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Honor Thy Father

2007

NR CC
Available on Prime

Story of the rise and fall of the Bonanno organized crime family.

Starring:
Joseph Bologna, Brenda Vaccaro
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Paul Wendkos
Starring Joseph Bologna, Brenda Vaccaro
Supporting actors Raf Vallone, Richard S. Castellano, Joe De Santis, Gilbert Green, Marc Lawrence, Louis Zorich, Felice Orlandi, James Sloyan, Roger De Koven, Robert Burr, Carmine Caridi, Joseph Campanella, Henry Ferrentino, Frank Albanese, Anthony Charnota, Leonardo Cimino, Sam Coppola, Nick Discenza
Studio Halcyon Prods.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Larry deFuria on July 13, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
So much factual information has since been published about the Joe Bonnano crime family, this tale rally isn't up to the task anymore. But it is one of the earliest attempts at romanticizing the false narrative of Mafia thugs who had "honor." If you follow this sort of history, it is an easy read but it is a story, not a factual piece.
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It follows the book very closely and uses the real life names of the Mafioso! If your a mafia buff then you definitely have to watch this movie! It is 100% accurate about the Bonnano family and the conflict it had with the commission in the 60s! The movie uses all the real names (Gambino, Produce, Gallo and etc) and it is very Kool to watch a movie that was the true history of a mafia event! The film itself is a little poor but remember this movie was made in 1973. Which is very interesting since the movie has Carlo Gambino in it and he was very much alive at the time. Which !makes me wonder if Joseph Bonnano STILL was a power house even after the commission took his family in 1968! A very true and interesting movie!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I love Joseph Bologna as an Actor and he does a great job in this portrayal of a real life gangster's son. I like to watch these kinds of movies because there are real life people like these characters.

I have seen this movie twice and although some parts are pretty brutal it is a good ride. This movie is no GodFather but is another good watch. Not disappointed by this one but it is very brutal in some parts not for kids.
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Format: Amazon Video
The 1973 TV adaptation of Gay Talese's "Honor Thy Father" came in the wake of Coppola's THE GODFATHER. Obviously, "Godfather" is fiction that draws from real events while "Honor" is a fairly accurate portrayal of a real crime family, the Bonannos of New York.

As it originally had commercial breaks, this movie is rather episodic. The restrictions of '70s network TV means it's also fairly bloodless and lacks the colorful language heard in most mob pictures. Although hampered by these and a small budget, the excellent cast does a fine job in recreating NY Mafia history.

The Bononnos were one of the Five Families organized after the Castellammarese War. At age 26, Joe Bonanno was youngest of the family heads. His income derived then and prior to the War from gambling, loansharking and racketeering. When the absentee Joe later lost his capo regime status to Gaspar DiGregorio this caused the "Banana Split," aka the Bonanno War.

"Honor Thy Father" refers at times to the above, but is primarily the story of Joe's son Salvatore.

Related item:
GOTTI (1996) is another TV film about a mob boss. Armand Assante stars as John Gotti-- the Teflon Don who after a lifetime of the worst sort of crime was finally convicted and sentented in 1992 to life imprisonment.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(5.1) Honor Thy Father (TV-1973) - Joseph Bologna/Brenda Vaccaro/Raf Vallone/Richard S. Castellano/Joe De Santis/Gilbert Green/Marc Lawrence/Joseph Campanella (narrator)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
WESTLAKE's edition of HONOR THY FATHER is stored in a glossy heavy paper gatefold cover. DVD extras include bios, filmographies and a photo gallery.

The 1973 TV adaptation of Gay Talese's "Honor Thy Father" came in the wake of Coppola's THE GODFATHER. Obviously, "Godfather" is fiction that draws from real events while "Honor" is a fairly accurate portrayal of a real crime family, the Bonannos of New York.

As it originally had commercial breaks, this movie is rather episodic. The restrictions of 70s network TV means it's also fairly bloodless and lacks the colorful language heard in most mob pictures. Although hampered by these and a small budget, the excellent cast does a fine job in recreating NY Mafia history.

The Bononnos were one of the Five Families created in the wake of the Castellammarese War. At age 26, Joe Bonanno was youngest of the five family heads. His income derived then and prior to the War from gambling, loansharking, and racketeering. When the absentee Joe later lost his capo regime status to Gaspar DiGregorio this caused the "Banana Split," aka the Bonanno War.

"Honor Thy Father" refers at times to the above, but is primarily the story of Joe's son Salvatore.

Related item:
GOTTI (1996) is another TV film about a mob boss. Armand Assante stars as John Gotti-- the Teflon Don who after a lifetime of the worst sort of crime was finally convicted and sentented in 1992 to life imprisonment.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(5.1) Honor Thy Father (TV-1973) - Joseph Bologna/Brenda Vaccaro/Raf Vallone/Richard S. Castellano/Joe De Santis/Gilbert Green/Marc Lawrence/Joseph Campanella (narrator)
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Format: DVD
Had it been made in 1953 or 1963 "Honor Thy Father" might be considered a great gangster film. But instead it was made in 1973, post "Godfather" (1972), and as such it is more of an embarrassment than a success, even though it was a TV movie.

The film is based on the critically acclaimed bestselling 1971 book by Gay Talese (1932), about the trials and tribulations of the Bonanno crime family in the 1960s.

The film stars Joseph Bolgona and Raf Vallone, as son and father, with Brenda Vaccaro as Joe's wife and Richard Castellano (he played Clemenza in "The Godfather") as one of Joe's senior aides.

(FWIW - This was only Bologna's second film. His best performance, IMHO, was in "My Favorite Year" (1982) where he played Sid Caesar. In that film he does a sketch about a mob boss, and I couldn't help but see that mob boss in his performance in this film. BTW - Caesar's mob boss was a caricature but Salvatore Bonano was not intended to be.)

The executive producer is Charles Fries who specialized in TV movies and made more than 100 of them, most of which are forgettable. Among his better ones were "LBJ: The Early Years" (1987), "The Rosemary Clooney Story" (1982), and "The Neon Empire" (1989),

Some might compare the film to an early version of "The Sopranos", which may be true, but as a film in the gangster genre it certainly doesn't hold up well when compared to "The Godfather" or "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984), or even to such lesser films as "Mean Streets" (1973), "Goodfellas" (1990), "A Bronx Tale" (1993), or "Casino" (1995). All these films dealt, in one way or another, with the personalities and the family life of the mob, and all were able to provide a more satisfactory film experience. Of course, these other films were big screen releases, and TV movies in the 70s were far more limited in terms of what they could show.
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