In 1932, a modernizing U.S. Army orders the Cavalry to destroy its horses but some sympathetic cavalrymen, defying orders, steal the horses in order to save them from destruction, to the dismay of the top Army-brass.
In Boston, when the mobster Bobby "Bats" Batton is attacked by a killer at home and escapes, he finds that he has fallen in disgrace with his boss since someone has falsely betrayed him ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
The 50 star US flag is seen in the movie poster, which didn't exist at the turn of the 19th/20th century. See more »
A permanent stain on the reputation of New Orleans
Theodore Roosevelt was contemptuous of races and nations he considered inferior. When a mob in New Orleans lynched a number of Italian immigrants, Roosevelt thought the United States should offer the Italian government some remuneration, but privately he wrote his sister that he thought the lynching was "rather a good thing" and told her he had said as much at a dinner with "various dago diplomats . . . all wrought up by the lynching."
This was the attitude of America in 1891. The New York Times on March 14, 1891, published an article describing the events in this film with the following headline: CHIEF HENNESSY AVENGED; ELEVEN OF HIS Italian ASSASSINS LYNCHED BY A MOB. The attitude of the whites in New Orleans can best be summed up by the comments from one businessman, "I would rather have a thousand Chinamen, than one Italian.
This information is critical to understanding the movie, the truth of which is well documented. It was not just African Americans that suffered lynching after the Civil War, many Italians suffered the same fate across the country, but mostly in the South.
Timothy Prager's script hewed very closely to Richard Gambino's book. The performances were outstanding, particularly Christopher Walken, Joaquim de Almeida, and Clancy Brown, in the short time he was on screen. Alessandro Colla and Megan McChesney provided a romantic distraction amid the chaos. This was their only screen roles, and they did very well.
I am grateful to Alan DiFiore, Mark Israe,Sue Jett,Gary Lucchesi,Tony Mark, Nicholas Pileggi, and Gary A. Randall for making this important film.
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