John Gotti · Mr. Goodbar · Cameron Frye
Plus Pasolini and principals
Organized, specifically the goings-on in the “executive suite” of the Gambino family in the mid-1980s.
Get Gotti, Netflix’s three-parter on various government agencies’ and city/state task forces’ efforts to leverage RICO against John Gotti — seemingly destined to be in vain, until they weren’t — comes from the same creative team that brought us Fear City a few years ago. I liked Fear City enough that I thought GG could put a compelling twist on a case that, qua case, I’ve never cared about all that much…and maybe, in the process, enlighten me as to why I’ve never cared about it all that much.
It’s not that Gotti wasn’t as charismatic as everyone says in the doc, and said back then; he was. It’s not that certain cases and headlines that made up the daily news fabric of a seventies-and-eighties tristate childhood — and OC cases absolutely did, as GG amply demonstrates with contemporaneous footage — didn’t pop out to me then, or wouldn’t now in retrospect. Certainly the re-alignment of Gotti’s image from the “enemy” part of “public enemy” to the “public” part is provocative, in terms of how true-crime consumers might have come to view criminals as entertainment figures, versus dangerous bad guys; how much of a role The Godfathers and/or The Sopranos played in protagonizing scumbags; et cetera.
And Five Families content isn’t per se tiresome to me. Too much “once upon a time, in the tenements of 1900s New York” recapping about the very-O OGs and I’m-a find something else to do, but smaller stories with more unique flavor like Crazy Joe Gallo, sure. But Gotti never grabbed me, maybe because the story doesn’t have much of a mystery or a riddle at the center.