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From the Mob to the Movies: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood

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The public knows him as the character Tony Darvo in the movie Midnight Run, but Richie Salerno was born into the world of the Brooklyn Mafia during the heyday of the New York mob and for a time it looked like he'd get caught up in a life of crime. After all, some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world he knew as uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends. Durin The public knows him as the character Tony Darvo in the movie Midnight Run, but Richie Salerno was born into the world of the Brooklyn Mafia during the heyday of the New York mob and for a time it looked like he'd get caught up in a life of crime. After all, some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world he knew as uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends. During a stint in prison for theft, Richie turned his life around using the tailoring skills he learned from his father and butchering abilities he picked up from his father-in-law to ingratiate himself with the warden and guards which got him through one hundred and twenty months without a scratch. As luck would have it, after his release he scored an audition for a film Serpico directed by Sidney Lumet, best known for "12 Angry Men" and "Dog Day Afternoon." That audition turned into a career of long standing as a character actor in major Hollywood films. Now, Richie has written a memoir of his journey from the mean streets of Brooklyn and as a child of the mob to the silver screen.


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The public knows him as the character Tony Darvo in the movie Midnight Run, but Richie Salerno was born into the world of the Brooklyn Mafia during the heyday of the New York mob and for a time it looked like he'd get caught up in a life of crime. After all, some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world he knew as uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends. Durin The public knows him as the character Tony Darvo in the movie Midnight Run, but Richie Salerno was born into the world of the Brooklyn Mafia during the heyday of the New York mob and for a time it looked like he'd get caught up in a life of crime. After all, some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world he knew as uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends. During a stint in prison for theft, Richie turned his life around using the tailoring skills he learned from his father and butchering abilities he picked up from his father-in-law to ingratiate himself with the warden and guards which got him through one hundred and twenty months without a scratch. As luck would have it, after his release he scored an audition for a film Serpico directed by Sidney Lumet, best known for "12 Angry Men" and "Dog Day Afternoon." That audition turned into a career of long standing as a character actor in major Hollywood films. Now, Richie has written a memoir of his journey from the mean streets of Brooklyn and as a child of the mob to the silver screen.

38 review for From the Mob to the Movies: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jay Williams

    I need more stars! This book is written in the first person and it is the same as sitting across from Salerno at a kitchen table. He is witty and well-spoken, with a definite sense of humor. The majority of the book deals with his experiences in the mob and in prison. His big mouth and his sense of humor kept him in trouble most of the time. His experiences reveal the prison staff to be as corrupt as the mob. Every page is a new adventure as Richie grows in the mob, ends up in prison, and attemp I need more stars! This book is written in the first person and it is the same as sitting across from Salerno at a kitchen table. He is witty and well-spoken, with a definite sense of humor. The majority of the book deals with his experiences in the mob and in prison. His big mouth and his sense of humor kept him in trouble most of the time. His experiences reveal the prison staff to be as corrupt as the mob. Every page is a new adventure as Richie grows in the mob, ends up in prison, and attempts to go straight when he gets out. His style of writing makes for an easy read and quick understanding. The first part of the book leans a little heavy on the mob vernacular, but that diminishes as the story progresses. I truly loved this book. It had everything I like in a story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Riggs

    From the Mob To The Movies I started reading this book and straight away I thought This is a book which comes across as tongue in cheek reading in places and will make you laugh aloud plus you feel like you are reading a movie script. Professionally written Richie Salerno sounded just like a real hard case and what I think of as a typical mafia guy. As a young man Richie looked up to the mafia Men and thought it will be a great life, women, money fast cars. Richie parents where not roll models an From the Mob To The Movies I started reading this book and straight away I thought This is a book which comes across as tongue in cheek reading in places and will make you laugh aloud plus you feel like you are reading a movie script. Professionally written Richie Salerno sounded just like a real hard case and what I think of as a typical mafia guy. As a young man Richie looked up to the mafia Men and thought it will be a great life, women, money fast cars. Richie parents where not roll models and his farther drank heavily and beat him up and his mum. Richie’s dad offers Richie services to paint a basement of one of the mob members. From there things can only lead to trouble and adventures for a smart-arse witty teenager as he got to no some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world. Life sounds good but also a lot of bad goes on as Richie leads us through his life in the mob. Richie becomes a butcher and has 4 children but will not win farther of the year as he loves his life in the mob much more than stay at home dad. Prison eventually catches up for Richie and he must leave his wife and 4 children to do time in 3 prisons. His buttery skills his father-n-law taught him come into their own and Eventually after years Richie believes if he is ever going to get a normal life, he must not go back to the old life he had. Richie is released from prison and finds his wife has divorced him and has had had 2 more children whilst he was in prison. Life carried on in the outside world. Richie eventually remarried and decides to take an acting class, which leads to a lucky break and a part in the movie Serpico. This is an amazing story and defiantly worth a read. Thankyou Wildblue for the gift certificate.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Hill

    Are you ready for an OH MY GOODNESS read? This is it! With the mafia always looming in the shadows, this book brings it to light, and how one man escaped from the streets and the mafia - into the glittering lights of Hollywood. Richie Salerno brings to light the struggles of growing up, the different aspects of his life, and the many different twists and turns that he could have taken - which would have led down a much darker path. While that shadowed path was one he walked for a long time, he w Are you ready for an OH MY GOODNESS read? This is it! With the mafia always looming in the shadows, this book brings it to light, and how one man escaped from the streets and the mafia - into the glittering lights of Hollywood. Richie Salerno brings to light the struggles of growing up, the different aspects of his life, and the many different twists and turns that he could have taken - which would have led down a much darker path. While that shadowed path was one he walked for a long time, he was able to turn his life around - and in a way that most people would love to do! He ended in Hollywood. You are probably familiar with at least one of his works "12 Angry Men" but if not, then you need to check it out! This was fabulous and engaging, and the sarcastic side of the writer shines through at the best times! I loved the quips and the "hard life" you better believe it lines. This tell all book is one of the must reads for the year! If you enjoy true crime, and a "light at the end of the tunnel" read, then you have found the book for you!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy Shannon

    Intriguing read Salerno pens not only a true crime title in FROM THE MOB TO THE MOVIES: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood, but it's about his life. This is the first book of this author's that I've read. The book runs from his childhood on the streets of Brooklyn, where he was pulled in the organized crime world of the Brooklyn Mafia. It was amazing how he was able to pull his life together, while he was in prison, no less, and turned his skills from crime to Hollywood. I wasn't fam Intriguing read Salerno pens not only a true crime title in FROM THE MOB TO THE MOVIES: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood, but it's about his life. This is the first book of this author's that I've read. The book runs from his childhood on the streets of Brooklyn, where he was pulled in the organized crime world of the Brooklyn Mafia. It was amazing how he was able to pull his life together, while he was in prison, no less, and turned his skills from crime to Hollywood. I wasn't familiar with Salerno's story until I read this, making me want to go and watch his work, his art. I look forward to reading more by this author. This book is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Kanocz

    This book is about Richie Salerno and what he went through. It's humorous and times sad. Its we!! written and will keep your curiosity on wnat he is going to do next. I enjoyed it and recommend it. This book is about Richie Salerno and what he went through. It's humorous and times sad. Its we!! written and will keep your curiosity on wnat he is going to do next. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John

  7. 5 out of 5

    John H, Moretty

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sheri L. Simmons

  9. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Duncan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  12. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dayna

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Dowling

  17. 5 out of 5

    Douglass Abramson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pia Surgent

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    Cathy Tilton

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  23. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Hughes

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

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    Traci

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karyn Palmer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan Henn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Stamm

  31. 4 out of 5

    Shana Zucker

  32. 4 out of 5

    Susan Morris

  33. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  34. 4 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  35. 4 out of 5

    DelRae

  36. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  37. 5 out of 5

    Nick Neagle

  38. 5 out of 5

    Zipporah Sandler

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