Lorraine Bracco in Getting Gotti (1994)

Watching Gotti

Diane Giacalone (Lorraine Bracco - Medicine Man) grew up in the same Brooklyn neighbourhood as John Gotti (Tony Denison - The Great Escape II) but whilst Gotti rose in the ranks of the family Giacalone enter law and became an Assistant U.S. Attorney. As a prosecutor she sets about building a case to bring down the Mafia boss but finds herself getting no help from her colleagues, politicians or FBI agents forcing her to go it alone.

Any movie with the name Gotti in the title is going to attract me, I am a huge fan of mob movies and John Gotti is one of the most famous mob bosses of all time. But I have watched enough mob movies to know that it is a hit and miss sub genre especially when they are based on a true story. That brings me to "Getting Gotti" a made for TV movie from 1994 starring Lorraine Bracco as the woman who set about bringing down the mob boss.

Tony Denison in Getting Gotti (1994)

Now whilst I am a fan of mob movies I am no expert on the real life people who often appear in these movies and when you go looking for info on "Getting Gotti" you will find opinions which range from based on fact to totally inaccurate. I don't know which is right but I would say we are in middle territory with a movie based on a true story but presented in such a way that some details are missing and characters are altered. If my suspicions are correct it is enough to annoy those who know the ins and outs of Gotti and Giacalone's endeavours to bring him to justice.

But whether 100% accurate or not "Getting Gotti" is a watchable drama when taken as one woman's endeavours to get Gotti. It gives just enough detail when it comes to the life of Gotti as well as the battles which Giacalone faced when she decided to go after him. But it isn't a great mob movie and often feels like it is forcing the cliches which you expect from a mob movie such as the opening when Gotti goes to see the boss and we have forced opera music played as he enters the dark room surrounded by other mob men.

As for the performances well I might not be an expert but Tony Denison didn't do it for me as Gotti and felt like he was playing a cliche mob character rather than the man which isn't helped by the fact that Gotti doesn't exactly look like Gotti. But Lorraine Bracco is the real star of "Getting Gotti" and Bracco's performance is strong from start to finish be it as a woman who grew up in the area or as a woman dealing with the brick walls thrown up in front of her by her colleagues and the FBI.

What this all boils down to is that if you watch "Getting Gotti" expecting a mob movie you might disappointed but as a drama about Giacalone trying to bring him down it is interesting although far from perfect.