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419077.  Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:24 pm Reply with quote

Not strictly the film, but gangsters also.

The book Wiseguys on which the film Goodfellas was based, tells the life story of Henry Hill, former New York mafia member, associate of the Lucchese family, one of New York's 'five families' who controlled the organised crime in the city.

Hill started his mafia associations at around age 12 when he worked at Tuddy Vario's cabstand across the street from where he lived. Tuddy was the brother of 'Paulie' Vario, a Caporegime - or high ranking member with their own 'crew' - in the Lucchese family. Paulie Vario and Jimmy Burke - another Lucchese family associate - controlled pretty much the whole of Brooklyn and Long Island crime, and had cops, judges, politicians in their pay. They also, along with the Gambino family, had control of JFK airport and regularly hi jacked vehicles carrying valuable goods to and from the airport, working on tip offs from airport workers in their pay.

Hill planned and carried out the Air France robbery from JFK in 1969, taking $420k in untraceable notes that had been exchanged for foreign currency by Americans abroad and was being brought back into the country to be deposited in banks.

In 1978 Jimmy Burke planned the Lufthansa heist at JFK. The robbery was the largest on US soil at the time, with nearly $6 million in cash and jewels being taken. Afterwards, many of those involved with the robbery were killed by Burke, and the FBI started tracking Burke and Vario.
Hill had not taken part in the robbery, but knew what was being planned, and after some persuasion by the FBI, realised Burke was likely to come after him too.

In 1980, after being arrested in connection with the Lufthansa heist, Hill turned informer for the FBI and entered the witness protection programme - not entirely sucessfully. He did help put many mob members behind bars through his testimonies, and in 2001 'went public' again in an attempt to go straight (again, not entirely sucessful)

The Steve Martin film My Blue Heaven is loosely based on Hill's experiences in the witness protection programme, and Hill's book Gangsters and Goodfellas tells the story of life in the programme.

429728.  Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Gang culture is quite an interesting subject.

In most countries criminal coteries tend to be geographically limited (although they may gain national notoriety). The Kray/Richardson's for instance were exclusively London based.

Where there's a political element the geographical area can extend and the boundaries between violent political protest and pure lawlessness become blurred - the IRA, RAF (Baader-Meinhof), Red Brigades, ETA, FARC etc.

But only in the US (as far as I know) is there a national criminal organisation without specific political goals (other than self-serving goals).

429810.  Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:01 am Reply with quote

Triad? Yakuza?

430334.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:45 am Reply with quote

Goodfellas shares 27 actors with the series The Sopranos.

430364.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:54 am Reply with quote

Maybe they're not actors, but real mafiosi*.

*Just in case this offends any real mafia folk, my name is bobwilson. ;)

430390.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:26 am Reply with quote

One of the charming gentlemen that Mr Fry met in one of New York's legitimate businessmen's social clubs said that he had appeared in several films and television programmes on exactly that basis - so maybe.

430601.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:24 pm Reply with quote

Wiki wrote:
Before turning to acting, Tony Sirico was reportedly a mob associate of the Colombo crime family serving under Carmine "Junior" Persico and had been arrested twenty-eight times.

430631.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:48 pm Reply with quote

ahem samivel - I heard that ;(

430705.  Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:43 pm Reply with quote

What? I never said nuffink, guvner.


1111782.  Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:48 am Reply with quote

Pre-spam, methinks.

1111784.  Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:49 am Reply with quote

Which component? The spices or the pig?


1111799.  Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:22 pm Reply with quote

Whichever bit some other mod than me deleted :-)


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