David Chase

Showing that even hit men can be human, he brings humanity to the screen

As a former FBI special agent who lived the Mafia lifestyle for six years in deep cover as Donnie Brasco, I can vouch for the authenticity of The Sopranos, the HBO phenomenon created by David Chase. I lived day and night with the Bonnano crime family of New York City, interacting with wiseguys and their families, attending Mob weddings, funerals and family get-togethers. Chase understands their subtleties, from the emphatic hand gestures to their unwritten code of honor.

At first glance, the story lines of Mafia hit men, power and treachery seem as if they will follow crime-tale formulas, but The...

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