Talk:Donnie Brasco (film)

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Alan Greenspan?[edit]

He's credited as a producer and linked to the so-named former head of the federal reserve. Shurely shome mishtake.--Mongreilf 20:45, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

They aren't one and the same so I've red linked it to alan greenspan (film producer)--Mongreilf 19:24, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:DonnieBrascoDVD.png[edit]

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Image:DonnieBrascoDVD.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:38, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Historical inaccuracies[edit]

I removed a section labelled "Historial inaccuracies". This film was a work of fiction. --Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 08:39, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

As this is disputed (by a revert) I've called a RfC on the question.
My arguments against this section are as follows:
  • it's a work of fiction so distinguishing artistic license from accidental errors is unrealistic. Moreover audiences recognise that they're being entertained, not taught a history lesson;
  • The section at present comprises a list of unsupported, unsourced assertions.
  • The section has attracted trivial, fatuous statements, such as a quibble over the timing of the release of a pop song.
On a side issue, Cerasini's lawsuit (mentioned in the section) was rejected for the interesting and unusual reason that he was "the exceptional, libel-proof plaintiff" because he had tarnished his own reputation so thoroughly. [1].
--Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 03:09, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
My immediate thought is that what's needed is a specific citation -- perhaps quoting the film-makers -- demonstrating that it was only ever intended to be 'loosely based' on events, as the current version of the article claims. If such material exists, then the entire historical inaccuracies section is indeed not warranted. If, conversely, the film was consistently presented and discussed as being a depiction of actual events, the section could stand (and the introduction should be adjusted accordingly). If it stayed, it would definitely require some supporting citations. I agree that the ELO example seems trivial relative to the other issues presented. But some verifiable material to establish just how "true to life" the film was intended to be remains the obvious place to start. Gusworld (talk) 05:07, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it's assumed that a drama based on real life will be different from a documentary. All the President's Men wasn't fanatical about factual accuracy, nor was Titanic, and the only people who have a problem with that are those who confuse fact with fiction. But yes, I think it would be neat to locate a soundbite of someone on the production, preferably Mike Newell (director) or Paul Attanasio (screenplay), saying something along the lines of "it's a loose adaptation of Pistone's memoir." --Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 15:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Interesting piece in Slate, 1997, by David Edelstein who says he knows the screenwriter Attanasio, "in college and later, when he was the chief film critic of the Washington Post". Edelstein is quite clear that "The story has been fictionalized, but it hasn't been Hollywood-ized", and he illustrates that with several examples, particularly the movie's theme of Brasco's remorse over his betrayal of Lefty (played by Al Pacino). "On the evidence of his book, Pistone was truly torn up about having abandoned his family for the years it took him to infiltrate the mob, but he didn't lose as much sleep over what he was doing to his Mafia family. That's the screenwriter's conceit. And the actual Lefty seems to have had much less stature." It occurs to me that we'd probably want to incorporate in depth analysis of this kind, irrespective of whether we retain the "Historical inaccuracies" section. --Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 16:35, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Rfwoolf[edit]

  • WP:Trivia is relevant here
  • I believe there's nothing wrong in keeping this section (WP:Trivia says some sources are good),
  • but, no policy seems to say this section shouldn't exist,
  • and no policy seems to say this section should exist'
  • ..and in such a case we can consider whether or not we feel this section is relevant. And I believe it is relevant. I think the section should stay, and we work on some sources.

Rfwoolf (talk) 12:26, 30 March 2008 (UTC) If anyone can find a copy of the special edition DVD, which includes interviews with the director and screenwriter as well as Joe Pistone himself, and Depp and maybe a couple of other actors, you will see that most of this is explained in a couple of featurettes. I think that might be considered about the best source you will find. Pistone explained that Lefty was getting older and lost a step or he never would have let Pistone get that close. He mentions more of Lefty but the other real life people really aren't mentioned. Djkw (talk) 10:26, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

"Fugazy" / Fugazi?[edit]

Why does Fugazy redirect to this page? There should be mention of the word somewhere in the article, otherwise Fugazy should probably redirect to Fugazi (which it matches phonetically). ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 21:24, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

agree. Fugazy has been redirected to Fugazi (disambiguation), which includes a link to wiktionary for the term. If there is an important Donnie Brasco reference that is appropriate, it could be added to that disambiguation page. Cander0000 (talk) 08:14, 28 July 2013 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 17:24, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Alterations to the plot summary[edit]

Victoria1286 has carried out a rewrite of the plot summary. My main concern is the use of both "Donnie" and "Pitstone", whereas the previous long-standing plot section was consistent with using "Donnie". Many of our readers, especially those yet to see the film, will experience confusion now.
The considerable swelling of the plot summary as a result of Victoria1286's revisions this week may concern other editors more than it does me. — | Gareth Griffith-Jones |The WelshBuzzard| — 20:37, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

I am one of those editors that do consider this expansion out-of-place here. I intend restoring the long-established plot section. User:Victoria1286 must discuss this here in accordance with WP:BRD, before reverting my revision. Rosemary Cheese (talk) 09:53, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
The previous version of the plot summary has factual errors and does not provide enough context to accurately describe what happened in the movie. I added details to what was written to correct this.Victoria1286 (talk) 00:58, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Your version is quite a bit wordier. It must have been that wordiness that the OP was editing, which caused me to think too much had been taken out. If there are errors, let's discuss what they are and agree on replacement text. Until then, the 2014 version, which I think reads well enough, and has the virtue of being brief, should stay as the text, pre BRD as I understand it. Dhtwiki (talk) 04:43, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
In the meantime, I am removing 'throughout the film' ... an "obvious error" ... — | Gareth Griffith-Jones |The WelshBuzzard| — 11:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Not so, especially after you thought "persistently" was appropriate. And you had no consensus to change it. Dhtwiki (talk) 19:37, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Barber shop where Lefty questions Jilly about Donnie Brasco[edit]

Does anybody know where (or the address of) the barber shop is that is used as the set in the beginning of the movie where Lefty questions Jilly about Donnie Brasco? Is it still there? Thanks in advance to anybody who knows.

I think I found it - I think it is at 688 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222, and I think it is now called "Emma's Unisex Salon" (my, how things have changed since the 1970's), tel 718-349-0664. Does anybody know if it still has any old world charm? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betathetapi545 (talkcontribs) 11:46, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Discrepancies between fact and fiction[edit]

Content below. I think it is important that readers distinguish and know the facts surrounding operation Donnie Brasco. *SOME* of the content that I've typed up is displayed on other articles but you have to go through 3-4 different articles to find out the aftermath and the truth. This dispute started when @TheOldJacobite claimed it was a personal analysis but couldn't even be bothered to look up any sources or fellow Wikipedia articles on the Bonanno mobsters, then said I need to stop being disruptive after one edit. I'm loving this obstructionist play. Just trying to update and improve these articles. The Gambino, Bonanno, Lucchese, Colombo and Genovese articles are all outdated (8-10 years) and barely any mention of modern history before I contributed.. needs to change.

"Pistone has said that movie is 90-95% accurate. Santora who is played by Bruno Kirby was not murdered although he did help kill and dispose of the bodies with Napolitano alongside 11 others; he would later become the underboss for the Bonanno crime family in the 2000s. Pistone is portrayed as being part of the disposing team and cutting Indelicato' foot off however he was never involved with the murders of Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera and Philip Giaccone.[1] Dominick Napolitano almost allowed Pistone to become a full fledged soldier in the Bonanno crime family. Napolitano was subsequently murdered as a consequence in 1981; shot to death, and had both of his hands cut off because he introduced Pistone to Florida crime family boss Santo Trafficante and shook his hand. Ronald Filocomo and Frank Lino murdered Napolitano, Lino was actually with the 3 captain's before they were murdered and was serving as a bodyguard but managed to flee.[2] The 3 murders however did not take place in a basement but at a restaurant storeroom owned by Sammy the bull Gravano.[3] Anthony Mirra was murdered a year later also.[4] His Mafia mentor Lefty Ruggiero was arrested before he could attend a meeting, it was believed by the FBI he would have been murdered at that particular meeting. He served 11 years in prison and died 2 years later of lung cancer. Pistone expressed remorse later in life saying, "my intention in all of this was to put people in jail, not get them killed."[5] — Preceding unsigned comment added by ThePlane11 (talkcontribs) 21:31, 1 November 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ "FIGHT IN BONNANO 'CRIME FAMILY' WITH THREE MURDERS IS DESCRIBED". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ex-Bonanno capo whose 'extraordinary' cooperation helped nab two dozen mobster gets time served after serving eight years for six gangland murders". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  3. ^ "F.B.I. INFILTRATOR SAYS MOB CHIEF TOLD OF SLAYINGS". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Oldfellas: Feds Arrest Aging New York Mobster Linked To Famed 1978 Lufthansa Robbery". International Business Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "'BRASCO'S' LONG WAIT After 20 years, ex-agent applauds mob bust". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
Is all this really necessary though? This is about the movie not about all the real details of the background. Vaselineeeeeeee★★★ 22:48, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. These discrepancies are ancillary to an article about a film, its making, and dramatic impact (e.g. how do departures from fact detract from or add to the drama?). In any case, they should be referenced on the page (even though I, too, am apt to regard links to other articles as a form of indirect referencing, as long as the summary text here is supported by citations at the linked article). Dhtwiki (talk) 23:18, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As I said I'm only trying to improve the article. Some of the film is fiction, I was just wanting readers to know what is true and what is not. Quite interesting too. So is that a no from everyone? ThePlane11 (talk) 23:08, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

ThePlane11 - and others. I'd support some of the material you are trying to introduce, but not as a "discrepancies"', "inaccuracies" section or "real-life events" section where we list every area in which the film departs from reality. This could easily lead to a cruft section where things like, "Agent Pistone's watch was actually black..." etc are added indiscriminately to the article (not necessarily by you, but by others who misinterpret the intent of the section). As the film is based on real events, I do think that it might be a good idea to have a section which gives us the opportunity to wikilink to articles related to the real life events, and to briefly summarize some of the events, fall-out and present day influence. There are some Wikipedia principles in the WP:NOTABILITY policies, which are relevant here.
  • WP:LASTING Events are often considered to be notable if they act as a precedent or catalyst for something else. - In this case the film has actually caused some real life events to occur. Were these to be summarized, it may be prudent to remark on real life events.
  • WP:GEOSCOPE - The events portrayed in the film have had a greater international impact, due to their having been featured in an international film.
  • We can also compare some other articles here:
    • Titanic (1997 film) - has a subsection section called Fictional characters, separating real and fictional people.
      • Using the above as an example, an expansion on the characters section in this article, using some of the proposed information and/or similarly separating the characters into real/fictional might be appropriate.
    • Goodfellas - which has a legacy section
      • Note that this section focuses strictly on the film's influence within theatrical circles. It doesn't talk about accuracy or the current movements and goings on of related organized crime. That being said, there may be some scope for elaboration in a similar section here.
      • The principal photography section of the above film relates sourced information about the director's choices to depart or adhere to reality. If it could be sourced, this would definitely be of interest here and would also provide opportunities to link to pages which deal with real-world events.
  • In summary, any info here, to avoid WP:COAT and WP:REDUNDANTFORK, any and all info made to the article ought to be narrowly focused on its relationship to the film and the effects it had on the film industry. If we have this in mind when assessing all proposed info, I think it will be much easier to expand and improve the article. Edaham (talk) 00:12, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Some of these facts for example - Nicky is portrayed as being murdered when they are about to cut up the bodies and dispose of them whereas he wasn't; he held the second most important position within the crime family & is still alive today. Frank Lino who was with the 3 capos ran and escaped (he later killed Napolitano portrayed by Michael Madsen) , Pistone is portrayed as being the driver and then part of the disposing team whereas he wasn't involved. The scene where the 3 capos are murdered was not at one of their basements but instead at a store owned by Gambino underboss Sammy Gravano (released a little over a month ago after 15 years in prison so he's still relevant) , Pistone himself said the movie was 90-95% accurate. Maybe even a mention that he infiltrated another crime family in New York before the movie scenes of Donnie Brasco. There's so much the reader can learn just from reading this article and I find that important. ThePlane11 (talk) 02:44, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

I, too, find the information interesting. However, I thought that you were reverted as much for the lack of references as for wanting to add too much information. There's also the matter of adding context, such as telling of the discrepancies between the movie personalities and those in real life (for example, the Lefty who wasn't killed, and the Sonny Black who was, weren't likely people who would impress us as the actors who portrayed them in the movie did). Dhtwiki (talk) 21:23, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Well Dhtwiki that was the problem to begin with but then I added some sources and it was removed again. The film made almost 90 million and in regard to Mob films; it's one of the best. Also I'm not sure where I stand with this, is it to be added or not? I tried adding a poll but it was later removed also.. ThePlane11 (talk) 02:01, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
What was the poll you added? Your editing history here has been recent, and I don't remember a poll. Propose your addition on this talk page. Write it as you would have it appear in the article, references included, and let others comment on its suitability. You might want to take a look at what the article had on the subject of fact-versus-fiction discrepancies until January of this year, when it was removed, for lack of citations. You might let that guide you a bit. Dhtwiki (talk) 05:21, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Agree with this, a section written as it would appear in the article, either here or as a draft in your sandbox, which you could link here would be a great way to validate and expand on the new prose. Regarding the latter, if you are a newer user, it would be an ideal opportunity to test out the sand box functions, although take care to not create copyright violations or WP:BLP violations when writing about this, as the policies concerning these matters apply as much to sandboxes as they do to articles or talk pages. Edaham (talk) 07:50, 5 November 2017 (UTC)