Blood in the Streets: Subculture of Violence

RARELY has there been such a bizarrely precise intersection of fantasy and brutal reality. In half a dozen Manhattan theaters one morning last week, projectors were unreeling the mustily violent world of The Godfather, the Mafia wars of 1945-55. While Paramount's actors did their impersonations of caporegimes and button men in supposedly archaic rites of murder, the bright black Cadillacs were nosing up to the curb outside Guide's funeral home in Brooklyn.

The scene there had an authenticity that was almost theatrical. From the brownstones along Clinton Avenue, old women stared in...

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