Friday, January 13, 2006

Documenting The Nicer Side Of Al Capone

Friends of ours: Al Capone

Did gangster Al Capone really have a kinder, gentler side? In this age of makeovers, CBS 2's Mike Parker reports one area man hopes to re-make the image of public enemy number one. "Like everybody there's another side to somebody."

Meet Nino Cruz, self-described magician and one of the guiding lights behind a new independent movie called, "The Other Side of Al Capone." The gist of the story is that the killer, bootlegger and king of the Chicago Mob was not such a bad guy after all. "He would give hundreds and thousands of dollars at Christmas time when it came to the less fortunate."

To help finance the still uncompleted film, Cruz is selling a tiny fragment of one of the original bricks from the now demolished Capone headquarters, the Lexington Hotel at 22nd and Michigan, along with a copy of Capone's death certificate. The price: $15. They're being sold at PJ's trick shop on rand road in Prospect Heights.

Nino Cruz says a key element of the revisionist movie will be Capone's Loop soup kitchens that fed the hungry in the early days of the depression. "After donating the food to the kitchen, because he had a kind heart which nobody knew about, he'd actually put the apron on and started serving."

"I guess he was a good guy who had a bad side to him."

Backers hope to sell their production to one of the cable channels. Maybe with that "Scar Face in an apron" scene, the Food Network will be interested. The producers say mob boss daughter, Antoinette Giancana will narrate their production.

Thanks to Mike Parker

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