A cheesy-looking doc called Momo: The Sam Giancana Story will have a screening at the world-renowned Bel-Air Film Festival on 10.14.12 at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater at 2 pm. I’m running this because I was struck by the cavalier and creepily amoral vibe coming off the trailer. The assertions and suggestions about the Chicago-based mobster‘s life seem at least partly accurate, but the doc seems to have been made by stone-cold sociopaths, This is suggested in a moment that half-brags about Giancana having possibly ordered JFK’s assassination.
The copy read by the trailer’s narrator reads in part: “[Giancana is] the sharp-dressing guy who takes way too little credit for far too much. Cross him once, wake up dead. Just ask Kennedy.” Quick cut to the Zapruder exploding-head shot and then to John-John Kennedy saluting his father. If this isn’t one of the most disgusting uses of montage in world history, it’ll do until one gets here.
Remember the New Jersey mafia family in Woody Allen‘s Broadway Danny Rose? A voice is telling me that those guys are cousins, in a loose manner of speaking, of the people who made this film.
Various Giancana family members have tired to cash in on their dad’s reputation with books (“Double Cross,” “JFK and Sam“). Momo, which has been kicking around on the second-rate film festival circuit for at least eight months, was directed and co-written by Dimitri Logothetis, and produced and co-written by Gianacana’s grand-nephew Nicholas Celozzi. The film includes the participation of two of Sam’s daughters, Francince and Bonnie. Celozzi told a ReelChicago interviewer in 2010 that he got Bonnie to participate by saying, “I promise we’ll make the film the right way, by telling your relationship and establish the man behind the myth.”
A Chicago publicist named Danielle Garnier invited me through LinkedIn to the 10.14 screening. I wrote her back with this reply: “I would be delighted to meet you and see Momo and do whatever I can to help the family of Sam Giancana profit as fully as possible from the stories of Giancana’s murderous exploits.” She didn’t get it and wrote back saying thanks and she’s looking forward to meet me.
Her pitch letter states that “the filmmakers have some options for distribution but are open to anyone looking to tell the story as blueprinted in this documentary…they already wrote (sic) a 6 episode mini-series and would like to develop a feature film — family rights from one of America’s most powerful man who worked both for the government and lead the biggest organized crime in American history.”
She also mis-spelled “assassination.”
In a trailer clip Bonnie Giancana says her father “was funny, he was comical, he was witty. He really wasn’t a bad guy.” Of course! Who would have the temerity to suggest otherwise?
Francine Giancana says in another clip, “He was just my idol.”