To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

The Valachi Papers (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Valachi Papers
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerence Young
Screenplay byStephen Geller
Based onThe Valachi Papers
by Peter Maas
Produced byDino De Laurentiis
StarringCharles Bronson
Lino Ventura
Jill Ireland
Walter Chiari
Joseph Wiseman
CinematographyAldo Tonti
Edited byJohnny Dwyre
Monica Finzi
Music byRiz Ortolani
Armando Trovajoli
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byS.N. Prodis
Release dates
  • 9 December 1972 (1972-12-09) (France)
  • 13 December 1972 (1972-12-13) (Italy)
Running time
125 minutes
Box office$17,106,087[2]

The Valachi Papers is a 1972 neo noir crime film directed by Terence Young. It is an adaptation of the 1968 non-fiction book of the same name by Peter Maas, with a screenplay by Stephen Geller. It tells the story of Joseph Valachi, a Mafia informant in the early 1960s who was the first ever mafioso to acknowledge the organization's existence. The film stars Charles Bronson as Valachi and Lino Ventura as crime boss Vito Genovese, with Jill Ireland, Walter Chiari, Joseph Wiseman, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Guido Leontini, Amedeo Nazzari, Fausto Tozzi, Pupella Maggio, and Angelo Infanti.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    7 080
    9 956
    216 215
    15 903
    2 667
  • The Valachi Papers (1972) Original Trailer
  • Mobsters - Joseph ''The Rat'' Valachi
  • Charles Bronson on The Concerns For Releasing The Valachi Papers | The Dick Cavett Show
  • The Don Is Dead (1973) Anthony Quinn, Robert Forster [Violent 70s gangster classic]
  • World Trade Center Blooper In "The Valachi Papers" (1972)



Joseph Valachi is an aging prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, who was imprisoned for smuggling heroin. The boss of his crime family, Vito Genovese, is imprisoned there as well. Genovese is certain that Valachi is an informant, and gives him the "kiss of death," whereupon Valachi kisses him back. Valachi is also the recipient of an attempted attack in the shower days before, which might have been caused by Genovese.

Valachi mistakenly kills a fellow prisoner, Joseph Saupp, who he wrongly thinks is a mob assassin. Told of the mistake by federal agent Ryan, Valachi becomes an informant, and is then transferred to Quantico to begin telling Ryan all that he knows. He tells his life story in flashbacks, from when he was a young criminal to a gangster associating with bosses such as Salvatore Maranzano. Maranzano initiates Valachi into the Mafia, and then assigns Gaetano Renia to be Valachi's boss. Valachi serves Renia well until the day that Renia is murdered in a drive-by shooting during the Castellammarese War, forcing Valachi to hide out at Renia's house, where he meets and falls in love with Renia's daughter, Maria. At the funeral for Renia, Maranzano consoles Renia's widow by saying "I cannot bring back the dead. I can only kill the living." After the funeral, Joe Masseria--Renia's murderer--is himself killed by 'Lucky' Luciano. Valachi then marries Maria after getting the blessing to do so by her mother.

Valachi's rise in the Mafia is hampered by his poor relations with his capo, Tony Bender. Bender orders the castration of Valachi's business partner, Dominick 'The Gap' Petrilli for having relations with Genovese's wife. Valachi shoots the victim to put him out of his misery.

The mayhem and murder continue to the present, with Valachi shown testifying before a Senate committee. He is upset with having to testify and attempts suicide, but in the end (according to information superimposed on the screen) outlives Genovese, who dies in prison.



Producer Dino de Laurentiis had to convince Charles Bronson to take the role of Joe Valachi. He reportedly turned it down at least twice before accepting it when he found out the character got to age from his late teens to early 60s.[3] Bronson was also given a three-film contract that guaranteed him $1 million per picture plus a percentage of the gross.[4]

The film was shot in New York City and at De Laurentiis' studios in Rome.[1] Production began on March 20, 1972.[1]

The film shows a 1930s night street scene, 27 minutes into the film, in which numerous 1960s model cars are parked and drive by. In another scene depicted as occurring in the early 1930s, Valachi, eluding police pursuit, drives a car into the East River just north of the Brooklyn Bridge, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are clearly visible against the dawn sky; the Towers were only recently completed when the film was released in 1972.

Paramount, the film's original distributor, had planned to release the film in February 1973, but the premiere date was moved up to capitalize on the popularity of the similarly-themed film The Godfather.[4] Bronson's opinion of Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic, although he admired Marlon Brando's performance, was "The Godfather? that was the shittiest movie I've ever seen in my entire life."[5] On The Dick Cavett Show however, he called The Godfather a good picture.[6] The film departed from the true story of Joseph Valachi, as recounted in the Peter Maas book, in a number of ways. Though using real names and depicting real events, the film also contained numerous events that were fictionalized. Among them was the castration scene (the mobster in question was ordered killed, not castrated).[4]


Box office

The Valachi Papers grossed about $17 million domestically,[2] generating theatrical rentals of $9.3 million.[7]

Critical response

Reviews were mostly negative, as many critics inevitably compared the film unfavorably to The Godfather.[4] Roger Greenspun of The New York Times wrote, "Often ludicrous and often just dull, Terence Young's 'The Valachi Papers' has the look of a movie project that ran short of ideas before it was finished, and ran out of class almost before it was begun."[8] A positive review in Variety called the film "a hard-hitting, violence-ridden documented melodrama of the underworld" that "carries a fine sweep that immediately projects it as an important crime picture."[9] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and called it "an ambitious but not inspired movie about the mob."[10] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune awarded two stars out of four and wrote, "Generally, 'The Valachi Papers' tries to cover too many years, and thus provides paper-thin treatment of each event. As a result, the film implies power and violence, but rarely shows it. The visual power of 'The Godfather' has been replaced with meaningless names and dates."[11] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times dismissed the film as "two hours of relentless tedium, interrupted from time to time by savage violence."[12] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post declared the film "a stiff. It may be possible to make a duller gangster melodrama, but I would hate to sit through the attempt ... It takes considerable ineptitude to produce a gangster movie this enervating."[13] John Raisbeck wrote in The Monthly Film Bulletin, "Inviting inevitable comparisons with The Godfather, Terence Young's film proves markedly, even surprisingly, inferior to Coppola's on every level. Young and his screenwriter Stephen Geller, though faithful in fact to Peter Maas' original document, have simply plodded through a catalogue of events, content to name names but failing to treat the material with any consistency of form or theme."[14]

Other media

In popular culture

  • In the October 27, 1973, Season 2, Episode 7 of The Bob Newhart Show, entitled "Old Man Rivers," Bob, his wife, Emily, Bob's receptionist and friend Carol, and her date go to see a film entitled Big Al, which is being promoted with the tagline, "If you liked The Godfather and The Valachi Papers," you'll love Big Al."
  • In Season 1, Episode 21 of the 1970s television sitcom Maude, titled "The Perfect Couple", Walter tells Maude that he loves her more today than he did yesterday. Maude's response is, "Oh, darling. Oh, Walter. You're so sweet and poetic. If Shakespeare had known you, he never would have written Romeo and Juliet. He would have written The Valachi Papers!"
  • In Season 5, Episode 11 of the HBO series The Sopranos, titled "The Test Dream", Tony Soprano holds a copy of the novel the movie is based upon during a complicated dream sequence. He is standing at a urinal next to a corrupt police officer who questions Tony's resolve in taking action. Tony holds up a copy of the book and replies, "I've done my homework."


  1. ^ a b c "The Valachi Papers - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The Valachi Papers, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  3. ^ Whitney, Steven (1975). Charles Bronson Superstar. Robert Hale Limited. pp. 169–170. ISBN 0-7091-7134-X.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Valachi Papers - History". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  5. ^ Whitney, Steven (1975). Charles Bronson Superstar. Robert Hale Limited. p. 170. ISBN 0-7091-7134-X.
  6. ^ "The Dick Cavett Show". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  7. ^ "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
  8. ^ Greenspun, Roger (November 4, 1972). "The Screen: 'Valachi Papers' Arrives". The New York Times. 21.
  9. ^ "Film Reviews: The Valachi Papers". Variety. October 25, 1972. 22.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 24, 1972). "The Valachi Papers". Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Siskel, Gene (October 24, 1972). "Valachi Papers". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 4.
  12. ^ Thomas, Kevin (October 26, 1972). "Valachi Spills the Beans". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 26.
  13. ^ Arnold, Gary (November 10, 1972). "'Valachi': Dull and Dilatory". The Washington Post. B11.
  14. ^ Raisbeck, John (February 1973). "The Valachi Papers". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 40 (469): 25.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 November 2023, at 13:24
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.