Most mob stories have been told in some of the best gangster films. Documentaries, on the other hand, frequently portray the mafia well.
For decades, the American Mafia has been a huge part of mainstream culture, with people connected either revered or vilified. In general, people’s perceptions of the mob are shaped by the media, movies, and television shows. After all, gangster films are among the best-ever Hollywood movies.
However, documentaries tend to present a much more accurate take on the lives of real-life mobsters by not only relying on accurate accounts from those that were involved but also using real-life footage. There haven’t been many major mob movies or TV shows in recent years either, so fans might be looking for places to get such content.
The Making Of The Mob (2015 – 2016)
Stream on AMC+
The AMC documentary traces the origins of what became known as the American Mafia in the early twentieth century. The first season is about New York’s infamous Five Families, while the second season is about Chicago.
The Making Of The Mob skillfully intersperses played sequences with archive material and interviews, making it a must-see even for those who despise documentaries. Fans of mafia films will also appreciate the fact that it is narrated by actor Ray Liotta, who has been brazenly typecast in a number of mob-related roles. The acting in the sequences is also excellent enough to suggest the show.
Fear City: New York Vs The Mafia (2020)
Stream on Netflix
Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia delves into New York City’s famed Five Families, which include the Gambinos, Colombos, Bonannos, Luccheses, and Genoveses. The series is also told from the perspective of the FBI.
What the documentary does best is demonstrate how technological improvements can help to eradicate crime. While law enforcement personnel in the early twentieth century struggled to even set up wiretaps. Those in the second half of the century are able to bring down prominent mobsters merely because of modern equipment that allow them to do so.
The Iceman Confesses: Secrets Of A Mafia Hitman (2001)
Stream on Hulu
Richard Kuklinski, a hitman for New York and New Jersey criminal families, was known as “The Iceman” because he liked to freeze his victims so the authorities wouldn’t know when they died. He discusses his rough life and what drove him to be such a vicious man in this interview.
Kuklinski’s story is noteworthy since he was a killer with limits. Despite the fact that he had a high death count, he never touched women or children. He would also go rogue on occasion because some of the hits he carried out were not authorized. While reminiscing about his golden days, the hitman presents himself as a vicious serial killer, admitting that he would sometimes only kill to see whether a given approach worked.
Al Capone: The Untouchable Legend (1998)
Stream on Amazon Prime
Al Capone: The Untouchable Legend takes viewers through the life of one of the most legendary mobsters to ever walk the Earth for one hour. There are also stories about various persons in the mobsters’ lives.
The documentary largely praises the Prohibition Era mobster rather than portraying him as a lawbreaker. Not surprising Hollywood has done it all too often in most of the best gangster films of all time. It’s also exhaustive, leaving the viewer with a thorough understanding of all things Al Capone.
Gotti: Godfather And Son (2018)
Stream on Amazon Prime
Gotti: Godfather And Son tells the story of the iconic mobster’s spectacular rise and collapse, as well as his family life. Other well-known Gambino crime family members appear as well.
Fans will understand what life is like for children and spouses when the head of the household is a mob boss through the docuseries. Angel, Peter, and John Jr. Gotti all had emotional recollections of their time with John Gotti. Eliciting both sympathy and contempt The legal angle is also examined. Showing judges and lawyers discuss their interactions with the man.
Whitey: United States Of America V. James J. Bulger (2014)
Stream on Fubo TV
Filmmaker Joe Berlinger immerses viewers in the trial of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who had been on the run for 16 years. The Winter Hill gang boss is also given a little opportunity to share his own narrative.
Whitey highlights an ideological confrontation by demonstrating how different the perspectives of law enforcement agents and gangsters are. The authorities portray him as an immoral human being and make additional charges that he was an informant, which the mobster denies. He also believes he has done nothing wrong in his career.