Susan Chumsky
August 12, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mafia: The History of the Mob in America

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Documentary, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B

Mafia: The History of the Mob in America, a five-hour series on four tapes, hits hardest when it tracks how Prohibition spawned the U.S. Mafia and how the Kennedys doublecrossed their sometime patron. Lesser installments, like the last one on the Mob’s sprawling business interests, feel like mop-up work, as if the filmmakers struggled to fit in whatever wasn’t covered previously. Dated, now-campy clips from ’30s gangster pictures help enliven the usual complement of archival footage and interviews, but for really stylish brutality — and essential truth — stick to Coppola’s fiction. B

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