Robert De Niro made his directorial debut with this expanded adaptation of Chazz Palminteri's one-character play. DeNiro's role of Lorenzo Anello, an Italian-America bus driver, is secondary to the part of his son Calogero, played by young Francis Capra. The top dog in Calogero's Bronx neighborhood is flashy "wiseguy" Sonny (Chazz Palminteri). When the boy witnesses Sonny commit a murder, he honors the code of the streets and refuses to tell the cops. Sonny befriends him and introduces the impressionable youngster to the creature comforts that mob connections can bring. But though he idolizes Sonny, the boy loves and respects his decent, honest father. It takes a major tragedy for the 17-year-old boy (now played by Lillo Brancato) to decide his true course in life. Though titled A Bronx Tale and set in the Bronx of the 1960s, the film was actually shot in the somewhat safer environs of Brooklyn and Queens. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This movie is really outstanding. It's wonderfully written and seems, it appears, to have captured what life in the Bronx was like years ago (possibly now as well). From racism, to mobsters, to a movie about a kid growing up, making the right decisions, learning what to appreciate/what not to appreciate/how to live life.. this is movie is a gem. The acting is superb, as could be expected. One of my "To 100" for life. This movie is endearing and just outstanding.