The Valachi Papers (1972)

PG   |    |  Crime, Drama

The Valachi Papers (1972) Poster

Gangster Joe Valachi is a marked man in the same joint where mob boss Don Vito Genovese is imprisoned and he's forced to co-operate with the DA in exchange for protection.


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User Reviews

20 July 2014 | SnoopyStyle
| not that engaging
It's 1962. Joe Valachi (Charles Bronson) is a marked man. Fed agent Ryan tells him that Don Vito Genovese thinks that he and Tony Bender turned states' witness against him. Bender is missing. When Valachi finally gets a meeting with Don Vito, the Don gives Valachi Il bacio della morte (Kiss of Death). Valachi returns to favor. Don Vito puts out a $20k contract on him. He immediately turns to Ryan for protection. In return, he tells his mob life starting with his imprisonment in Ossining Prison in 1929 where he first meets Tony Bender. Tony introduces him to the mob run by boss Salvatore Maranzano. He rises in the family as internal struggle leaves Genovese in charge.

The movie sets up the 1962 story so well that I didn't really care about the history. I want to know how Don Vito is coming after Valachi. I want to know what happens to Valachi's kid. I want to know what happens next and not what happened before. The whole flashback structure is boring and not that engaging. I couldn't wait for the movie to advance in the 1962 story but that part of the story has no meat in it. There are better mob movies to come and 'The Godfather' is just a few months after this. This movie didn't have a chance even with a good performance from Charles Bronson.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

6 January 1972


English, Italian

Country of Origin

Italy, France

Filming Locations

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

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