of the Sopranos cast, who had some type of part in this film. It's not surprising, as some guys just have the right look and do mafia type films almost exclusively. Witness To The Mob is very accurate and has the typical large cast associated with these films, but being over three hours long and made for TV, really hurts a film like this. You can make the case that the language and violence aren't really necessary to the story, but I really felt like it took a lot of credibility away from the film. How believable is a gangster that constantly says "freaking?" It was interesting to see things from The Bull's point of view, but the producers of this film really should have held out for a cable or direct to video deal, in order to make this type of film what it should be, raw and emotional.
Though it sometimes shows its' limitations of being made to premiere on network TV (it's not quite Goodfellas), Witness to the Mob is still a pretty effective portrayal of John Gotti, Sammy Gravano, and the Gambino crime family. The running time of 3 hours allowed the story time to develop. The cast reads as a who's who of the later Sopranos series. Tom Sizemore was fantastic as John Gotti, a boastful egomaniac. I wasn't sold on the performance of Nicholas Turturro as Sammy "the bull" Gravano, it was too positive, undoubtedly arising out of the perceived need for a protagonist. The real Gravano was certainly a sociopath.
A made for TV movie that should have went to the silver screen...Sammy the Bull's story told and narrated as of what happened to John Gotti leading up to his FINAL trial. Well narrated, Well paced...a heck of alot of stars in this....See it it is a winner!
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