A Bronx Tale (1993)
A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.
The Bronx, New York, 1960. 9-year-old Calogero grows up admiring and fascinated by the local mob boss, Sonny. Calogero's father, Lorenzo, wants to have nothing to do with the mob and does his best to keep his son away from Sonny and mob business. However, it may prove a losing battle.
Gangster Sonny is the big man in the Bronx neighborhood of an Italian small boy named Calogero. A shooting witnessed by the boy (nicknamed C) is the starting point of a lasting bond between the gangster and the boy. Father (bus driver Lorenzo), however, disapproves. C grows up under the wing of both men, torn between his own natural honesty and his fascination with Sonny. C's neighborhood cronies get involved in theft, use of guns, and racial fights. When C falls for an African American girl, things don't get any easier. C's leap to manhood is marked by tragedy, but also by his recognition of the many faces of love.
Calogero Anello is a nine-year-old child living in the Bronx - notorious for gangster bars, racist people and an aggressive nature. Calogero witnesses a shooting in the street involving local big shot gangster, Sonny, but refuses to betray him to the police. Sonny grows fond of the boy and begins to teach him how things are conducted on the streets. Calogero's father is a working man who wants his child to grow up and make his money honestly and does not want him to mix with Sonny. Despite his father's disapproval, for eight years Calogero continues to see Sonny and receives a 'street' education from him. Despite being a gangster, Sonny loves Calogero and teaches him that being a gangster is too risky and dangerous. However, Calogero misinterprets Sonny's message and still gets involved with his friends in racism and fights. Things get worse when he falls in love with a black girl. This story is about a Bronx where a child grows up with two educations, one from school and one from the street. As the child grows closer to a gangster, he begins to grow away from his family.
- This first appeared on www.realmoviereview.com Robert De Niro debuts as director in this feature and he does a fine job with obvious Scorsese influence. This is an excellent small-scale movie with a good story and well-developed characters, some excellent performances, along with subtle directorial flair. In a lot of ways, this resembles a softer, gentler Goodfellas. The story revolves around Calogero Anello, (Lillo Brancato), a seventeen year old Italian growing up in a 1960s Bronx neighborhood. Calogero is befriended by the local mob boss (Palminteri) over the objections of his father (De Niro). And this movie tells the story of his coming of age in this environment. Francis Capra does a fine job as the nine year-old Calogero, and Palminteri and De Niro show excellence at their craft. Brancato does a respectable job, but suffers from comparison. This is a personal favorite of mine and I recommend it whole-heartedly. There are some wonderful scenes, strong dialogue and enough action to balance out the story and make this enjoyable by all kinds of viewers.