The Gangster Chronicles: Luciano Makes Masseria Offer (1981)



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In this scene from “The Gangster Chronicles: An American Story,” Charlie Luciano (Michael Nouri) meets with the arrogant but powerful Joe “The Boss” Masseria (Richard Castellano) in Little Italy to offer him a load of Alcohol, now in demand because of Prohibition. Also starring (Jon Polito) as Tommy Lucchese and (Richard Foronjy) as Umberto Valenti.
Directed by Richard C. Sarafian;
Written by Richard Alan Simmons

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The series The Gangster Chronicles: An American Story (1981) starred Michael Nouri as Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Joe Penny as Benny ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, and Brian Benben as Michael Lasker (the name given to the Meyer Lansky-based-character due to legal reasons).
Luciano (the organizer), Siegel (the muscle), and Lasker (the brains) were childhood
friends who joined forces during the prohibition era and became major bootleggers. As the series dramatizes their rise to power, it contrasts their personal lives: Luciano cultivated a mistress; Siegel becomes a womanizer; Lasker, a devoted family man. As with the Godfather movies, their personal lives were also explored. The Gangster Chronicles combined action and drama with a portrait of the crime figures as real people, not just two-dimensional caricatures or miscreants-but products of their environment. The show/series presents a revealing, dramatic look at the roots of certain aspects of American history, with accuracy, and is based on ten years of research by Emmy-winning writer Richard Alan Simmons; The first six episodes (8-hours) directed by Richard C. Sarafian delivering something quite intelligent, stylish and enjoyable. Sarafian infuses the material with tremendous energy, casting a group of charismatic up-and-comers (Joe Penny, Michael Nouri, Madeleine Stowe, Jonathan Banks), fine period detail, and swift pacing…it’s a testament to Sarafian’s excellent, attentive professionalism.

Michael Nouri (b. 1945) is an American screen and stage actor. He is best known for his television roles, including Dr. Neil Roberts on The O.C., Phil Grey on Damages, Caleb Cortlandt on All My Children, Eli David in NCIS, Charlie Luciano on The Gangster Chronicles: An American Story, and Bob Schwartz on Yellowstone. He is also known for his starring roles in Flashdance (1983) and The Hidden (1987). He has appeared in several Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including the original production of Victor/Victoria. He is a Saturn Award and Daytime Emmy nominee.

Richard Castellano (1933-1988) was an American actor who is best remembered for his role in Lovers and Other Strangers and his role as Peter Clemenza in The Godfather and as Joe Masseria in the television series: The Gangster Chronicles: An American Story (1981).

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New York’s largest Italian gang in the mid-1920s was based in East Harlem and headed by Giuseppe “Joe” Masseria, a middle-aged Sicilian immigrant. Short and corpulent…Masseria…dubbed himself “Joe the Boss.” -Selwynn Raab

What is little known about (the early life of)’Charlie Luciano is that he was born in Lerecara Friddi, Sicily, on November 11, 1897, baptized Salvatore Lucania. He was seven years old when his family immigrated and settled in a slum tenement on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1905. He later Americanized his name to Charlie Luciano. –Author, Bill Friedman

“Lies have been told about Meyer (Lansky) and Ben (Siegel) and Charlie (Luciano) for so long and so many times, you can’t change anything. The lies are now the world’s reality. No one’s going to believe you.” -Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” (1995), Prohibition partner of Lansky, Siegel & Luciano

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