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Bronx Tale, a

Robert De Niro , Chazz Palminteri , Robert De Niro    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Chazz Palminteri wrote the script for this excellent story of an Italian American boy (Lillo Brancato) who grows up in the 1960s caught between the strong influences of his blue-collar, straight- arrow father (Robert De Niro) and a Mafia chieftain (Palminteri) who is his all-purpose mentor. De Niro makes his directorial debut with this production and, except for a little stiffness, does very well by the characters and their world. The story does not go precisely where one might expect it to go: Palminteri knows better than to force the central figure to choose between the two most important men in his life, and he doesn't fill time with stock drama about crime or family conflict. Joe Pesci makes an extremely effective and uncredited appearance at the end as a man who doesn't have to do more than speak softly to communicate how dangerous he is. The DVD release contains the theatrical trailer and optional French and Spanish soundtracks. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
In his directorial debut, Robert DeNiro wisely took the kind of film he is known for as an actor: The gangster film. But A Bronx Tale is much more then just another gangster piece, and it succeeds mostly in its veering away from the usual fare.
DeNiro plays a father trying to make an honest living in the Bronx during the 1960's. But when his son "C" finds himself allured by the Mafia "godfather," Sonny (Chez Pallimetri), doing business out of a neighboring bar, DeNiro tries to steer his son clear of danger. Soon, however, "C" is looking up to Sonny as a second father, and DeNiro feels threatened.
Rather then focusing on the crime, it emphasizes the family drama, drawing comparisons between the crime family and blood ties. And fortunately, for the most part, A Bronx Tale avoids common clichés and hokey outcomes that dramas concerning family often hit. Instead, it creates an involving situation where no one is portrayed as pure evil.
The film is not without its problems, however. At times the film suffers from over explanation, mostly through the use of narration by an older "C." He repeatedly states the moral of the tale at the end of the film, when one doesn't need to be stated at all. It's something viewers should decide for themselves, with at most, a hint by the narrator. Also, the film could have used more scenes with just "C" and his father, as well as with Sonny, to better crystallize their relationships. While what's in the film is enough to get a good idea, it doesn't fully explore the tension and characterization. The film could benefit from an additional twenty minutes or so to fully flesh out everything.
But overall, A Bronx Tale provides a satisfying, and often times nostalgic look into family ties in 1960's New York. It's well worth the price to own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie Nov. 17 2002
"A Bronx Tale" is an extremely well done movie with terrific acting and an excellent script. It depicted the life of a young Italian boy growing with such consideration and sensitivity. It showed that life is not a dichotomy of good vs. bad, but that life is continium of many different perspectives.
A lot of critics disliked the Jane-Calogero plot, but I really liked it and I thought it added another dimension to the movie. Their union showed that Lorenzo, depicted as the "good" guy, has his flaws. In contrast, Sonny, who is depicted as the "bad" guy, shows his wisdom beyond the times (after all, this was set in the late 1960's when interracial union was still very much frowned upon).
And I also thought the awkwardness of Jane and Calogero's courtship was also well done, whether intentionally or not by Mr. De Niro and the actors, Taral Hicks and Lillo Brancato Jr. These are two sixteen year olds with not much dating experience afterall. Everything from the uneasiness of their conversations to thier kissing was very realistic and should be given credit.
One thing that I wish could have been explored more but wasn't is more background on Sonny and Lorenzo's feud. The movie alluded to some bad blood between the two men but was never fully explored.
But maybe what is left out of the movie is what makes it so great.
All in all, I give this movie five stars. Excellent directorial debut by Robert De Niro.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Film Sept. 9 2002
This film is based on a one-man stage production written by Chazz Palminteri. He also wrote the screenplay for the film, and co-starred with Robert De Niro who also directed. The balance of the primary characters may appear familiar now, but when this film was made they were unknowns. The DVD version includes an excellent documentary that allows De Niro to explain why he chose to cast rookie actors, as well as his decision to not repeat the same type of genre crime film he had made many times before. He wanted to use all he had learned from directors like Martin Scorsese without repeating their work. That this film is to be very different is immediately apparent when De Niro's character is that of a NYC employee, a bus driver, and a father who wants everything for his son but what exists two doors down at the Chez Bipi, the location of the crime boss Sonny, brilliantly portrayed by Palminteri.
The focal point of the film becomes, "C", the young son of De Niro. An event brings him in to contact with Sonny which starts a long term relationship between this powerful man, and the allure of his cars, the deference with which he is treated, and the life that can appear so attractive to a young boy. And then there is his father who tries to remain the focus of his son's life, a man who knows the superficiality of Sonny's life and the damage it could do to his son. Add to this all the normal pressures of growing up with teenage peer pressure, and the racially charged sixties, and you have a young man at the center of mind numbing events.
It is when he is on the threshold of becoming an adult that all of the factors I mention finally come in to conflict. This is also the point when the film really distinguishes itself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mob rules April 28 2002
Calogero is very close to his working class father. He also looks up to Sonny (Chazz Palminteri), a local thug. But, after witnessing a murder at Sonny's hand, he is left in conflict. He becomes the child of two extreme fathers each with different ideas for their offspring's future.
A BRONX TALE is an impressive directorial debut for star Robert DeNiro who presents this story in a place he is comfortable, in a world often defined by Martin Scorcese (GOODFELLAS). Period music is used to help re-create the Bronx, New York in the 1960s. That same music also supports the conflicts involving race relations that appear late in the film.
After he refuses to finger Sonny to the police, Calogero, or "C", is taken in by the guys. With names like JoJo the Whale, Frankie Coffeecake, Eddie Mush, Jimmie Whispers and Tony Toupee, they force C to grow up too quickly. Like any child he makes good and bad decisions. Based on a one-man play written and performed by Palminteri, the story spreads a little thin but remains cohesive.
The story does start to lose ground when C begins cross-racial dating. Too much pressure is put on the teens, especially the amateurish Jane, and the film briefly falls on its back, marred by wooden dialogue and ridiculous conclusions.
There was a time when DeNiro was a reclusive actor but around the time of this film, the prolific guy we now see replaced him. His performance here is respectful on both sides of the camera. This was an early DVD release so only offers a trailer as bonus features and the video transfer is muddy in the darker scenes.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5-star drama
This is a really great peripheral mob drama about 3 men with a varying range of attitude problems. I recommend it if you like to watch Italian men swagger around and play urban... Read more
Published 7 months ago by nv
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best mob flicks of all time
Did some one say classic? A Bronx Tale is one of the best mob flicks of all time, A must watch and a must own movie!
Published 17 months ago by Jason Medeiros
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
super, just perfect, a very good serice, timing was excellent,

super, just perfect, a very good serice, timing was excellent,
Published 20 months ago by Serge
5.0 out of 5 stars a bronx tale
The movie is an old movie, if you like the gangster type movie and are european you will enjoy it has alot of humer and sadness. Read more
Published on April 23 2012 by cotta
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!!
This was not a great movie like everyone thinks it is. I really didnt get into it. I thought the actors portrait of "the mob" was not right at all. Very Very off.
Published on July 10 2004 by J. Worth
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific directorial debut
For a directorial debut, Deniros first is impressive. The story takes place in of course, the Bronx, about a bus driver and his kid growing up. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Joe Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Westsidestoryesque Drama: BEST FILM OF 1993
A compelling insightful drama set in racially-charged New York City of the 1960s. Chock full of wisdom and insight, the powerful message swept along in riveting, tense tale of how... Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by M. Schreuder
5.0 out of 5 stars 'You'll Understand When You're Older' - Great Film.
Set in an Italian neighborhood of the Bronx in the 60's, "A Bronx Tale" is a coming of age flick about a boy (Francis Capra/Lillo Brancato) who becomes a protege of the... Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by George Annessa
5.0 out of 5 stars One of deniro's best!
Every time i watch this movie i wish i was back in that time in a doo-wap group or whatever they call those things. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by david dewitt
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gangsta Plot with a Beautiful Romantic Story Intertwined
This was a well put together movie. The characters, setting, and plot were easy to follow and it provide for a pleasurable viewing experience. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004
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