Wisegal

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Wisegal
Wisegal.jpg
Wisegal promotional image
Directed by Jerry Ciccoritti
Produced by Daniel H. Blatt
Written by Shelley Evans
Starring Alyssa Milano
James Caan
Jason Gedrick
Edited by Brigitte Rabazo
Distributed by Lifetime Television
Release date(s) March 15, 2008
Country  United States
Language English

Wisegal is a Lifetime Television crime drama film starring Alyssa Milano and directed by Jerry Ciccoritti. The movie premiered on March 15, 2008.

Plot[edit]

The story is narrated by an adult Nino Montanari, who reminisces on his family history...

Brooklyn, New York, ca. 1976: Angie resists abandoning baby daughter Patty on a cathedral doorstep and decides to raise her alone in the streets, surviving by their wits. Years later, a teenaged Patty meets and marries kind policeman Dante Montanari, and the couple have two sons: Joey and Nino.

Dante eventually dies of cancer, and the hospital bills have now left the surviving family without any money. Patty must now make ends meet. She quickly befriends local funeral director Frank Russo, with whom she has a romantic relationship, and Frank's boss Salvatore “Sal” Palmeri, with whom she has a business relationship.

Frank uses his persistent and persuasive charms to reel Patty into his world of organized crime. He offers her a job running a floundering Italian restaurant, which she converts into a successful transvestite nightclub. Sal attends opening night and he is impressed with her business savvy and street smarts. He soon assigns her to serve as his mule; she must drive to Toronto and pick up half-a-million dollars at a shipboard casino. Patty successfully delivers Sal his money, and soon gains his confidence.

Later, Patty and Sal's girlfriend June must make the same trip to Canada together. En route, Patty witnesses June repeatedly snorting cocaine. While Patty is making her usual pick-up, the casino is raided by police, but she manages to slip through their fingers and return to the hotel where June impatiently waits.

Back in Brooklyn, Frank’s son Mouse has been selling cocaine in the neighborhood. The teenage boy soon shows up at Patty’s doorstep afraid that his father will beat him up again for not 'staying clean'. Shortly thereafter, a newspaper headline reveals that Mouse has been murdered.

During Mouse’s funeral, Patty watches from a distance as the procession leaves the wake. FBI agent Robert Wilford approaches Patty for help in bringing down Sal’s criminal empire. Robert asks that Patty wear a wire to record incriminating evidence that will facilitate Palmeri’s arrest.

Soon, Patty discovers that June had turned Mouse on to selling her drugs, and that Palmeri had placed a hit on him for selling it on the streets. Patty also finds out that Frank asked his boss for permission to, mercifully, kill his own son. June is now fleeing for her life, but Patty intercepts her at her apartment, and finds out that she, June, and Frank are probably the next on Palmeri's hit list.

Eventually, Patty persuades Palmeri to let her go free and to not kill Frank unless he continues threatening her family. Soon thereafter, Palmeri and his men are either arrested or killed, and June’s dead body is discovered (presumably from a drug overdose).

The Montanaris and Angie hop on the next train to Florida, leaving their criminal past behind.

Cast[edit]

  • Alyssa Milano – Patty Montanari
  • Jason Gedrick – Frank Russo
  • James Caan – Salvatore Palmeri
  • Janet Wright – Angie
  • Gabriel Hogan - FBI Agent Robert Wilford
  • Kyle Harrington – Nino Montanari
  • Anthony Moniz Lancione – young Nino Montanari
  • Alessandro Costantini – Joey Montanari
  • Louca Tassone – Young Joey Montanari
  • Heather Hanson – June
  • Zak Longo – Mouse Russo
  • Tulsi Balram – Singer
  • Anthony Melchiorri – Uncle Tito
  • Jason Blicker – Dante Montanari

Credits[edit]

Reception[edit]

  • Variety reviewed that "seeing Milano with wads of unmarked bills taped under her breasts is the equivalent of two taste treats in one."[1]
  • The Hollywood Reporter stated Wisegal is above the Lifetime Original Movie average and said "it's engrossing, if sometimes a bit off the rails in terms of plausibility. It also offers genuinely solid performances, headed by Milano as a butt-kicking heroine along with effective work from bad-dude supreme Jason Gedrick and the ageless James Caan, who seems to speak increasingly softly as the years pile up." [2]
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed "Milano is perfect as the tough-gal mom, all feisty and take-charge, even if she can't see the future like good witch Phoebe Halliwell, whom she played in the WB's beloved Charmed." [3]

Release[edit]

The movie was released on DVD in 2008.

External links[edit]