What Makes “A Bronx Tale” A Classic Gangster Movie?

“A Bronx Tale” was quite the spectacle amongst thief movie aficionados when it came out. It traced the directorial debut from Robert De Niro, who was no stranger to crime movies, so everyone was looking forward to seeing what a movie with him at the helm would look like. He also decided to cast himself in the good guy role, allowing Chazz Palminteri to take the role of the antagonist. The film itself was a departure from the normal mafia fare, because it centered on a young boy who actually wasn’t a member of the mafia as he grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood. Despite this, “A Bronx Tale” still has many elements to it that make it a true classic gangster movie and single of the optimal in its genre.

Huge Egos

A gangster film would not be the same without at minimum a few characters having magnitude egos. It is this ego that propels them forward and allows them to make the bloody power plays necessary for dominance in such a violent world. However, the problem with egos is that they can speedily cause problems whenever not kept in check, which is exactly what happens to more than one chap in most mob movies.

In “A Bronx Tale,” Sonny LoSpecchio (Palminteri) rules the community with an iron fist that is mostly relentless. He has few soft spots other than Calogero, a young boy who witnesses a mob hit but doesn’t say anything to the police, gaining Sonny’s trust. His ego blinds him to the danger of some of his actions, which is what ultimately leads to his destined downfall.


In gangster films, the henchman all have a actually inexorable code that they abide by which swears them to secrecy about their actions. They also put this brotherhood before everything else, treating each other cherish family. If one of their own goes down, the sabbatical won’t indisposed to find absent who took feather their brother et alii suppose him pay. When Calogero (who Sonny would later nickname “C”) witnesses the murder at the beginning of the film, it is in retaliation for a previous beating that left Carmine (Joe Pesci) with some serious scars. Until Sonny found published what had happened to Carmine, he didn’t intuit twice about killing the man who flog him. This, along with his inflated ego, would lead to his death.

Violent Death

A mob movie without death is probably not really a mob movie at all. Many mob films pontificality the downfall of the kingpin, and “A Bronx Tale” is no different. After years concerning ruling for an steel fist and calling for many hits, unite would think that Sonny would be a little more careful about security. One evening, he enters a bar where a party is in full swing, only to find himself at the mercy of a gunman who would shoot him in the back of the head, ending his life. It’s a violent end to a violent man, and it was a mix of his loyalty to the brotherhood connective his ego that brought him down. His ego made him mentation he was invincible, and the gunman was the grown male of the man whom Sonny ordered to be killed at the very onset of the movie. Had Sonny either had better security or let Carmine heal without finding his assailant, Sonny probably would have ruled the Bronx for quite a bit longer.

Taking Advice

Advice is in large supply in gunman films, especially if older hitmen concern themselves with the development of their eventual replacements. In the film “Donnie Brasco,” low-level hitman Al Pacino takes newbie Johnny Depp under his wing and gives him enough advice to fill a book. In “The Godfather,” Clemenza wisely advises Paulie to “Leave the gun; take the cannoli” when they are sent on a murderous detour although getting the cannolis that Paulie’s wife asks him to bring home.

In “A Bronx Tale,” Sonny gives C various pieces of advice over the years, but the most important advice is when he tells a young C that his friends are wannabe gangsters who will get him in trouble. He is absolutely correct, because the boys later get C involved in a racial velitation that presto escalates to include Molotov cocktails, crucial injury, and death. C’s father Lorenzo (De Niro) had been advising him all along to fasten away from Sonny, to no avail. There is a lot of advice given to the impressionable young boy, most of which he doesn’t follow, that puts him in some very bad situations. Not taking advice is a tried-and-true bandit trope that helps elevate “A Bronx Tale” from crime film to a gangster classic.