Based on a true story, Donnie Brasco stars Johnny Depp as undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone, who leaves his wife (Anne Heche) and family to infiltrate the mob as the "jewel man" Donnie Brasco. Donnie maneuvers his way into the confidence of Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino), an aging hitman who never made it to the big time and sees a new future for himself with this smart young thief. Lefty enlists Donnie as his protégé, but Lefty's friendship and loyalty make it hard for Donnie to distance himself emotionally. As Donnie moves deeper into the Mafia, he realizes he's not only crossing the line between federal agent and criminal, but also leading his friend to an almost certain death sentence. In this dangerous duel between family, FBI and a fierce but unwanted friendship, Donnie's loyalties are put to the ultimate test.

  • 2 hr 7 minR
  • Feb 28, 1997
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Al Pacino

    Al PacinoActor

    Alfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi) and Sal Pacino. They divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' home in the South Bronx. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies. Bored and unmotivated in school, he found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting onstage, he went through a period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to succeed to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many 1970s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, Pacino finally attained success off-Broadway with Israel Horovitz's "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie Award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?" His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a drug addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of other actors either wanted it or were mentioned, but director Francis Ford Coppola wanted Pacino for the role. Coppola was successful but Pacino was reportedly in constant fear of being fired during the very difficult shoot. The film was a monster hit that earned Pacino his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield (1977), but regained his stride with And Justice for All (1979), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Unfortunately, this would signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced flops like Cruising (1980) and Author! Author! (1982). Pacino took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult film Scarface (1983), but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution (1985) endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino fell ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script further derailed the project. The Revolutionary War-themed film, considered among the worst films ever made, resulted in awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino did much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic (1990), but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking policeman. This marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, Pacino made The Godfather: Part III (1990) and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful adaptation Dick Tracy (1990). This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny (1991). In 1992, he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992). A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way (1993) proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro. He directed the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Looking for Richard (1996). During this period, City Hall (1996), Donnie Brasco (1997) and The Devil's Advocate (1997) all came out. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave commanding performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999). In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including Ocean's Thirteen (2007), but his choice in television roles (the vicious, closeted Roy Cohn in the HBO miniseries Angels in America (2003) and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack (2010)) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Never wed, Pacino has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a set of twins with former longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes Jill Clayburgh, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Carole Mallory, Debra Winger, Tuesday Weld, Marthe Keller, Carmen Cervera, Kathleen Quinlan, Lyndall Hobbs, Penelope Ann Miller, and a two-decade intermittent relationship with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. He currently lives with Argentinian actress Lucila Solá, who is 36 years his junior.
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  • Anne Heche

    Anne HecheActor

    Anne Heche was born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio, USA as Anne Celeste Heche. She is an actress and writer, known for Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Donnie Brasco (1997) and Wag the Dog (1997). She was previously married to Coleman 'Coley' Laffoon.
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  • Johnny Depp

    Johnny DeppActor

    Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood. He was born John Christopher Depp II in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue (Wells), who worked as a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15, and fronted a series of music-garage bands, including one named 'The Kids'. However, it was when he married Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp) that he took up the job of being a ballpoint-pen salesman to support himself and his wife. A visit to Los Angeles, California, with his wife, however, happened to be a blessing in disguise, when he met up with actor Nicolas Cage, who advised him to turn to acting, which culminated in Depp's film debut in the low-budget horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), where he played a teenager who falls prey to dream-stalking demon Freddy Krueger. In 1987 he shot to stardom when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street (1987). In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a handful of great collaborations with director Tim Burton came about when Depp played the title role in Edward Scissorhands (1990). Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprised critics and audiences alike. He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity by appearing in many features before re-joining with Burton in the lead role of Ed Wood (1994). In 1997 he played an undercover FBI agent in the fact-based film Donnie Brasco (1997), opposite Al Pacino; in 1998 he appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), directed by Terry Gilliam; and then, in 1999, he appeared in the sci-fi/horror film The Astronaut's Wife (1999). The same year he teamed up again with Burton in Sleepy Hollow (1999), brilliantly portraying Ichabod Crane. Depp has played many characters in his career, including another fact-based one, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell (2001). He stole the show from screen greats such as Antonio Banderas in the finale to Robert Rodriguez's "mariachi" trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). In that same year he starred in the marvelous family blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), playing a character that only the likes of Depp could pull off: the charming, conniving and roguish Capt. Jack Sparrow. The film's enormous success has opened several doors for his career and included an Oscar nomination. He appeared as the central character in the Stephen King-based movie, Secret Window (2004); as the kind-hearted novelist James Barrie in the factually-based Finding Neverland (2004), where he co-starred with Kate Winslet; and Rochester in the British film, The Libertine (2004). Depp collaborated again with Burton in a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and later in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Dark Shadows (2012). Off-screen, Depp has dated several female celebrities, and has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. He was married to Lori Anne Allison in 1983, but divorced her in 1985. Depp has two children with French singer/actress Vanessa Paradis: Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999 and Jack, born in 2002. He married actress/producer Amber Heard in 2015.
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  • Michael Madsen

    Michael MadsenActor

    Michael Madsen's long career spans nearly 40 years and more than 170 films in which he has played memorable characters in myriad box office hits, including: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) Sin City (2005), Hell Ride (2008), Die Another Day (2002), Donnie Brasco (1997), Species (1995), The Getaway (1994), Thelma & Louise (1991), and Free Willy (1993). Michael is notably recognized for his role as Mr. Blonde, in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992). Michael was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Elaine Madsen (née Melson), an Emmy-winning writer, producer, and poet, and Calvin Madsen, a firefighter. He is the brother of actress Virginia Madsen. His paternal grandparents were Danish. In recent years, Madsen has received Best Actor awards for his role in the Irish boxing film Strength and Honour, from the New York International Film Festival, the Boston Film Festival and the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. Madsen received the Golden Dolphin Award at the 25th Festroia Festival in Portugal, an award also given to veterans Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum. In 2012, Madsen was named President of the first annual Champs Elysees Film Festival in France which honored producer Harvey Weinstein. Recent television appearances include guest starring roles on The Mob Doctor (2012), Golden Boy (2013)and Blue Bloods (2010). Madsen is well recognized as an accomplished poet. His first book "Burning In Paradise" with a Foreword by Dennis Hopper, won the Independent Firecracker Award and was later translated into Norwegian. He has a world-wide following with his work, honored at International Poetry Festivals in Genoa, Italy and Mexico . He was recently the Guest of Honor at the Crossing Border Festival in Netherlands. His "The Complete Poetic Works" is an international bestseller. This was followed by his "Signs of Life" dedicated to Chris Penn. This unique work combined his new poetry with his own original photography. His next book of poetry "American Badass"was dedicated to the memory of the late David Carradine, his friend and Kill Bill co-star. His newest book "Expecting Rain" has a Foreword by Jerry Hopkins.
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  • TERRY SERPICO

    TERRY SERPICOActor

    Terry Serpico was born as Terrance M. Serpico. He is known for his work on Army Wives (2007), The Purge: Election Year (2016) and The Inspectors (2015).
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  • Zach Grenier

    Zach GrenierActor

Cast & Crew photos provided by TMDb.