The Last Don - The Complete Mini-series
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Product Description

If you have an appetite for Sicilian soapers, then you're like all those other people who made Mario Puzo's The Last Don the highest Nielsen-rated show for the week in mid-May 1997 when it originally aired. And who could blame you, since the story line of this TV miniseries is chock-full of all the familiar elements that make up a bestseller--power, money, sex, murder, gambling, madness, fame, Hollywood, loyalties made and broken. The story proper begins with a little Romeo and Juliet when Rose Marie, daughter of Don Domenico Clericuzio (Danny Aiello), falls for the youngest son of the warring Santadio family. On their wedding night, Rose Marie's new husband and the entire Santadio family are slaughtered by the Clericuzios to avoid further conflict between the two families, and Rose Marie goes completely insane and grows up to be Kirstie Alley. But not before she gives birth to another Santadio, Dante (so named because he has to live in Hell), in whom she invests all her hatred for her own family. So he grows up to be a psychotic hitman, played with sly and sadistic ingenuity by Rory Cochrane. The Clericuzios' chief executioner, Pippi (played with smooth aplomb by Joe Mantegna), is responsible for killing Rose Marie's husband, and wants his own son, metaphorically overburdened with the name "Cross," to follow in his footsteps. The sins of the fathers are visiting all over the sons in this picture, and naturally the two kids will have to resolve this inheritance. The acting is the main attraction here. Aiello in particular invests The Don with a stately grace that is just right. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews:

  • This Don would be better off lost
    This movie is full of inconsitencies, lousy acting and cliche use of Italian mafioso stereotypes. It drags throughout and is a total waste of money. Mario Puzo totally lost it on this one. This movie makes The Godfather III look like an Acadamy Award Winning Masterpiece and a classic that will live for eternity which everyone who has ever watched the Godfather Triology knows is absolutely false.

    I wouldn't waste a nickle on this flick. I was really disgusted with it and wish I could give it less then a one star rating....more info
  • a real classic
    this movie was great. a real classic.the clericuzio family is the best.thank you, mario puzo for, a great story........................more info
  • Absolutely Magnificent!!!
    A wonderful masterpiece written by Mario Puzo, adapted first for CBS as a mini series and then made into a spectacular home of Puzo's best works ever!!! Graeme Clifford did a wonderful job in directing this movie, definitely a must see!!! A brilliant performance by the cast. All you Mob fans out there are going to love it!! Even better than the Godfather...this movie would have brought in millions if it was shown in the theatres......more info
  • Good-No where near Godfather
    Mario Puzo's The Last Don was a very good mob movie-but now where near the mob classics like The Godfather Trilogy, Goodfellas, Scarface, etc, etc. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes the mobster flicks...more info
  • So so
    As far as made for TV movies go this was a decent movie, and for a Puzo book based movie I give it credit, but anyone that compares "The Last Don" movie to "The Gofather" is crazy. I would rather watch "the Godfather part III", ok no I wouldn't this movie is really not that bad, but its close. If I had not been such a big fan of the book I would have more then likely skipped watching this. I HIGHLY ADVICE READING THE BOOK FIRST IT REALLY DOES RIVAL "THE GODFATER". This fits the text of the book great, but the actors were very wrongfully cast in my opinion. I pictured the Don as more carasmatic, Pippi as more of a brut, Big Tim a little less big, Boz more of an athelet, Athena alittle less man-ish, Georgio with a bit more of a leaders personality instead of a book worms, and Donte a bit shorter, for someone who was said to wear his hats to make him look taller in some scenes you can see the hes taller then alot of the cast. Cross is the only one that seem to fit pretty good. Over all, even with lack of performace, the movie is fair even if its 3hours of poor acting and 1.5 hours of real entertainment....more info
  • The Last Don by PK Reyes
    Now this was a good Mafia Movie! Action, Action, and more Action. The acting was supuerb! Danny Aiello out done himself in this. This movie is about a mafia family, how father finally wanted the family to go legit. They were too far in to get out. Movie not for anyone under 13. The movie is rather long, but it won't matter because the action, drama, story keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time! This movie has a great group of actors. The movie is long, but the actions seems to never end. I tried to find this movie in the library, video stores, I had difficulty finding it. Oh I found the book, but I remember seeing the movie years ago as a mini series.Thank you Amazon for having it available. What other little treasures do you have??...more info
  • Very imaginative and in-line with Puzo's other works
    MARIO PUZO'S "THE LAST DON" is intended for those who are keenly interested
    in the backdrop and in the behind the scenes look at the individuals running
    their own business operations generating a lot of earnings, profits and cash,
    in this instance, in the underworld.

    Danny Aiello, does an outstanding job as the head honcho, who is lays out the
    medium and long term strategies and plans of his group, and guides along his
    caporegime grandsons, consiglieri and family members day in, day out.

    Joe Mantegna's acting, as well, is on par, playing the hammer or collector
    of illegal debts for the group, with a valid balanced approach between hard-line
    rubouts and enjoying life outside work, interacting with a number of sensual women,
    in the picture, such as Daryl Hanna, Penelope Anne Miller, Kirstie Alley, and more.
    A significant amount of time is spent showing his married lifestyle, comprised of
    his kids growing up, and guiding them along to a young adulthood until independence.

    Jason Gedrick brings freshness to the picture, by living out the workoholic lifestyle of
    a young single man, who runs the operations of a casino, in this case, with parallel
    money laundering and the catching fraudsters at the tables- who cause illegitimate losses
    to the casino. A chemistry with Hanna, is definitely the case on screen, as the two
    are ambitious and successful individuals in their areas.

    Extending over 4 hours, the movie captures the imagination of the viewing public, and
    drawsm into the picture, that itself, although not released on DVD as widescreen
    unfortunately, is still spectacular with its glossy, quality look and its sharpness and
    focus throughout the filming.

    The audio is comprised of instrumental or orchestral numbers that are no-nonsense,
    adding beauty to the work overall, in a classical or European sense, that will
    appeal mostly to those with a learned palate since it's not pop or rock based.

    If there are perhaps some flaws to this picture, it would be the predictable nature of
    events and in how things turn out, as well as the ending that panders to Hollywood, since
    the guy gets the gal, and the bad guys get what they deserve. Another flaw is namedropping
    Schwartzie, and Van Damme as stars and simulating the filming of a picture inside a picture
    with kd land as the director, which is a distraction in the overall work, and dates it,
    although it perhaps lessens the introspective social view of the characters.

    A curious aspect, also Hollywoodian, is the tendency to introduce a disability or disease to
    the public by showing a character suffering from it, in this case, the autism of Hanna's daughter.

    The positive aspects, aside from those already mentioned, is obviously the
    presence of Europe, its culture, values, gastronomic lifestyle on people ; the characters,
    Italian Americans, are shown as being at ease living in Sicily and Italy as much as in the
    USA, equally patriotic and relaxed in both lands, with professional contacts on
    both continents, for business purposes.

    Aiello is notable in his portrayal of the Don, who is a deep philosophical thinker, having no
    no guilt or remorse for past actions based on direct knowledge of the injustices and poverty
    experienced in Sicily, from the government and from the entrenched Establishment there against
    the common man, who, "in God's world, a prison, must earn his daily bread in face of others who
    are merely carnivores, giving no mercy".

    A rapport is built with viewers, by laying out a system of human values, discipline, a conduct
    that is imposed on and followed by members of the organization, showing its hierarchy, and a bit how
    one joins it and progresses from being a soldier in an enclave, to making your bones, being a made man, etc.

    Known issues with society are shown, such as confidential informants, double agents, corrupt law defectives,
    payoffs to Senators, with the "quid pro quo" as a modus operandi, as the mob being called upon
    to right injustices, as a vigilante vs unpunished individuals having beat the justice system, etc.

    There is a parallel with Puzo's earlier work, in that the most successful and talented capo is
    the one who was first financially successful outside of the organization, not having wanted originally
    to belong to it, balancing other goals outside of it, and leading his own life, etc

    Viewer reactons may vary in face of the wisdom given in the narrative, suggesting love is unreliable
    as compared to gratitude, obedience and harmony..."She's dangerous...from being too skilled in bed."

    A cynical comment is made of CEO, some of whom are weak from the need for eroticism, and in turn,
    easily manipulated by personal relationships of colaborators.

    A mention is made of the witness protection program, the RICO laws, how informants can rebuild their lives
    after serving as a stool to the FBI not without repercussions since, as Aiello shows, stools are
    not tolerated, immediately ordering a hit.

    The violence is modest in this movie, in terms of rubouts; the code words being preferred in face of
    wiretaps and bugs such as confirmation or communion.

    The tourism attractions of Las Vegas and Nevada is spectacularly shown.

    In the Puzo tradition, fundamental life-altering events are also shown, such as marriage , birth , death ,
    communion, baptism, the ups and downs of relationships, the rivalries, etc, and as such, he formula is
    reminiscent of his other works yet more restrained than earlier works in terms of brutality....more info
  • A shame the real Mafia isn't this noble and great and stuff
    TV movies are inherently awful, it's like an iron-clad rule. This one is a cut above the rest, and it was quite popular back in 1997, especially for the morbidly curious.

    Now, in this post-Sopranos age, it's still quite funny. Puzo just went for broke with his source novel, another attempt to write about his fairy-tale Mafia.

    The Last Don is the story about...the last Don, Don Clericuzio (for some reason, even the name is funny), a truly old-school Don who, while a thief and a murderer, is also a quasi-philosopher, loving father, and a venerable man of wisdom, his years of experience extorting, racketeering, and ordering the deaths of men having given him great insight into the human condition.

    This is an 'epic', which means it had to be shown over two or three or however many nights it was, to tell the story of the Don's 'family', his troubled nieces and sons and all of their issues. Basically, the Don has some ridiculous stake in Las Vegas (since apparently, Puzo never watched Casino) and his son, or nephew, I forget, a guy named Crucifixio (is this even a name?) runs the...I forget which casino. Then there's this son, or heir, Dante, who wears renaissance hats that wouldn't be out of place in a Slick Rick video, who is just a bad guy and who you know will ruin the family.

    There's a whole subplot about Hollywood, too, and the various degenerates and lowlifes who are found in the film industry. Cross falls for Athena, blah blah blah, there's a scummy agent, there's a bitter old writer (basically a Puzo-esque character), and some other bad people who get shot, etc. Easily one of the best characters is Lia Vazi, or Vazzi, who is from Sicily, and therefore 'the real deal', a stone killer proficient in all manner of execution. He's a good character. I was glad they brought him back in The Last Don II.

    And of course, we have Danny Aiello, who has this amazingly bad aging makeup at the end which is hilarious and reason enough to watch this rather entertaining made-for-TV business. Of course, the ending 'suggests' that the don dies peacefully in his sleep (apparently, nobody in this family has been indicted or is in Federal prison, and the FBI is typically incompetent). Of course, when The Last Don II opens, and yes, I'll spoil it for you, the Don is still alive long enough to discuss how his old-school wife used to knit his own shirts(!), etc, etc.

    It's completely fairy tale Mafia stuff, almost as if Puzo wished the Mafia were like this. Will offer no insight into the real world of organized crime, and compared with something well-written and realistic like The Sopranos, The Last Don is simply Cheez-Whiz for a slow night. But with this ridiculously cheap DVD, at least you won't have to watch commercials, too.

    Just a tremendous effort by Aiello, Daryl Hannah, that Sicilian guy, Jason Gedrick, Joe Mantegna, and Kirstie Ally, who cries a lot, etc. I have faith that a Last Don III will appear one of these days......more info
  • Love "Godfather" type movies
    I love these types of movies. To update the "Godfather" bring the family into the techno age, I like it. ...more info
  • Great Mini-Series

    Ok, we all know this is not the Godfather. Still, great mini series, excellent acting, and I look forward to "The Last Don II"....more info
  • I've got space for this
    Kept in suspense every minute. Danny Aiello finally displays his finer talent as the Don. Has the required skill. Kirsty Alley portrays dreadful hate and darkness toward the Don, the Clericuzio. Jason Gedrick, innocent from the start, a given for the future. Serious family business headed toward the flame. Ruthless to the point, perhaps wiser.
    Never cross the Don. Ever....more info
  • Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!
    The Last Don is an outstanding movie! I only wonder why it was not a big screen movie because it definitely would have made $$$. The storyline is riveting and the acting is spectacular....more info
  • An Excellent Movie
    The Last Don is an excellent movie which, despite being a mini-series, is fairly violent. If you are a fan of mafia movies, then you will like this one. Many people don't like it because they compare it to The Godfather and expect it, The Last Don, to be better. You have to keep an open mind while watching it, as it is not the same type of storyline or even the same type of film as The Godfather was. You'll know what I mean when you watch it....more info
  • This movie is about family treating others like dirt.
    everything i will like to se...more info
  • The best movie of all time!!!
    I have seen this movie about 6 times now. Everyone I recommend this film to enjoys it. It has a wide variety of elements such as love, suspense, heartbreak, pain, and of course, death. This is better than any movie that comes out of the theatre!!!...more info
  • This Movie was great for mafia-movie lovers
    The Last Don is a thrilling, mysterious movie for anyone who has ever liked movies about the mafia. This movie has good acting and keeps you involved throughout the whole thing....more info
  • The Best Mob Movie Since, "The Godfather"...if not BETTER!!!
    The intense and extremely talented cast delivers a gripping performance filled with drama, irony, lust and all the stuff that makes for an impeccable show!!!

    I was thoroughly impressed with this taking tale that definetely should have gone big screen

    A must-see for Mob-movie buffs...or anyone who likes to be drawn into a fast-paced, exciting and daring world while watching a movie!...more info

  • Excellent! I highly recommend it!
    I watched The Last Don for the first time when it first aired on television. It's in my all-time top 3 mafia movies along with The Godfather 1 and 2. I couldn't wait to buy it on DVD!

    I recommend this to all people that have any interest in the genre....more info
  • The Last Don, DVD
    I had been looking for a copy of the DVD, Tne Last Don, for years. I finally got a computer and went online in search. To my surprise I foumd a copy. I ordered it, and received it. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am so glad I checked the internet. Thank you Amazon, you brought back some really good memories to us.

    The Julianas...more info
  • Fantastic Mafia Movie
    I saw this on tv, and bought it as a gift to a Mafia fantatic, and he loved it!...more info
  • A true manifistation of power
    The Last Don is one of the very few movies that truely manifest the actual Cosa Nostra . The ingeniuosity of the golden couple Coppola and Puzzo introduced a whole different image of the mafia ....more info
  • Good Movie.....Way Better than the Stupid "Godfather"!
    The Last Don, both I and II are really good movies. I bought this dvd just out of curiousity to see what this was all about, though I never heard of it and was glad I did. My brother and I both loved the movie, the first part is over 4 hours, and the last is over 3, and you never get bored or daydream when watching it because it's that's good. WAY better than the very much over-rated Godfather movies, and over-rated "Scarface". This should be on the list as one of the best mafia movies, instead of those two, silly and hyped films. The plot, the acting, storyline, everything makes this what it is....more info
    This his one heck of a movie. It makes you cry, laugh, and it makes you want to throw a brick through the television set because you can get so angry. It is the best mob movie ever made and I'm so glad that I have a chance to order it. Once you watch it you will be raving to all of your friends about it. There is also a whole cast of wonderful actors in the movie. I was so excited when they made The Last Don 2. It too is an awesome movie but the first one is way better. If you like to read then you should go out and buy the book. I believe that once you see this movie you won't be able to stop watching it. So sit down with some popcorn and settle in for a great movie. You won't be sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
  • The Godfather it isn't....
    I remember this movie from when I was a kid...was a television min-series type deal. If you really like mafia movies, this one is adequate, but not spectacular. The characters come off almost goofy at times, and the acting is a bit over dramatic. It's certainly not close to Godfather quality...but taken for what it is, I've definitely seen worse movies too....more info
  • I've got space for this
    Kept in suspense every minute. Danny Aiello finally displays his finer talent as the Don. Has the required skill. Kirsty Alley portrays dreadful hate and darkness toward the Don, the Clericuzio. Jason Gedrick, innocent from the start, a given for the future. Serious family business headed toward the flame. Ruthless to the point, perhaps wiser.
    Never cross the Don. Ever....more info