Review: ‘The Valachi Papers’

The Valachi Papers, based upon the revelations of the mobster [and a book by Peter Maas] who disclosed details of Cosa Nostra organized crime in the US, is a hard-hitting, violence-ridden documented melodrama of the underworld covering more than three decades.

The Valachi Papers, based upon the revelations of the mobster [and a book by Peter Maas] who disclosed details of Cosa Nostra organized crime in the US, is a hard-hitting, violence-ridden documented melodrama of the underworld covering more than three decades.

Joseph Valachi was the Brooklyn gangster who, while serving a life sentence for his crimes, was induced by a Federal agent to reveal the inside structure of the Cosa Nostra.

Flashback technique is utilized as Charles Bronson, as Valachi, recounts to the Federal agent the innermost secrets of the mob, of which he was a constant but unimportant ‘soldier’.

Terence Young, who directs forcefully, hits a shock note in this latter sequence which climaxes numerous scenes of brutality, including Anastasia’s famed cutdown in Park Central Hotel barber shop chair.

The Valachi Papers

Italy

Production

Columbia/De Laurentiis. Director Terence Young; Producer Dino De Laurentiis; Screenplay Stephen Geller; Camera Aldo Tonti; Editor Johnny Dwyre; Music Riz Ortolani; Art Director Mario Garbuglia

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 123 MIN.

With

Charles Bronson Lino Ventura Jill Ireland Walter Chiari Joseph Wiseman Gerald S. O'Loughlin

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