Picks and Pans Review: Loyalty and Betrayal: the Story of the American Mob
At least this documentary knows how to keep viewers from getting bored. When things start to get a bit slow, just throw in a few gruesome pictures of rubbed-out mobsters. This happens several times during this two-part, 4-hour program, which is co-executive-produced by Wiseguys author Nicholas Pileggi. There are lurid, fascinating interviews with aging mob figures and their relatives, offering details about the good old days when Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel shot up the streets. It's asking too much, though, to stretch it to 4 hours. The stories get repetitive, and as Loyalty and Betrayal goes from the American mob's immigrant beginnings to its present nadir, even the onslaught of photos of bloodied bad guys eventually loses its shock value. The biggest crime of all when telling mob tales is to kill your audience's interest.