Friday, February 18, 2011

Donnie Brasco Gets Introduced To Giuseppe Verdi

Orchestra dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Maestro Myung-Whun Chung
Watching Donnie Brasco tonight on DVD, I couldn't wait to see where the producers were going to insert an opera clip into the soundtrack for real Italian drama. Within the first 30 minutes of the movie, there is a scene in a barbershop and the background music is the chorus of the Hebrew slaves "Va Pensiero" from Verdi's Nabucco. The 1997 film features Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Anne Heche and Michael Madsen. No doubt that this movie inspired characters and plot lines for the HBO hit The Sopranos. This vintage mafioso flick is worth another viewing.

Synopsis: This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mafia of New York. Befriending Lefty Ruggiero, Pistone (under the name Donnie Brasco) is able to embed himself in a mafia faction lead by Sonny Black. Ruggiero and Pistone become tight as the group goes about collecting money for 'the bosses'. Eventually, the group become big time when Black himself becomes a boss, all the while Pistone collects evidence. However, the trials and tribulations of the undercover work become more than Pistone can bear. His marriage falls apart and to top it off, the mafia suspect a mole in the organization. The real dilemma is afforded to Pistone, who knows if he walks away from the mafia, Ruggiero will be the one punished.

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