The film Gotti is from 1996 and was shown on HBO. The reason I mention this is because there was a remake with John Travolta made in 2017. This version features Armand Assante as the title character John Gotti, who was the head of the Gambino crime family from 1985 until 1992. The film starts in New York City in 1973 when Gotti was starting to make a name for himself with the “family”. Assante does a great job portraying Gotti as a man who cared about his friends but always kept the “family” first.
The film does focus on his relationship with three individuals: underboss Neil Dellacroce (Anthony Quinn), crew member and longtime friend Angelo Ruggiero (Vincent Pastore) and his trusted hitman Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano (William Forsythe). All three actors portrayed their characters realistically and without being caricatures. Some people have said that this film had too much of a docudrama feel to it, but I say that when you do a film based on real people the word “docudrama” is not really a putdown. A true docudrama would have shown the real people not actors portraying them. I enjoyed the film and found myself glued to the story.
The cinematography was very well done and the three decades of time covered were well represented. The director, Robert Harmon, produced a good film with a understandable and linear story. I would give this 3.5 stars out of 5 mainly due to the swearing which tended to blur what the actors were talking about. I understood most of what was happening, but the language was a bit too much.