Movies are Entertainment. Television is Entertainment. That is Their #1 Function, not Portraying Historical Events in a Truly Realistic Manner. Too Many Viewers Forget this, and get Their Knowledge of History from Producers, Directors and Writers, People who are NOT HISTORIANS.
Unfortunately, that often Means Glorifying Groups and Individuals in ways that are not True to Life, and Creates a Mythology that has little to do with Reality.
I am covering Organized Crime in another section on this page, so this Article will Deal with how such Activities are Portrayed in the Entertainment Media, now and in the past.
THE "GODFATHER" MOVIES- FACT AND FICTION.
That there Exists a Criminal Enterprise, made up of Italian and Sicilian Mobsters who are Formed into Individual Gangs/Groups Called FAMILIES, is Absolutely True.
Conceived of and Implemented in the 1930s, it was done to create a Truce with other Organized Criminal Groups. Other Ethnic Gangs; Irish, Jewish, Polish etc.,
cooperated with Their Italian Counterparts, so that everyone could make Money. (This was a Problem in Chicago, where Gang Wars Continued Until Al Capone Emerged Victorious. This was just before he was Shipped off to Federal Prison for Income Tax Evasion.)
Because of Racial Stereotyping, Chinese - American Gangs, or "TONGS", and African- American Gangs, were Treated differently. However, They have also Developed and Grown into more Sophisticated Enterprises, Brokering "DEALS"
with other Criminal Elements.
The Idea of a Benevolent Father Figure looking out for those less Fortunate is Pure Fiction. The Only Reason such a Thing Ever Happened, in Real Life, was to keep other Criminal Groups from Moving in and Victimizing Those that the Resident/Ethnic Crime Leaders considered Their Own Source of Illegal Income. Your "PROTECTION," as a Business Owner, was the amount of Money you Paid to Operate within the Borders of a Given Families Jurisdiction. IT'S CALLED "EXTORTION."
The Idea that some "Bosses" were against some Criminal Activities, Like Dealing Drugs, and wouldn't allow Family members to Participate in such Activities was Extremely Rare. When it did happen, it was because of the Notoriety and Publicity that such Crimes would bring from the Authorities and the Public. Eventually, this objection was pushed aside, there was to much Money to be made.
The Idea that Leadership is passed Down From Father to Son is Nonsense. You Rise to Power by: Making the Most Money for Everyone, Being Utterly Ruthless or Gathering Powerful Allies, Showing the Degree of Influence you have on the Legal System, and the Friendship of Political Figures who may owe Their position to your "Assistance."