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The Shocking Truth digs deep into notorious real-life murders and crimes and explores how Hollywood turned them into its most memorable thrillers. The behind-the-scenes stories of how these gruesome events became unforgettable movies is as fascinating as the true crimes themselves. Through cinematic re-enactments and exclusive interviews with the writers, directors and cast members, as well as the detectives, attorneys, and criminologists who investigated the actual crimes, we lay out a compelling story line — how despicable wrong doings became art, creating moments etched in our pop culture.
The Best Picture winner for 1972 has several underworld inspirations. Don Vito A. Corleone is based on real mob boss Frank Costello. Don Corleone was born in the same year as Costello, and like Costello earned vast illegal incomes from gambling and bootlegging, and enjoyed unrivalled political clout through friends in the power. Carlo Gambino's life also inspired Don Corleone's character. Both were low-key gangsters, and quite different from their contemporaries. Gambino was careful enough never to be imprisoned, and died in his own home. Like Gambino, Don Corleone had three sons and a daughter. Also like Don Corleone, Gambino's activities came under heavy FBI scrutiny with wiretaps, bugs and lip-readers being employed to gather evidence, but Gambino knew how to conduct his business "in silence" and escaped without any jail time.
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