Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cleveland gangster Danny Greene's explosive life captured in 'The Irishman' and two docs

Cleveland.com | 8.15.10
by Clint O'Connor

Filmmakers are fascinated by Cleveland's legendary thugs. Especially if their deaths were triggered by exploding automobiles in the 1970s. A new movie and two new documentaries will arrive in 2011, feeding America's unending appetite for mob stories with a grisly slice of Cleveland's criminal past. "The Irishman," out next March, spotlights gangster Danny Greene, whose life was famously extinguished by a car bomb in a Lyndhurst parking lot; racketeer Shondor Birns, shredded by a car bomb on Detroit Avenue near West 25th Street; and mafia-connected Teamster official John Nardi, wiped out by a car bomb just off East 22nd Street near Carnegie Avenue.

Birns was killed in March 1975. Nardi in May 1977. Greene in October 1977. Bang. Bam. Boom. If you were a Cleveland mobster in the '70s, public transportation would have been a smart choice.

Our ever-striving region actually topped the nation in something in 1976, though it was a dubious distinction: No. 1 in bombings. There were 37 in Cuyahoga County, including 21 in Cleveland. Car bombs were relatively cheap to make, easy to plant, could be detonated from afar, and destroyed lots of evidence.

The film stars Irish actor Ray Stevenson as Greene, Vincent D'Onofrio as Nardi, Paul Sorvino as mob boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Val Kilmer as a Cleveland detective, and in a stroke of inspired casting, Oscar-winner Christopher Walken playing Birns.

Based on the book "To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia," by Lyndhurst Police Chief Rick Porrello, it was shot in Detroit last summer and is slated to open next March before St. Patrick's Day. So is the documentary, "Danny Greene: The Rise and Fall of the Irishman." A third film, a documentary for the Bio channel's "Mobsters" series, is scheduled to air early next year.
Full article

Thanks Linda!


"The Irishman" is slated for release on March 11.

1 comment:

val said...

We have to wait till March? It's too long!

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