Cinema: Gangster Genealogy

THE VALACHI PAPERS Directed by TERENCE YOUNG Screenplay by STEPHEN GELLER

If The Godfather had been cast with lugs and directed by remote control, it would have looked a lot like The Valachi Papers.

Joe Valachi, it will be recalled, was a Brooklyn hood of the lower echelon who sang arias for the McClellan Committee in the fall of 1963, giving the general public its first peek into the intricacies of the Cosa Nostra. Peter Maas's bestselling Valachi Papers was based largely on the testimony, and the movie, if we are to believe the screen credits, is based upon Maas's book, although it...

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