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Donnie Brasco is a 1997 film by Mike Newell, starring Al Pacino, Michael Madsen and Johnny Depp. It is loosely based on the real-life events of Joseph D. Pistone, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who successfully infiltrated the Bonanno crime family, one of the Mafia's Five Families based in New York City during the 1970s, under the alias "Donnie Brasco". Depp met with Pistone several times while preparing for his role. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

In the late 1970s, FBI agent Joe Pistone (Depp) is assigned to infiltrate the New York City–based Bonanno crime family. Calling himself, "Donnie Brasco" and posing as a diamond expert from Vero Beach, Florida, he befriends Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero (Pacino), a low-level mob hit man whose personal life is in tatters, and Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano (Madsen). Lefty can't seem to make enough money, his son is a drug-addict and he is continually passed over for promotion to a higher position within the crime family. He continually reminds Brasco of his growing disillusionment about having spent 30 years in the Mafia (and killing 26 people), with little to show for it. In Donnie, however, Lefty sees a young protégé who might be able to succeed where he had failed. He takes Donnie under his wing, and under Lefty's tutelage Donnie quickly becomes accepted by the other Family members, although he is never elevated above the rank of "associate" member (the lowest mafia rank). But the longer Pistone plays the role of a gangster, the more he finds himself actually becoming Donnie Brasco during his rare off duty hours. His long work hours and change in personality drives a wedge between him and his wife (played by Anne Heche) and three children. Over time, Pistone comes to realize that the slightest mistake in his performance as a mobster could result in the death of him and his family. In addition, Joe Pistone has come to regard Lefty as a close and trusted friend. He knows that when the day finally comes that the FBI arrests his mob associates, he will be ending Lefty's life as surely as if he himself had killed him.


Al Pacino Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero
Johnny Depp Joseph D. Pistone/Donnie Brasco
Michael Madsen Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano
Bruno Kirby Nicky Santora
Anne Heche Maggie Pistone
James Russo John "Booby" Cersani, name changed to Paulie
Zeljko Ivanek Tim Curley
Jack Rann Dean Blandford
Andrew Parks Hollman
Jackson Valentine Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato
Brian Tarantina Anthony "Bruno" Indelicato
Rocco Sisto Richard 'Richie' Gazzo
Carl Mercadante Cameo Role
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