Bronx Tale, A

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3 1/2

In 1960 in the Bronx section of New York City, nine-year-old Calogero Anello (Frances Capra) lives two doors down from the local tavern with its backroom gambling and gangster owner Sonny (Chazz Palminteri, author of the autobiographical play on which the movie is based). Under the loving, watchful eye of his honest, bus-driver father (Robert De Niro), Calogero is warned to stay away from the tavern. Witness to a murder by Sonny's gang, Calogero saves Sonny by refusing to "rat" on him. From then on, Sonny takes Calogero under his wing, nicknaming him "C." Despite his parents' repeated warnings, "C" spends more and more time with Sonny, waiting tables for tips and helping with the gambling. Eight years pass, and 17-year-old "C" (Lillo Brancato) has become Sonny's protege. While the father's caring never ceases, the father-son relationship becomes strained in these teen years. Sonny has become a father figure, warning him to stay away from his no-good friends and rescuing him from harm. 1960s music plays, sometimes wonderfully appropriate, other times distracting. Directed by Robert De Niro, A BRONX TALE is long on depth of character and superb acting by fresh new stars.

Viewers will be assaulted by an appalling barrage of almost 200 obscenities. Especially disturbing is 9-year-old Calogero spewing out f-words. Violence erupts with an early on-screen gangster-style murder, followed by a prolonged severe beating of a motorcycle gang by the mobsters, and a graphic, bloody racially-motivated beating of some blacks riding bicycles through the white neighborhood. "C" shows compassion by refusing to join in the beatings and racial slurs. The Catholic religion is mocked when the young "C" goes to confession. Even more irreverent is the uttering of the benediction while pouring a bottle of beer over someone's head. Nevertheless, the theme is that one must work for an honest living, and talent is wasted if not used for moral purposes. The outrageous language, brutal violence, racist remarks, and irreverence justify a strong negative rating.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
Savoy Pictures Entertainment, 152 W. 57th St., 38th Flr, NY, NY 10019

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times; Mild 2; Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (193+) times (f-word 170+, s-word 16, other 7)

Profanity: Once - Exclamatory

Violence: Mild, Moderate and Severe (pushing and shoving; fighting; 2 murders; prolonged, severe beating of motorcycle gang and blacks)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (sexually suggestive walking and flirting)

Drugs: Drinking at tavern

Other: Mockery of religion; racial slurs

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