The Chicago Syndicate

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Trailer for @TheIrishmanFilm Shows Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino at War with JFK



   

I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa

Friday, September 27, 2019

Will Smith to Star as Harlem-based Mobster Nicky "Mr. Untouchable" Barnes on @Netflix in "The Council"

Peter Landesman wrote the script for the film about Nicky Barnes, the Harlem-based mobster who was dubbed "Mr. UntouchableWill Smith to Star as Nicky Barnes AKA Mr. Untouchable."

Will Smith, just weeks away from opening his sci-fi action movie Gemini Man, is heading back to Netflix. The actor has signed on to star in and produce The Council, a crime biopic written by Peter Landesman. The two previously worked together when Smith starred in Concussion, the 2015 drama Landesman wrote and directed.

Smith will produce with James Lassiter, his partner at Overbrook Entertainment, now under the umbrella of Smith’s Westbrook Inc. Also producing are Matt Jackson via Jackson Pictures and Jason Essex for Anonymous Nobodies.

The Council aims to tell the story of an organized crime syndicate run by seven black mobsters who operated in Harlem in the 1970s. The men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African-American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game.

Netflix is describing the story as centering on the Shakespearean court intrigue between the council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by The New York Times, and all the different members of the council. (Mr. Untouchable - The Rise, Fall, and Resurection of Heroin's Teflon Don Nicky Barnes).

Smith will play Barnes, the man who partnered with the Italian Mafia to start his own syndicate, specializing in the heroin trade. He was arrested in 1978 and, after a series of incidents, turned on the council by becoming a federal informant. He was in the witness protection program and, though he died in 2012, his death was only reported this year.

Executive producing the project are Landesman, Jackson Pictures’ Joanne Lee and David Lee for Anonymous Nobodies.

No director is yet on board.

Smith, who previously starred in the $1 billion-grossing Aladdin remake, toplined one of Netflix's early feature hits, the 2017 sci-fi fantasy Bright, directed by David Ayers. He and Overbrook are repped by CAA and Sloan Offer.

CAA and Jackoway Tyerman negotiated on behalf of Landesman. Jackson is repped by CAA and Manatt Phelps.

Mr. Untouchable - The Rise, Fall, and Resurection of Heroin's Teflon Don Nicky Barnes

From inside the Federal Witness Protection Program, the "Black Godfather" chronicles the 1970s New York City underworld and the most devastating urban crime wave in history.

1962: Leroy "Nicky Barnes walks out of Green Haven State Prison. There are an estimated 153,000 heroin abusers in the United States.

1977: Two million junkies score $100 million worth of Barnes's smack a year. Sporting flashy suits, riding in a Citroën with a Maserati engine and satisfying a wife while pleasuring a harem of mistresses, Barnes presides over a staggering multinational dealership that pushes dope and launders money with the efficiency of a Fortune 500 company. Despite President Nixon's creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration and New York State's adoption of the no tolerance Rockefeller drug laws, Barnes's operation seems impregnable.

How does a small-time hustler and heroin addict end up on the cover of the New York Times Magazine as "Mr. Untouchable", the one gangster the Feds can't touch? And how is the future Mayor of New York City Rudolf Giuliani involved? With Machiavellian pragmatism matched with biblical fury, Barnes lays bare his life's remarkable trajectory--a rise, fall and resurrection defined by brutality, brotherhood and betrayal.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top 10 Mob-Related Movies

1. The Godfather (Widescreen Edition) / The Godfather, Part II (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Francis Ford Coppola, 1972; 1974
Coppola's masterpieces are not only the greatest film and sequel of the genre, but perhaps two of the best films ever made. Boasting casts featuring huge stars (Brando, Pacino, De Niro) they focus on the Corleone family, a mafia dynasty in New York from the 1920s to the late '50s. Slickly made, beautifully shot and featuring some of the finest screen performances on record.

2. Goodfellas (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Martin Scorsese, 1990
"As far back as I can remember I've always wanted to be a gangster." Focusing on the dirty end of the mafia, this film charts the rise and fall of Henry Hill, a man of Sicilian-Irish descent who works his way up the tree of organized crime in New York during the '60s and '70s. Powerful and violent, this is one of Scorsese's finest moments. Joe Pesci earnt an Oscar playing an unpredictable and terrifying gangster: just don't call him funny.

3. Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)
Wai Keung Lau & Siu Fai Mak, 2002
The basis for this year's Best Picture Oscar "The Departed," this is a tense and exciting thriller which hints at the strength and depth of Asian gangster movies. Steeped in nervy and fast-paced tracking shots around the underworld of Hong Kong, and embellished with two extraordinary performances from the two lead actors, Scorsese didn't need to change much to make it an Oscar-worthy picture.

4. White Heat
Raoul Walsh, 1949
"Made it Ma! Top of the world!" A true classic of the genre, starring one of the best known and loved gangster actors, James Cagney. A dangerously deranged criminal, who is obsessed with his mother and gives little thought to killing anyone who crosses him, breaks out of prison to avenge his mother's death and secure control of his gang -- but he unwittingly takes a rat into the organization. The blueprint for modern crime thrillers.

5. Once Upon a Time in America (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Sergio Leone, 1984
An epic feast of sumptuous sets, beautiful tracking shots and outstanding performances, especially from Robert DeNiro and James Woods. A gang of children progress from small scale crimes to become embroiled in the mafia during prohibition in the U.S. with shocking and violent results. The framework that holds the story together is a dream-like wander through New York of 1968, where DeNiro relives his past. A beautiful and sedate shell to an elaborate and fascinating gangster movie.

6. Scarface (Platinum Edition)
Brian De Palma, 1983
The archetypal and truly iconic sleazy '80s gangster movie, this is the American dream gone bad. Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, arrives in Florida as a refugee from Communist Cuba, and sets out to make his fortune as a cocaine dealer, but becomes consumed with possessive greed. The movie has two of the most striking and memorable scenes in film history: one a torture scene with a chainsaw, piling on the tension with the screaming soundtrack; the other, of course, "Say hello to my leettle friend!"

7. Angels With Dirty Faces
Michael Curtiz, 1938
Another influential Cagney movie, and perhaps the first classic of the genre. The friendship of two boys from Hell's Kitchen is rekindled as one gets out of prison to find the other is a priest. Uncovering corruption throughout the city, this is a story of sacrifice and honor that proves gangsters are people too.

8. Get Carter
Mike Hodges, 1971
Michael Caine's finest hour, as he gets tough with the '70s gangsters of northern England. Relentlessly brutal, Caine works his way through the seedy underworld, and at every unpleasant turn gives a dry quip, seduces a femme fatale or wreaks bloody violence on the murderers of his brother. An unstoppable revenge movie.

9. Sexy Beast
Jonathan Glazer, 2000
One of the most extraordinary gangster films of recent times. Oscar-nominated Ben Kingsley gives one of his most remarkable turns, as a character that's the polar opposite of his most famous role, Ghandi. A misanthropic, bitter and aggressive gangster, with a penchant for colorful language, he makes this a truly unforgettable movie.

10. Cidade de Deus (City of God)
Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund, 2002
This Brazilian film shockingly paints a gangster world populated by children as brutal and heartless as any character in "Goodfellas." At once a beautiful and traumatic carnival, the movie flits between the gritty realism of life in the favelas of Rio and the dream-like existence of a child attempting to escape a world of crime.

Courtesy of The Screening Room in 2007.

Monday, September 23, 2019

"Boxing and the Mob" will be the Topic when Author @JeffreySussman Speaks at the Rogers Memorial Library This Week

Organized crime and the world of professional boxing are intertwined with absorbing detail in Boxing and the Mob, the first book to cover the mob’s involvement in the “sweet science” throughout the entire 20th century.

Join Jeffrey Sussman, at Rogers Memorial Library, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25th, for a talk about this notorious piece of American history filled with fast-paced stories of fixed fights, paid-off referees, greedy managers, and the champion boxers who either caved in to the mob, or stood firm against them.

Rogers Memorial Library is at 91 Coopers Farm Lane in Southampton.

For reservations call 631-283-0774 ext. 523 or email programs@myrml.org.

When You Get Serious About Tailgating


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