Blast from the past

Actually Travolta… there was another Gotti before yours


You’ve probably seen the first trailer for the upcoming biopic about John Gotty. If you haven’t… it’s bellow these written sentences. Starring John Travolta and his real life wife, Kelly Preston, Gotti is a cinematic tale about the rise and downfall of one of the most notorious crime bosses in American history.

Directed by Kevin Conolly, and written by Leo Rossi/Lem Dobbs, Gotti follows the infamous crime boss John Gotti’s (John Travolta) rise to become the “Teflon Don” of the Gambino Crime Family in New York City. Spanning three decades and recounted by his son John Jr. (Spencer Lofranco), the movie examines Gotti’s tumultuous life as he and his wife (Kelly Preston) attempt to hold the family together amongst tragedy and multiple prison sentences.

But it you recall, there was also a biographical account of John Gotti and his crime days back in the 90’s. Also called Gotti, the 996 HBO movie was directed by Robert Harmon and had Armand Assante in the role of John Gotti. The movie started In 1973 in New York, and ended in 1992, with the events of Gotti’s imprisonment. William Forsythe, Anthony Quinn were also in the supporting roles, while Alberta Watson played Victoria Gotti.

The HBO film was nominated for 3 Golden Globe awards (for Asante, Quinn, and for best Best Miniseries or Television Film) and for 7 Emmy awards, winning in just one category, that for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special (Armand Asante).

Gotti was originally planned for a theatrical release, but the project fell short on funding. Therefore, it became an HBO film, and was the highest rated original telefilm in HBO history at that time. The success of the film convinced HBO to cast film costars, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore and Tony Sirico in a series in development at the time called The Sopranos (1999).

HBO’s Gotti features two actors with real life associations to real New York mobsters: Marc Lawrence, who portrays Carlo Gambino, was friends with Charles “Lucky” Luciano. He would visit him in Italy where Lucky was deported to after his release from prison. And Anthony Quinn, who portrays Neil Dellacroce, was friends with Frank Costello (Lucky’s former under boss) after Costello had retired from the mob.


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