Even if the The Godfather and Goodfellas had never to be made and we’d never heard of Tony Soprano, we’d likely still have a perverse fascination with the mob. The criminal empire and also its most colorful players have actually played one indelible component in the background of America and Italy. These 5 documentaries emphasis on several of the Italian and Irish gangsters that blazed their method into the background books—and the lengths your rivals and the law went to take them down.

1. The Iceman Confesses: secrets of a Mafia Hitman (2001)

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Richard Kuklinski, nicknamed “The Iceman” because that his habit of freeze his victims to confused time of death, to be a contract killer because that the brand-new York and new Jersey crime family members for 30 years. In this chilling interview, Kuklinski speak at length around his abusive childhood and his plenty of killings. He insurance claims to have murdered in between 100 and also 250 men—but never any kind of women—before he was arrested in 1986. Not all of those to be mob hits: The quick-tempered Kuklinski would kill anyone who rubbed him the dorn way. The was daunting to catch since he supplied so countless methods to kill, occasionally using his ceiling hands “just because that the exercise.” He also talks around one kill done through a crossbow so he can “test out his weapon.” He likewise calmly shares a story about killing a male who fan him money top top Christmas Eve, climate coolly returning to assemble his kids’ presents for Christmas morning.” go he feeling remorse about the killing? No, he was “annoyed i couldn’t gain the damn wagon together.” The 2012 feature film The Iceman starred Michael Shannon together Kuklinski. (Amazon, HBO Go)

2. Terrific Cadavers (2005)

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This in-depth look at the brutality that the Sicilian mafia is based upon the 1995 nonfiction book by Alexander Stille about two bolder Palermo prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and also Paolo Borsellino, who waged an all-out legal assault on the mob in the ’80s. They regulated to certain the convictions of numerous mafioso in the an initial of its sort “maxi-trial,” yet paid for their zeal through their lives. Lock were killed in separate bombings in 1992. The title originates from the Italian phrase “cadaveri eccellenti,” i m sorry is used to refer to high-profile victim of the Mafia, such as politicians and also judges. Stille, who also wrote the script, narrates and also leads viewers top top a tourism of plenty of of the an essential sites, interspersed v gory crime scene photos and archival footage. It’s in Italian, through subtitles. A 1999 TV movie starred Chazz Palminteri as Falcone. (Amazon, YouTube)

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3. Whitey: United states of America v. James J. Bulger (2014)

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Acclaimed movie housing Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper and also Paradise Lost: The child Murders in ~ Robin Hood Hills) transforms his focus on the trial of the notorious Boston mobster. Bulger to be a fugitive for 16 years, v 12 the those year on the FBI’s most Wanted List before finally gift nabbed in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011. Us hear straight from the previous crime boss of the Winter Hill gang, who contends he was never an FBI informant, contradicting the main record. Boston critics weighed in that, pleasure to have such access to his subject, Berlinger never really challenges Bulger ~ above his claims. Yet it’s tho a fascinating portrait of among the many colorful and also memorable criminal in American history. The Hollywood counterpart, black color Mass, starred a virtually unrecognizable Johnny Depp together the cruel mobster. (Netflix, Amazon)

4. Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman (2011)

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Like the much more famous Whitey Bulger, Greene to be an FBI informant and enjoyed the security of the bureau while he enlarged his criminal empire. He reigned as s Cleveland’s “Celtic Warrior” the the ’70s when the town was well-known as Bomb City, USA. Starting off together a longshoreman in the Cleveland docks, he became interim president of the union in 1961—until he to be convicted of embezzling much more than $10,000. He rose to end up being a major player in Cleveland’s underworld and fought the Italian crowd for manage of the city. They ultimately succeeded in killing him in 1977. One of the an ext interesting interviewees is Ed Kovacic, the former chief that police who developed a friendship the sorts v his criminal adversary. His story influenced the film death the Irishman, starring beam Stevenson (Rome, black color Sails) together Greene. (YouTube)

5. The Mafia (2015)

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If you can gain past a genteel enlarge British gentleman (host Trevor McDonald) constantly saying “MAFF-ia” instead of “Mafia,” this two-part ITV documentary is a riveting look together real-life difficult guys talk about “the life.” and yes, in ~ one point, the immortal phrase, “This is the life we chose” is uttered. McDonald starts in Queens, new York, wherein he meets john Alite, a.k.a. “The Sheriff,” who worked for man Gotti Sr. In a ar nicknamed “Death Haven.” that casually recounts the “constant murders” and also his involvement. “We would kill virtually at will, together someone given a beating,” that says. No everyone talks quite so freely. One street enforcer for Miami’s Bonnaro crime family members has his identity concealed. He speak McDonald that the well known mafia code of quiet is a thing of the past. “You deserve to trust a dead man. The the only person you have the right to trust. That’s my motto.

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I don’t trust nobody other than my mother. You can’t also trust the ceo no more, because they turn around and also rat ~ above you.” (YouTube)