Yeah, tough guy, I’m lookin’ at you. So you’ve seen Goodfellas more times than there are oranges in The Godfather. And you’ve seen The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II — judiciously skipping the oft-maligned Part III — so often that you half believe that the reason Michael Corleone hasn’t called you up is because he keeps his enemies closer. Well, you’re gonna get a chance to see all of these films again, but you’re also gonna get the chance to dig further into the gangster film canon than television typically dishes out when AMC has New York chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain host its second annual “Mob Week” from Monday, July 30 through Sunday, Aug. 5.
In terms of films offered, “Mob Week” will feature a rich mix of the usual suspects, including:
The Godfather (Monday, July 30 at 8pm ET)
The Godfather: Part II (Tuesday, July 31 at 8pm ET)
Scarface (Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8pm ET)
Donnie Brasco 15th Anniversary Celebration (Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8pm ET)
The Untouchables (Friday, Aug. 3 at 8pm ET)
Scarface (Saturday, Aug. 4 at 6pm & 10pm ET)
Goodfellas (Sunday, Aug. 5 at 6:45pm ET)
That’s good enough for a main course, but what’s a meal without an antipasto and secondo course to go with it? Bourdain will introduce each of the films, as well as appear in short vignettes throughout each night, shot in numerous locations around Manhattan’s Little Italy. “As a longtime mob nerd, crime writer and would-be afficionado of a Sicilian American fraternal organization, this is a dream come true,” Bourdain says of the experience. In each segment, he’ll discuss mob films, their culture and the link between the Cosa Nostra and Italian cuisine. Throughout the week, you’ll also have the chance to see mob classics like Miller’s Crossing, Bugsy, Capone, the 1931 James Cagney film The Public Enemy, as well as Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in America and others.
To make things even more interesting, AMC’s “Mob Week” also incorporates short-form documentaries into each of its prime-time selections, taking viewers inside mob life:
“The Family Business” (airs during The Godfather) Mob sons Johnny Fratto and Sam Giancana Jr. discuss their view of how the mob is the ultimate family-owned business, a legacy handed from father to son. Fratto illustrates how he was able to respect the tradition without necessarily following in his father’s path, while mob experts and law enforcement officials have their chance to speak their minds on the comparison between a Mafia operation and a legitimate family business.
“The Mob Code” (airs during The Godfather: Part II) In this installment, viewers find out what it really means to be a “made man” in the mob. In addition, mob experts and authorities describe the fall of some of the greatest families as a result of carelessness and deceit in the face of the understood code.
“Made for the Mob” (airs during Goodfellas) The last interview with the late Henry Hill has the Goodfellas subject discussing his induction into the mob, what made him fit in and whether or not he regretted the decisions he had made in his life. Law enforcement and mob experts also explain the blue-collar attraction to the mob way of life.
“The Chicago Way” (airs during The Untouchables) If someone puts one of your guys in the hospital, you put one of them in a grave. So goes the “Chicago way,” and Sam Giancana Jr. discusses how the mob controlled the city, from the beat cops to the judges, playing the cat-and-mouse game with the Feds. Experts then explain how the government circumvented the city’s “business as usual.”
“Power and Drugs” (airs during Scarface) Follow mob personalities into the paranoid and power-filled world of drugs. Mafia experts and law enforcement officers recall the 1980s transformation of Miami from a retirement destination to a cocaine haven soaked with blood, and how a dictator on a small island attacked America without firing a single shot.
“Divided Loyalties” (airs during Donnie Brasco) Infiltrating the mob — a ridiculously dangerous task, but it has been done. This segment looks at how, as well as the case of Henry Hill and what it’s like to have lived on both sides of the law. This special brings insight to the struggle to determine what’s right when faced with a choice between family loyalty and a life behind bars.
Photo: Dave Steele/AMC