Those who lived it and those who tried to kill it reveal in eye-opening detail the world of the US Mafia.
Former mobsters – some speaking on camera for the first time – informants and FBI agents expose the empire of the deadly, corrupt and unforgiving crime ring that gripped America for decades.
Each episode examines a pivotal time frame that began in the 1970s and led to the present, and each makes use of recently declassified files, first-person accounts and archival clips, relating a roller coaster of violence, loyalty and wealth.
Mobsters talk about the true meaning of La Cosa Nostra and what tricks they used to stay alive, while law enforcement officials offer rare details of dangerous undercover operations, highlighted by an in-depth interview with FBI legend Joe Pistone, whose five-year infiltration of the Bonanno crime family changed the mob forever and was the inspiration for the 1997 film `Donnie Brasco’.
Episode 1: Stayin’ Alive In The ’70s
In the early 1970s, a hidden empire of crime, violence and power ruled the streets of New York City. The five families of the American mafia ruled, and the family bosses were untouchable.
No one admits in public that the organization even exists–until one boss decides to break the rules. Joe Colombo. Other bosses are content to run their business from behind the scenes, but Colombo wants to take the fight to the FBI.
When he does, the results are disastrous for the mob. Meanwhile, a new generation of agents enters the FBI, and they’re not the usual suits. Italian-American guys who grew up in the same neighborhoods as gangsters start working for the Bureau and change the game.
One of those agents is Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco, who infiltrates a crime family more successfully than any other agent ever had. It’s the beginning of the end for the mob, though no one knows it yet.
Episode 2: Operation Donnie Brasco
In 1978, American law enforcement is at war with the American mob. But for the first time, the FBI has a real chance to strike back.
Their secret weapon, agent Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco, has infiltrated the Bonanno family and become close with known killers Lefty ‘Guns’ Ruggiero and ‘Sonny Black’ Napolitano.
But Pistone’s life ‘ and the very mob itself ‘ will change forever when he is ordered to kill so he can receive the honor of becoming a ‘made man.’
Episode 3: New York Philly War
The five families of New York City continue to run the American mob with an iron fist, a million scams and a booming resort town named Atlantic City.
The gambling mecca is overseen by the Philadelphia mob, which answers directly to New York.
But when an old school Philadelphia don named Angelo Bruno is assassinated in 1980, a bloody new era begins.
Episode 4: Taking Down the Mob
La Cosa Nostra is ruling the streets of New York, but one man is determined to bring an end to the violence and corruption: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rudolph Giuliani.
Giuliani mounts the most ambitious Mafia prosecution in history ‘ a case that will bring together an unprecedented arsenal of murder investigations, electronic wiretaps, undercover agents and paid informants.
Episode 5: Rise & Fall of John Gotti
It’s 1986, and a recent court ruling has landed most of the Mafia family bosses in jail, while on the streets of New York it’s every man for himself.
But one gangster sees chaos as an opportunity: John Gotti, a Gambino captain with a taste for unbridled violence and a vaulting ambition.
NGC chronicles Gotti’s rise to power as boss of the Gambino family as told by his closest Gambino associates and the former law enforcement officials determined to bring him down.
Episode 6: End Game
The American mob has reached a low point in the early ’90s, and the heads of most of the five families have been imprisoned for life, leaving the families in disarray, torn apart by violence and suspicion.
But one family survives these traumas intact by adhering to the strict code of silence: the Bonannos.
They attract young recruits like Jimmy Calandra and his circle of friends, who become known as the Bath Avenue Crew.
- Release date2013
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Ken Druckerman
- Production companyLeft/Right Docs