7.8/10
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Donnie Brasco (1997)

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
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Walt MacPherson ...
Ronnie Farer ...
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Storyline

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 led 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. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Donnie Brasco. Based On A True Story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong graphic violence, pervasive strong language and brief nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brasco  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,660,216 (USA) (2 March 1997)

Gross:

$41,909,762 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The family scenes were shot last. According to Mike Newell, "It was like making a different movie." See more »

Goofs

When Pistone first meets Lefty about diamonds at the bar, Lefty's arm goes from resting on the counter to being by his side between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [to Donnie's while in his car] When they send for you, you go in alive, you come out dead, and it's your best friend that does it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Pilot (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Working My Way Back To You
(1979)
Written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell
Performed by The Spinners
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A deeply moving and beautiful movie.
13 November 1998 | by (Essex, England) – See all my reviews

I read movie magazines regulary and I came across a review for "Donnie Brasco". I read it and thought "I would like to see that". It isn't really a well known film and I didn't remember it coming out in the cinema. So there I saw it, in my local video rental store, near the bottom shelf and just one copy. I rented it and I watched it. And I have to say it is one of the finest movies I had ever seen. It has drama, comedy, sadness and violence and continues to entertain the viewer until the opening of the end credits.

The beauty of the film is that although Pacino plays a member of the mob you end up with sympathy with him due to his loyalty to Donnie (Depp). Pacino plays Lefty well. The movie is very funny in parts and sad in others. Lefty is a very funny character and is hard not to like. Michael Madsen is my favourite actor and although you don't see enough of Sonny Black in contrast to his importance in the book, what you do see of him is enjoyable. Although the film ends differently to that in the book it shows the workings of the mafia well. A splendid over-looked movie with a great cast and an atmosphere that drags you in. Yet you have to read the brilliant book to get the full story.


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