Video Review

Mafia: The History of the Mob in America (1994)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
EW's GRADE
B

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Documentary, Mystery and Thriller

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

Originally posted Aug 12, 1994 Published in issue #235 Aug 12, 1994 Order article reprints