“Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again,” Don Corleone advises his oldest son Santino after a pivotal meeting in Mario Puzo’s book The Godfather. “Never let them know what you have under your fingernails.” Dapper Don John Gotti’s son Junior will honor his father in A&E Network’s GOTTI: Godfather & Son.
The two-night Biography documentary special serves as “the complete and definitive father and son story of two men who were raised in the mob and became the reigning king and heir apparent with John Gotti Jr. providing his most extensive on-camera interview to-date,” according to their press statement.
This docuseries tells the story of the Gambino crime family through the “intimate and complicated relationship between John Gotti Sr. and his son, John Gotti Jr., who rose up through the ranks of the Gambino crime family and allegedly replaced his father as boss when the “Dapper Don” was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1992.”
The documentary will center on never-before-seen segments from a 90-minute video of the last visit between John Gotti Sr., who was dying of cancer, and his son at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, MO.
“The never-before-seen video segments of the final words spoken between a son and his terminally ill father, along with John Gotti Jr.’s in-depth, raw dialogue will give viewers a unique look at the complex relationship between one of the most infamous father-son duos of our time,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, A&E Network, said in a statement.
During the meeting, Gotti Jr. asked for his father’s blessing to plead guilty to racketeering charges and bring “closure” to his legal troubles. In true omertà, the request is a coded reference to quitting the mafia, a rare and dangerous step in the organization. Gotti Jr. quit “what might have been one of the last of the major mafia dynasties,” according to the press statement.
The emotional first-hand account comes from Gotti Jr. The series also features unprecedented access to the people who lived it as well as through rare, personal photos from the Gotti family archive.
The newly relaunched ‘Biography’ franchise aims to “break the mold of traditional documentaries by bringing our viewers the definitive stories of some of the biggest names and moments in our culture, through exclusive content and interviews,” says Bryant.
Filmmaker and writer Richard Stratton secured unprecedented access to the Gotti family to tell “the complete story of what it was like to grow up a part of The First Family of organized crime including unprecedented access to John Gotti Jr.
GOTTI: Godfather & Son features exclusive interviews John Gotti Sr.’s children John A. Gotti Jr., Peter Gotti and Angel Gotti; retired U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin; Colombo family “soldier” and author of “The Life” Larry Mazza; former F.B.I. agents Bruce Mouw, Louis Digregorio and Jim Abbott; former chief of the federal Organized Crime Strike Force Ed McDonald; criminal defense lawyers Bruce Cutler, Jeffrey Lichtman and Charlie Carnesi and criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby.
You can watch the trailer here:
GOTTI: Godfather & Son premieres on Saturday, June 9 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 9 p.m. on A&E.