It seems our beloved movie gangsters are droppin’ like flies. Ray Liotta, James Caan, and Tony Sirico. Recently, Paul Sorvino passed.

I recall a chance meeting back in 1997. I was doing marketing for the venerable old Sportsman’s Lodge in Los Angeles. Over coffee one morning, Alex Rocco (a Lodge regular) stopped by our table. Alex played Moe Green in “The Godfather,” the casino kingpin who was unceremoniously shot in the eye. My client introduced us, mentioning that I’d just written a script about the curious demise of Pope John Paul I in 1977 — only 30 days after his election. Talk about (suspected) gangster activity … Intrigued, Alex asked to read it.

Shortly thereafter, his verdict: “Fantastic script! I have someone you should meet, Buddy.” Alex had just appeared in a small independent film that was being screened at the Alfred Hitchcock Theater on the Universal lot. “The director will love your story.  Meet me at the Lodge tomorrow at 5.  We’ll grab a bite, catch the movie and have drinks with he and the cast afterwards.” Holy sh*t. I was thrilled!

My script got around town. A few leads, but no cigar. Nevertheless today, it’s still a good read. A tight script. And the more “the Church” shoots itself in the foot, my chances of eventually selling this compelling tale improves.

Meanwhile, I’m one of the very lucky few who can say: “Moe Green took me out to dinner, a movie and for drinks.”

Alex passed in 2015. Thanks, Moe.


Buddy Doyle


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