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Godfathers Collection - The True History of the Mafia

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jan 27, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

They were born in the foothills of Sicily. By 1924 their growing numbers and criminal activities had attracted the attention of Mussolini, who went about purging Italy of their secret society. America became their escape. In this stunning overview of the phenomenon known as La Cosa Nostra, THE HISTORY CHANNEL, RAI International and BIOGRAPHY present five programs that fully unveil the origins, the personalities, and the inner workings of the Mafia. Using never-before-seen footage and rare interviews with mob insiders and the agents who pursued them, THE GODFATHERS COLLECTION presents a gripping tale of greed, power, crime and betrayal. With in-depth portraits of crime bosses like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Carlo Gambino, this is the definitive, eye-opening account of organized crime in America. Volume 1: Godfathers
Godfathers investigates the mob lke no other documentary before it. From the mass immigration of Italians at the end of the 19th century to money laundering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, this up-to-date, feature-length production offers a unique perspective on the history of the Mafia as seen through the eyes of an Italian journalist. With newly discovered footage from Italian archives and rare interviews from both sides of the law, Godfathers probes the psychology, the sociology, and the economics behind this powerful yet secretive society. Some of the biggest names in mafia history are introduced, and the ways in which their political savvy helped them orchestrate many of history's major events is explained.

Volume 2:
* LUCKY LUCIANO: CHAIRMAN OF THE MOB: He ran the Mob like a corporation--diversifying rackets, organizing gangs and running his own political candidates--and his top-secret war efforts earned him parole from a 50-year sentence.
* MEYER LANSKY: MOB TYCOON: From the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the heyday of the Vegas Mob, rare footage and interviews reveal the double life of the man known as the Mob's financial leader.
* GENOVESE: PORTRAIT OF A CRIME FAMILY: A soldier breaks the sacred mobster's oath of silence (omerta) and the Genovese family hits the headlines. From Joe the Boss to Vito Genovese to the "Odd Father" himself, every personality and gripping detail in this ongoing saga comes to life.
* BUGSY SIEGEL: Handsome, glamorous and the most vicious crime boss of all, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel began as a hit man on the streets of Brooklyn and died the victim of a mysterious murder, but not before turning a desert mirage into a Las Vegas dreamland.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00012QLG4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Manuel Reiner on February 5, 2005
Verified Purchase
The DVD set is a good source for all "cosa nostra" fans.

Starting from the roots back in sicily to the mass-immigration to the U.S and the raise of the american mafia, that doesn`t forget his roots.The documentary goes thru all the stages of this organization, from the past to the present.But the thing that makes this dvd collection amazing is that shows the raise of cosa nostra back in italy as well...thing that most documentaries forget, because yes, there is cosa nostra in the U.S, but it`s even more powerful in Italy and other countries around the world, were they took the place of politicians and presidents...having more power, ruling over everything.

If this can help people understand...I saw this documentary two times already.Really well done.Even tho i wish they could make a documentary just about the modern days cosa nostra.

A must for all.
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I'm an avid mob historian, and I must say that this is an excellent, high qualiity disc set. Very entertaining, VERY informative and lots of rare footage as the other reviewer said. I defiinately recommend it!
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This is a very good Mafia DVD set. It shows alot of pictures and footage that are rarely seen elsewhere. Very entertaining and keeps your attention throughout. The individual profiles are good, although they all seem to lead back to Lucky. You receive nice background information in the individual profiles and overall, the DVD set is very well made. This is definitely worth having in your collection.
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GODFATHERS COLLECTION: TRUE HISTORY OF THE MAFIA, is another release
from the History channel.

This series is a departure from the earlier ones, and although
valid, with a fair bit of footage, suffers from its accelerated,
lightening speed or "expedited" editing. It also struggles to weave
a common thread through 100 years of incidents by some many people
in so many circumstances. There is a lack of depth, and lack of deep
insight that only a well-read historian can tell, which is the case
on other works.

Still, the work's theory that the real powerhouse behind much of the
USA's original mafia was Don Vito, or Vito Cascio Ferro is
interesting.

This is the man who nominated first Joe Masseria, and then
Marranzano as his representative gang leader in the USA, before he
traveled himself to the USA and intervened personally at political
rallies using specially coded words intended for the immigrants in
American lands, to back their ethnic leaders to achieve political
critical mass, which in reality, was a call for obedience to him and
the underground, replicating what existing in the Old World.

Mussolini could not longer tolerate rival powers such as Don Vito
and so, he waterboarded and electrocuted the genitalia of known
mobsters to gain information, eventually getting a list of most, if
not all of the mob's members in Sicily, forcing an exodus to
America, to flee fascism.
Read more ›
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By Taffy on December 17, 2005
I will keep it short and sweet this is a must buy everything you need to know about the mafia is in this documentary. A dvd you must own if you are interested in the mob.
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The History Channel has put together a collection of Mafia history concentrating on the Godfathers or crime bosses of the last century or so. Great and thorough job showing the evolution of the chain of command of Mob bosses. Extremely violent, graphic and realistic so be forewarned.
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I found this so disappointing that I actually questioned whether the History Channel had made it. There are many other titles out there that cover this subject & they do it much better that this one. Shop around.
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The set of DVD's was high quality and worked just fine, And the documentary was quite entertaining. If you're interested in learning about the mob or just love documentarys this is a good one. Highly recommended.
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