Real Gangsters tells the story of the Lo Giacamo family, one of the most successful crime syndicates in New York City. Run by cousins Vincent Lo Giacamo (Nick Mancuso) and Jack Lo Giacamo (Frank D’Angelo) Real Gangsters shows how these two men maintain control of their dangerous extended family and volatile business ventures by very different means. Vincent is the politician, the man who always has a plan to help keep the peace, find common ground, bind blood and commerce and grow the family into a billion dollar empire. Jack is the muscle, the hot head, ruthless and uncompromising he lives in the moment and executes his actions based on how he feels. Unfortunately for these two men, these two philosophies don’t always work together.
Jack enforces his code of duty and honor with a brutal finality that sometimes destroys Vincent’s creative scheming. Jack also finds himself unexpectedly protecting the underdogs in his neighborhood that sometimes creates more trouble for him than it’s worth. Vincent makes deals with rival families knowing that money is the glue that keeps the peace, avoids problems with law enforcement and builds a future. But having to turn the other cheek drives Jack mad when it sells out his personal integrity and often he can’t do it. Somehow the cousins get through each day, keep their enemies guessing and keep business booming. Jack is always accompanied by his two deadly enforcers Frankie D’Cecco (Mike Pare) and Cacciatore (Robert Mangiardi).
Frankie and Cacciatore are quick to follow Jack’s orders but also help keep the peace in unexpected ways. Sometimes they are the ones who help determine the outcome of a crime, or a path to justice with a small action and right word at the right time. Jack finds solace and advice from his weekly meetings with his great Uncle Gaetano (Robert Loggia), a survivor of very early gangster generations. A wise veteran, who knows what it takes to make it out of every day alive, Uncle “Tanno” as Jack affectionately calls him, is the one person whom he trusts. Why? Because Tanno’s catch phrase is; “Don’t trust anyone.” It’s the best advice Jack gets, advice he takes to heart and demonstrates how small Jack’s world really is. Big Nick Salens (Steven Bauer) runs the biker gangs across the state for the family. A legitimate business man, Big Nick personally oversees everything from stripper clubs to meth labs while also running a high end motorcycle dealership franchise. He owes his life and success to the family and knows it. Whenever he has business or illegal issues to deal with he will always come to Vincent and Jack for a sit down first.
Detective Ted Roberts (John Savage) is the tireless FBI undercover agent on Jack’s heels. He makes no bones about getting in Jack’s face to always let him know he’s around. Surprisingly Ted Roberts and Vincent have made a friendship over the years based on common decency and respect for each other. This friendship irritates Jack no end and he’s always trying to end it but to no avail.
Most of the family business takes place at the Forget About It Restaurant, run by Stella (Margot Kidder) and kept in culinary comfort by the chef Big Tony (Johnny Williams) and Matre’d (Tony Rosato) gangsters in their own rite who are not to be trifled with, but their hearts are as big as the moon.
Real Gangsters is an adrenalin rush. A constant roller coaster ride of classic crime, class acts, and the thrill that comes from living life on the edge, one day at a time, when at any moment you may have to put your life on the line to serve and protect the family.