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A sweeping saga of bloodshed, betrayal and big business, this collection of documentaries from A&E and HISTORY offers a cold-blooded examination of organized crime, from prohibition and WWII to the hitmen and women who are currently administering the brutal judgments of the mob. An investigation into the origins - and present-day activities - of the ethnic gangs that turned criminal activities into family enterprises, The Real Godfathers exposes an underworld of danger, money, glamour and murder, covering such notorious figures as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Carlo Gambino and John Gotti, as well as topics including the bloody mob wars , the ordinary, privileged, and at times remarkable women who gained stature in a male-dominated world, and the gangster-turned-informants who make it possible to prosecute the Mafia.
|S01E01||Al Capone : 'Scarface'||00/00/0000||The true story of the most notorious gangster in American history. In the thrilling underworld of speakeasies, Tommy Guns and turf wars, Al Capone was the undisputed emperor of Chicago. Scarface was many things to many people - a ruthless and vindictive murderer, a generous patron and a wild and glamorous impresario. But to all, Capone is the most notorious gangster in American history. Follow his journey from the immigrant neighbourhood of his youth to the glittering circles of Chicago's powerful elite with this in-depth programme. Rare photographs, films and exclusive interviews paint an extraordinary portrait of the man who became the ultimate American anti-hero. Finally, historians reveal how accountants brought down the ruler of a vast criminal empire. Learn the true story of the legendary gangster who will forever be known as "Scarface."|
|S01E02||Bugsy Siegel||00/00/0000||A mob hit man with a violent temper, Siegel became a household name when he moved out West and decided to launch a tony casino in Las Vegas. He was handsome. He was glamorous. And in a world of ruthlessness and murder, he was the most vicious of them all. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel first made his mark as a hitman on the gang-run streets of Brooklyn. But his fame was secured in the sunshine of the West Coast, where his unique gangster-playboy persona made him a Hollywood legend. Journey to the heyday of the mob for the complete story of this legendary gangster, from his stormy relationship with the beautiful Virginia Hill to his mysterious murder. See rare footage shows of the dapper mobster and exclusive interviews with acquaintances and enemies. Examine Siegel's greatest legacy the founding of Las Vegas in the barren Nevada desert and hear mob insiders reveal the details of his betrayal at the hands of his best friend. Take an up-close look at the mobster who lived his life at full-throttle the hitman Bugsy Siegel.|
|S01E03||Louis Lepke||00/00/0000||In the heyday of organized crime he was one of its most powerful figures. While he avoided the attention, his death in the electric chair made headlines nationwide. Names like Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello were on everybody's lips in the Roaring Twenties, but Louis Lepke preferred the shadows to the spotlight. There, he built a racketeering network second to none. BIOGRAPHY uses extensive archival footage, period accounts and modern interviews to probe Lepke's life, from his hardscrabble childhood to his much-publicised death in the electric chair. Authors Robert Rockaway (But He Was Good to his Mother) and Albert Fried (The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster) trace his extraordinary criminal career, while reporter Gilbert Millstein, who covered the case for the New York Daily News recalls his execution. Friends like Donald Wetzel, who served time with Lepke, offer a picture of the private side of the mild-mannered man who happened to be a criminal kingpin.|
|S01E04||The Gambinos||00/00/0000||A riveting tale of great power, crime and betrayal. For much of the century, they were the most powerful force in American organised crime. But internal strife and the tireless work of law enforcement have brought this once-dominant organisation to its knees. The Gambino crime family ruled New York's streets for years. Today, there are only 200 members left of a force that used to number a thousand. BIOGRAPHY follows Carlo Gambino from his childhood in Sicily to the top of an empire that embraced everything from pizza joints to hi-jacking and extortion. He was the undisputed king of New York crime but, when he died, the Gambino fortunes started on a long decline that ended with the sentencing of John Gotti to life in prison. In the story of Gambino, Castellano and Gotti the history of the Mafia in America comes into focus. It's a riveting tale of greed, power, crime and betrayal.|
|S01E05||The Genovese Family||00/00/0000||An inside look at the ruthless Genovese crime syndicate known as "The Ivy League of the Underworld." Vito Genovese rose to power working under legendary mob boss Lucky Luciano. Through murder, cunning and greed, he carved out a place in crime history and established one of the pre-eminent crime families in America. From Vito's rise to the top of the underworld to their ongoing operations, this is an inside look at the crime syndicate that is so well run that one detective calls them The Ivy League of the Underworld. The Genovese Family put the "organized" into "organized crime", then backed it up with a ruthless determination to remain all-powerful in the mob world. Known as the most elite of the five crime families in New York, the Genovese family has always boasted some of the shrewdest and most feared members in Mafia history. Using rare historical footage and new interviews with mob experts, we reveal the family's tale through the life stories of its four most charismatic bosses: Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Frank Costello, Vito Genovese, and Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. A soldier breaks the sacred mobster's oath of silence (omerta) and the Genovese family hits the headlines. From Joe the Boss to Vito Genovese to the "Odd Father" himself, every personality and gripping detail in this ongoing saga comes to life.|
|S01E06||Meyer Lansky : 'Mob Tycoon'||00/00/0000||The life of the corrupt genius who was known as the Mob's financial leader. He was called little man and Lucky Luciano's advice to his followers was always listen to him. Meyer Lansky was the man who created crime in its syndicate form and remained the most shadowy of the organised crime leaders. Meyer Lansky creates an intricate and lucrative web of casinos and businesses that make the Mafia more profitable than some major corporations. From the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the heyday of the Vegas Mob, rare footage and interviews reveal the double life of the man known as the Mob's financial leader. Meyer Lansky will forever be identified with the statement "we're bigger than U.S. Steel". The boast made for good headlines and helped politicians like Estes Kefauver and Bobby Kennedy build their reputations and later achiheved near-factual status when Hyman Roth, the Meyer Lansky inspired character in the Godfather II repeated it to Michael Corleone. Whether or not Lansky ever really said it, it was probably true. Organized crime in America from the 1930s to the 1980s was big business and Meyer Lansky had helped make it that way.|
|S01E07||Frank Costello||00/00/0000||From running booze to avoiding death, this is the thrilling story of the "Prime Minister of the Underworld." With the imprisonment of "Lucky" Luciano, Frank Costello became the boss of the most powerful crime family in New York. Costello made the most of his opportunity but considered the job a burden and longed to escape the stigma of his criminal roots for the world of legitimate business. Frank Costello profiles the life of the reluctant gangster through period accounts, historic footage and the recollections of those who knew him. Discover how he virtually ran New York politics through his iron grip on Tammany Half and how his empire crashed down around him when the Kefauver hearings targeted him as the number one racketeer in the country. From escaping poverty by running booze to avoiding death at the hands of hit-man Vincent "the Chin" Gigante, this is the thrilling story of the shady life of Frank Costello.|
|S01E08||Henry Hill : 'Goodfella'||00/00/0000||A story of crime, addiction, love, betrayal and ultimately survival. All he ever wanted to be was a gangster. He achieved his dream, but then he became what every mobster hates most. Henry Hill is one of the most famous criminals ever, but his fame came only after he decided to turn his back on the life that he had grown up dreaming of. From his childhood on the New York City streets to his ongoing attempts to come to terms with his criminal past, BIOGRAPHY chronicles the life of the man whose story formed the basis for the hit movie Goodfellas. Friends talk about his short-lived term in a witness Protection Programme ("he's the only man in America hiding out on TV") while Henry reflects on his life in the Mob and the pivotal role he played in bringing down some of its most powerful figures.|
|S01E09||Joe Bonanno||00/00/0000||Joe Bonanno's life spans almost a century of Mafia history. Born into a prominent Mafia family in Sicily, and a founding member of the original Mafia commission in 1931--Joe witnessed the rise and fall of a secret, violent world and lived to tell the tale. For thirty years he quietly built a Mafia family dynasty--his name never even mentioned in the papers. When Bonanno presided over the wedding of his son Bill to Rosalie Profaci--the niece of one of the other New York City godfathers--Joe was arguably the most powerful Mafia chieftain in the world. Then, in the early sixties, his world went spiraling out of control. Joe moved his son Bill into a leadership position in the Family, and the commission he had founded turned against him. Bill Bonanno could not be the man his father had been because times had changed. With former family members trying to kill him on one side--and law enforcement hounding him on the other--Bill had inherited a sinking ship. In less than a decade, kidnapping, betrayal and murder ultimately forced the Bonanno godfather and his son into exile. Remarkably, Joe Bonanno outlived all of his enemies. In 1983, he became the first and only godfather to publish his memoirs.|