Gotti (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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a very good tv movie!!
John-32031 August 1999
"Gotti" is the TRUE STORY about the notorious rise and fall of mobster, John Gotti. As a student of organized crime history, I can honestly tell you, that this movie gives you MAJOR insight into the life of John Gotti. Was he a good guy who took care of his people or a vicious bad guy?. For those who don't know, John Gotti, became very early a legend on the streets of New York City. He became a made man of the Gambino family in the early 70's. Gotti made a lot of money for the family and he quickly earned the trust of his boss, Carlo Gambino. The movie starts by showing, how Gotti seemed to have problems following [the mafia] rules at first and almost gets killed. This sets the movie very well off and gives us a better insight in, not only Gottis life, but the mafia and how they see it. Sort of like GoodFellas, but only that was the Lucchese family. The Gambino family has a alot more history and a family that was originally started by Lucky Luciano in 1931. Armand Assante who plays Gotti makes an outstanding performance here and really triggers the movies atmosphere. Anthony Quinn who plays mob kingpin Neil Dellacroce, Gottis mentor, does a wonderful job. His presence is absolute stellar. GoodFella, Frank Vincent and Bill Forsythe do a great job too. This is not a movie, this is a tv movie done by HBO and it's a rare thing to see a good tv movie these days. The director of this film, Robert Harmon, sure knows what he is up to here!!. If you liked GoodFellas, Casino and The Godfather movies then I would really recommend you to see this one.
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One of my Favorite Mob Movies of all time
robfcor16 June 2006
I have watched 'Gotti' over 100 times. If you like quotable dialog you will love this movie. It is one of my all time favorite movies of any genre. Armand Assante is awesome as John Gotti. If it wasn't an HBO movie I believe Assante would have been nominated for an academy award. Anthony Quinn is also excellent as Neil. The dialog is spoken in a hastened Queens/Brooklyn accent so turn the subtitles on so you don't miss any lines. This movie has become a cult favorite in my circle of movie fanatic friends. It is on par with Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Carlito's Way and the like. If you liked these films you should like 'Gotti' as well.
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Entertaining and informative if you like Crime docu-dramas
imapoa11 December 2004
GOTTI is a reasonably fast-paced account of John Gotti's rise to power in the Gambino crime family. I have an interest in Mafioso and I recognize the factual basis of some scenes, allowing for dramatic license. From there I'm willing to assume that the entire movie is based on actual events. Armand Assante is convincing in the role of John, and the supporting cast is noteworthy as well. They are probably a bit more genteel than were the actual mobsters, except perhaps when in the public eye.

The movie's rhythm seems to bog down in a couple of places. It detracts from the general tempo--but patience rewards with good action once again. The violence is not overplayed, in fact it is subdued. Anyone who is aware of the history of real Mafia perpetrators, such as Roy DeMeo, can vouch. Is Mafia life idealized here, thus making it attractive? I guess the viewer has to decide. I have watched it at least ten times and my favorite parts are the Intro and the Castellano hit, but there's more to like in between!
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A Stunning Achievement
arthurclay5 February 2004
A classic in its own right. Yes it wasn't 100% factual (if you have ever seen a COMPLETELY true movie from Hollywood please let me know what it is) but it is truly mesmerizing. I still have difficulty believing this was an HBO movie but they do surprise me sometimes. Armand Assante hit the nail squarely on the head with his depiction of Gotti. Its like looking into a portal of the past. He has the talk down, the walk down, and the character down pat. My favorite Gotti depiction of all time. Forsythe, Quinn, Vincent, and Pastore all turned in memorable performances. And this movie doesn't make you fond of the FBI contrary to another review mentioned beforehand. They do things in this film that would make a decent man sick and want to support the other side; the underdog that doesn't have a chance against the Department of Justice and the "B". Gotti was indeed remarkable and is a great buy. A window into the workings of the mob and a cautionary tale about excessive greed and ambition. It's something you'll watch regularly and will be praised by future generations in the years to come.
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Mr. Assante is John Gotti
moviebiz29 August 1999
For a TV movie this is very good. Why Mr. Assante doesn't get more good parts is amazing to me. He nails this part and if you have ever read anything about Gotti you have to believe that the two met. The movie has some great scenes. The best are when the mob guys are just hanging around. The creators of "Sopranos" have used this very well because while wiseguys are not always wise they are sure colorful.
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rise and fall of the last don.
uzmabs24 December 2002
Gotti is exceptional piece of film brought to the small screen,the cast is outstanding and nail biting stuff from the start to the very end. armand assante`s performance is so chilling as the dapper don,and it brings so much intensity leaving the audience compelled by this larger than life charismatic figure of the underworld.The dialogue is snappy and the onscreen chemistry between Assante`s portrayal of Gotti and Quinns as Neil dellacross is more than convincing.This film works well because it doesn't rely to much on violence as its predessors did in Goodfellas and others like casino.
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Poor man's "Godfather"
RieRieZILLA16 April 2003
This movie focuses a LOT more on just the actual man John Gotti rather than all the affect he has. Armand Assante is very convincing and did an excellent job acting. However, unlike The Godfather, this is a REAL story. That makes it all the more fun to watch. It's definitely worth watching if you're a gangster movie addict like me

It's definitely no Godfather, but if you're looking for something new...give it a shot

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Good biopic
tnrcooper17 October 2013
Story's the same but the players change. Gangsters battle their way to fortune - and for Gotti, some fame, and ultimately the fortune weakens ties and sows doubt about motives and loyalty. Gotti was a hard-working, charming mobster and his commitment took him to the top of the Gambino crime family but when you get to the top, you have to be the most rational to stay there for a long time. Missteps can easily let in who you thought were your allies and there's a reason people aren't mob bosses long.

The film features great acting by Armando Assante, William Forsythe, and Anthony Quinn as the head of the Gambino family. Quinn owns the scenes he is in. Assante makes the Teflon Don charming but also so vain that little slights set him off. Forsythe is electric and the air of menace around him is practically a character in and of itself.

As always, it takes good writing to bring an exciting story to the screen and so writers Gene Mustain, Jerry Capeci, and Steve Shagan deserve credit for showing the excesses of the life of the Teflon Don and for not stinting on the brutality of life as a mafioso. The wealth and power that mob bosses get ultimately does them in as they start to believe their own legends. Mustain, Capeci, and Shagan show the hard work but also the violence that brings them down hard.

Gotti ruled NYC for a while and as a kid at the time I heard his name a lot. This film is a good primer for learning about the life and times of John Gotti.
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Better than most Made for TV Films
franeyjarker23 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Having seen half a dozen documentaries on John Gotti, I found this movie to be very good overall. Armand Assante is pretty convincing as Gotti and seems to capture his legendary temper effectively. Anthony Quinn manages to LOOK similar to Neil Dellacroce, Gotti's "mentor." The only thing that seems to suffer is that he is (potential spoiler) hamstrung by a lot of "prose-like" dialogue that would never have come out of the mouth of the real Mr. Neil. By all accounts, even the toughest of street thugs were terrified of this man in real life.

The "lectures" he gives on mob policy come off a bit stagey for somebody who was a truly scary tough-guy. The guy who plays "Big Paul" is totally miscast. Big Paul was tall and tried to be refined, at least in public. He was not 400 pounds!!! (Potential Spoilers within) The movie starts out fairly true to all accounts of the story of Gotti, but has some mistakes as far as the rankings and duties of some of the key players within the Gambino family. It also suffers from the task of having to condense nearly 25 years worth of stuff into two hours. With all of these quibbles, you might be inclined to think I did not enjoy the film. On the contrary, I think it is VERY watchable and quite entertaining. There are many high points to GOTTI, even if they came at the expense of "bending the facts" a bit. If you haven't done your homework, this story is pretty convincing.

Rating: 8 out of 10
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A gripping insight of the rise and fall of the "Dapper Don".
gperrettaa13 October 2002
A superb performance by Armand Assante as Gotti.A fast-paced exploration of the Gambino crine family of New York. The film focuses on the violent aspect of organized crime and the police operations to fight it and bring John Gotti to justice. This fact based drama is a powerful,disturbing saga of the Mafia in America. It is a tale of a iron willed Capo who later became the most powerful leader in American mob history. Gotti chose to live and die by the gun in order to reap vast fortunes and personal power,and of the plots they weave in the course of turning crime into a business.
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Powerful crime drama.
PWNYCNY30 November 2015
This is one of the better movies of the crime drama genre. It depicts a warped man who for a while through sheer audacity became a celebrity. Armand Assante's performance is outstanding. His resemblance to John Gotti is uncanny. He succeeds in conveying Gotti's contempt for social convention and his proclivity for violence. John Gotti was such a loose cannon that even his fellow gangsters were afraid of him. The movie raises a question: how could American society produce such a socially dysfunctional character? Gotti was a predator; his prey were his fellow gangsters. The movie also effectively depicts the other principle character of the story, Sam Gravano. Most of the movie revolves around Gottis' relationship with Gravano. Gotti made the plans, fingered his victims and Gravano acted, with murderous results. What makes this movie so powerful and so disturbing is that Gotti is not a fictional character and the murders he committed were real.
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The Dapper Don
bkoganbing17 November 2017
Some years ago I was in Canton, Ohio going to my hotel in a cab and when the driver learned I was from New York he asked me kind of hesitantly that being from the Big Apple had I ever run into John Gotti. I learned there and then what an impression Gotti had made with his Dapper Don public persona. So in this film Gotti I can easily understand that brief scene where the couple from Rochester gush over Armand Assante when they meet him in a restaurant. And Assante plays it to the hilt ordering champagne for the couple's table. You would have thought they met Cary Grant.

The made for TV movie Gotti hits all the noted incidents in the Gotti legend. Based in part in the research and writings of Jerry Capeci who used to report on gangland activities in the Daily News the script gives us a three dimensional portrait of Gotti.

It used to fascinate me that when Joey Gallo was killed and later Joe Columbo was shot and lived in a coma for about 7 years it would resonate once and for all that publicity seeking gangsters don't really make out in the end. It makes them a more visible target to shoot at.

I like very much what William Forsythe did with the part of Sammy the Bull Gravano, Gotti's underboss and total opposite of him in personality. Forsythe who was Al Capone in the revived Untouchables series does the gangster persona very well.

In fact this film also boasts the casting of a pair of old Hollywood oldtimers. Marc Lawrence did gangster parts in old Hollywood plays the aging Carlo Gambino and Anthony Quinn who did a few of those parts as well in his varied career plays Gotti patron Neil Dellacroce the Gambino underboss. Quinn has some great scenes with Assante trying to warn him of the error of his ways.

This film should have gotten the theatrical release it was originally intended.
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Essential viewing for mob fanatics
robertemerald24 April 2019
If you enjoyed the Sopranos then you should enjoy this piece, despite its age. It has weathered well. It's not as disjointed as the modern adaptation with John Travolta, and Armand Assante gives at least an equal showing, if not slightly better, not as vicious and calculating, but certainly ferocious and believable. It's better cast than the modern version and consequently the street speak of these players comes across as more authentic. It's not as jumbled as the modern version, and the timeline is one of its greater strengths. Anthony Quinn is supreme, and brings all my compliments above to the fore. Here you'll see many of the Sopranos actors in their earlier roles. Delightful for movie buffs. If you're into mob movies then this is as essential as The Godfather or Goodfellas or Casino.
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A great movie...put's the Travolta circus to shame.
Santodemeo26 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I usually prefer longer, in-depth reviews, but I'll keep this one short and sweet. Assante nails the title role of Gotti, giving a perfect blend of charisma, menace, and paranoia, particularly in the latter half of the film. The supporting cast are all guys you've seen hanging around in other movies of the genre and lend substance to the material and storyline. My only minor gripe with the film would be having to rush the rise and fall of Gotti into 104 minutes. That being said, the film struck a nice balance in terms of time allotment for key points of the plot and the ability to keep moving the story along.

Watch this entertaining movie for what it is. It's not "Goodfellas" or "Casino," but manages to portray the seedy underworld for the haven of violence and betrayal that it truly is. Assante's portrayal of Gotti makes John Travolta's version look like a poorly-developed fifth grade school play. This is THE Gotti movie to watch if you are interested in his life story and years as head of the Gambino family. Enjoy!
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For a TV Movie, this movie was amazing
Grant_is_18725 January 2004
My friend recommended this movie to me and said this one of the best Mafia movies I would ever see, its no Godfather now but he told me to give it a shot. So I did. I seen the movie and I was in wow. Considering the fact this guy was like the President. He got away with everything and the people loved him and every part of the movie was true about him made this movie a favorite.

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Interesting Story of Interesting Guy.
rmax30482315 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There was a period, about when this feature was made for television, when the good folks of the REAL mafia sat around together enjoying one mafia movie after another, chuckling, making critical comments, and arguing about who should play each of THEM in the next movie.

There seemed to be a Victoria Falls of mafia movies. It was a genre unto itself -- not quite just another gangster movie, not a shoot-'em-up action thriller, and not a throwaway glance at human character and morality.

You could almost get the impression that it was all a fictional universe, like the "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" franchises. But, though the movies were stretched a bit and some of them purported to be fiction, the organization, its norms and milieu, were real enough. There was a clam bar on Kenmore in New York's Little Italy we used to patronize regularly, Little Charlie's. One crowded night, there were no tables available and Uncle Flory inquired about those two empty tables in he back, already set for dinner. "Er, those tables are always empty so they'll be available in case any of the important, erm, 'businessmen' of the community happen to drop in." Who WOULDN'T kill for that kind of rispetto?

John Gotti was known as the "Dapper Don". He wore million-dollar sharkskin suits you could see your reflection in, ten billion-dollar Rolex watches that were made of platinum inside and out -- all worn at the same time on the same wrist, and mahogany colored shoes made of unborn loggerhead turtle skin. His car was forty feet long, powered by the same engine that kept a Boeing 707 aloft, and made of tiled Kevlar painted international orange. The vanity license plate read GOTTI GOT IT, YOU AIN'T. His cigars were hand rolled by virgins in Bora Bora. And his twenty pinkie rings were REALLY expensive. He never avoided self display either, usually wearing a modest grin for the cameras. Just another fella.

He rose pretty quickly to head the Gambino family in New York before his underboss, Sammy ("the moral nihilist") Gravano, ratted him out. Gotti went to prison for life and Gravano, a multi-murderer, after spending three years in the slams, went into the witness protection agency.

Armand Assante does very well by the role of Gotti. The mannerisms are right, but sometimes he talks too fast. Sometimes he speaks more quickly than I can think. Really, there were little outbursts, imprecations, in which the phonemes swept past my apperceptive apparatus like a sudden gust of wind. He's a good actor, capable of carrying a dumb comedy as well as a drama or even the myth of Odysseus with conviction.

Anthony Quinn, ancient and creaking, does his best, as does Marc Lawrence, who has been a gangster for many years, going back to "The Asphalt Jungle." I've always like William Forsythe, who has the eyes of some kind of reptilian chimera, but is a good solid reliable supporting player. He was my co-star in the inestimably poetic ex-con masterpiece, "Weeds." I took a liking to him and coached him through his more difficult scenes.

You know, though, the MBAs who greenlight these projects may have a problem. What is there that is still unsaid about the Mafia? Next up: movies about the making of movies about the Mafia.
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A good "mob" movie
iuliangelu23 August 2001
This is one of the great movie i've seen on tv.I think this is the best version of the real story about the Gambino family.A very god performance of Armand Asante . Worth to watch.
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Fast paced for a reason
ksgrano26 March 2003
This movie was good in only one aspect, it was a true story. The movie could have been better if it went more into detail about the characters and the drama going on around them. I found myself often trying to think of who was who and what was going on. 2 examples of this, is D.B. I only found out who D.B. was when he knocked on the door and said his name. Another example is the 2nd trial Gotti is in. I had no idea what was going on there. If the movie went into more detail about the smaller things, I would have liked it alot more. I often found that even though the movie was fast paced, I still became bored and felt like a scene would drudge on forever. MY final rating is a 5 out 10.
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Watchable but pretty weak stuff
Al-1646 July 1999
This HBO biopic of Gambino family head John Gotti is a tolerable piece of junk. The performances are uniformly unremarkable, that includes the star(Assante)and the token "Veteran Star"(the formerly great Anthony Quinn). Second of all absolutely no-one in the cast looks like who they play,whats with Paul Castellano being 800 pounds?! The script is cardboard at best,"Mafia=Pure unadulterated evil, FBI=Living Saints". And just when you thought it could'nt get anymore third rate, the movie starts to think it's on the level of "Goodfellas", and at times "The Godfather". In the end the only thing that saves this thing from being a total waste is the fact that it tells a truly interesting story, although not well.
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Lethargic and pompous
bwaynef26 March 1999
The cover of the videocassette of this made for cable bio of the crime kingpin quotes some critic as calling it a perfect companion piece to "Goodfellas." That, of course, is nonsense. The perfect companion piece to "Goodfellas" is "Casino," not this lethargic, pompous chronicle of John Gotti's rise from thug to mob boss. Frank Vincent, the well-coiffed Billy Batts of "Goodfellas," and originally benevolent, then baseball bat wielding Frankie of "Casino," gives the film some credibility by his association with those Martin Scorsese classics, but the rest of the cast, including Armand Assante in the title role, lack conviction. They play their parts as though they've been studying other gangster movies rather than flesh and blood people. The worst offender, not surprisingly, is Anthony Quinn, who shambles about reciting the "rules" of Mafia life in his typically hammy way.
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Decent gangster flick
gwailo24729 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This HBO production documents the rise and fall of John Gotti, portrayed by Armand Assante. A decent gangster flick, populated by the usual suspects of the genre.

The movie paints Gotti as an old style gangster who refuses to play by the rules, which is what brings him to the top and then brings him crashing back down. The movie rolls along well until the Castellano hit, but as Gotti rises to the top of his family, some cracks in the plot begin to appear.

Perhaps due to being spoiled by the drawn out plots of the Sopranos, I found the dissension that breaks up the family in the second half to be rushed. The characters turn on each other because that's how it went in real life. On the other hand, we are dealing with multiple murderers, so asking for deep reasons for them to kill each other may be asking too much.

Unlike the protagonists in other mob movies, I did not find myself liking Gotti too much. The media image of Gotti was of a smiling gangster, and you could see a lot of his charisma. Assante does not give off the same sort of charisma, so my attitude towards him was rather lukewarm at best. I'm not sure who would have made a better Gotti, but to me the casting of the title role in this one ultimately relegated this movie to mediocrity.

Overall a decent flick, and its fun to see the regular crew of mob actors assemble for yet another go, but it adds nothing new to the genre.
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A crappy movie that has no merit
vlad-884 October 2003
This movie isnt worth the rental. It takes the story and twists it into something it just never was. The characters are way out of line. The only actor that can act in this movie is the guy playing Gotti. The rest are horrible especially the guy playing Gravano. Poor casting as Sammy the Bull is taller than Gotti in this movie. Gotti is one of those mob movies where all the characters seem like guys in the local diner pretending to be mobsters. They just lay it on to thick and contrived and they look ridiculous. The makers of this flick just dont get it. That Compared to movies like Casino and Goodfella this movie "Gotti" is very poor. If it was on TV I'd have changed the channel. The fact that I rented it made me stick thru it. WHen you give crap like this good revues you must be really bored. I cant in all honesty tell anyone this flick is worth the time. Even the Sopranos is better than this, and the Sopranos is pretty damn bad gangster acting. They should have done more research and put a little effort into casting and script.
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ancestor of the sopranos
nktektas27 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has a true story. 'Gotti' and 'Sopranos' has a lot of similarity. For example 'RICO Case' , asbestos waste , helpful FBI agents. Also, there are a lot of actor who play in these two movies. For example, Frank Vincent, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore and Tony Sirico.
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Good Movie
amwcsu12 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've gotta' say this: "Armand Assante" plays "John Gotti" to a bona-fide "T". His portrayal of the late mobster has a sense of humor and a gritty toughness to it. Many TV movies are horrible and cheesy , if not completely ridiculous , but "Gotti" and several others have a redeemable quality to them. In this case, its the cast, the dialog, and the ambiance of "Goodfellas" with a violent family togetherness as the "Sopranos". "The profane wisecracks, the gun-play constantly reminds you that this is a mafia movie." What movie about the mob would be complete without them? My only gripe is the lack of detail especially when it comes to recreating the 1970's New York street scenes, that and I rather see more of Gotti's childhood to his early days in the Mafia. I like my films with a great attention to detail with a multi-generational flair from an analytical perspective. In the background you would see a 1990's Ford in the blurry background or a late 70's/early 80's Volvo in a scene that takes place in 1973. Things of that nature. Last word, this is not as convincing as "Carlito's Way, GoodFellas, or the Godfather" but this is a very good movie nonetheless
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shaqiria28 December 2003
MOVIE IS FLAWED. Gotti's final thoughts was that he was done wrong, however he has done wrong by the rules he was suppose to obey, he broke the rules then complained about others breaking them. The story makes no sense, the script needs major reworking, but I Could see them reworking it for a dvd. Anyways stay away from it if you have a brain and actually like to follow the plot... 3/6
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