A Bronx Tale Gets 4K UHD for 30th Anniversary

A Bronx Tale celebrated its 30th anniversary this year with a special screening during the Tribeca Film Festival and a 4K Ultra HD release.

The film follows MTA bus driver Lorenzo (Robert De Niro) in his efforts to protect his son, C (Francis Capra at 9, Lillo Brancato at 17), from mob boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri). During his childhood, C witnesses Sonny kill and shoot a man but later stays quiet when the cops question who did it. Sonny responds by offering him a job at his bar but Lorenzo returns the money and warns Sonny. As C grows older, he must decide between staying loyal and honest like his father or cave into the temptations of joining the mob. The film also depicts the racism of the Bronx in the 1960s, too, as C starts a relationship with Jane (Taral Hicks).

The film looks and sounds beautiful after being restored in Ultra High Definition Dolby Vision and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround sound. They spent some nine months working on the restoration but it was worth it. I cannot say it enough: the picture looks beautiful with De Niro supervising the process himself.

When Robert De Niro chose to adapt Chazz Palminteri’s play for his directorial debut, it was with the promise that Chazz would play Sonny and write the screenplay. The play was semi-biographical but there were incidents that did happen in real life according to new interviews with Chazz. The same incident is also in the film. Overall, there are very few changes between the one-man-show and the film. Even though De Niro thought he could do something with the story, it took several years before something happened. That’s just Hollywood, of course. The actor-filmmaker also planned to play the father as soon as he decided to direct. According to De Niro, it was always Chazz’s intention to play Sonny.

In new interviews that come with the 4K release, De Niro looks back on the filmmaking process, casting, camera, etc. When it came to casting the children, they hired kids from that world. He also talks about some of the story and how Calogero and Jane dating was considered taboo for the time. The big thing for De Niro was having to balance directing with acting. It’s one reason why he took a smaller part in portraying Lorenzo. Behind the camera, he wasn’t the type to look at the playback. Instead, De Niro would consult with Chazz or the film’s director of photography. De Niro admits that it can be helpful but it can also be so time consuming.

Chazz describes the film as not being a gangster movie but a family movie. He also says the film is like It’s A Wonderful Life but if that film were on steroids. That’s quite a way to look at the film! This was my first viewing but I would have thought it was in the same vein as Goodfellas and Casino going off of the cover. Maybe that’s because of De Niro having starred in many films directed by Martin Scorsese. In any event, all those years of acting paid off in stepping behind the camera.

In stepping behind the camera for the first time, Robert De Niro hits it a home run with A Bronx Tale.

Bonus Features

  • Revisiting A Bronx Tale: New interviews with Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Original Making of Featurette

DIRECTOR: Robert De Niro
SCREENWRITER: Chazz Palminteri
CAST: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato, Francis Capra, Taral Hicks

Savoy Pictures released A Bronx Tale in theaters on September 29, 1993. Grade: 4/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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