Kill The Irishman

The movie Kill the Irishman was based on the book To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia. By all accounts, the book is rife with grammatical and organizational errors: I recommend the movie on account of its coherent storyline, fast-paced action, and the bonus material on the DVD, which consists of interviews with people (including his wife, two daughters, and an old classmate) who knew the late Daniel Greene at various points in his life, and who reveal that while the basic storyline of the feature film is true, some liberties have been taken with certain details of Greene’s biography (e.g., how and when he met his wife, the fact that their eventual separation seems to have been a mutual decision), and his time in the service and work for the railroad seems to have been left out.
Danny Greene is portrayed in the movie as an unusual combination of brains and brawn who has a penchant for reading serious but unidentified books, and the rudiments of a social conscience. He starts his ascendency to the upper echelons of union politics and organized crime (the two walk hand-in-hand in Cleveland in the 1970s) when he stands up to some mobbed-up union bosses whose inhumane working conditions regularly cause stevedores to suffer heat prostration.
Though he wins with pugilism against two “pollacks” who were carrying firearms, individuals in authority who threaten him with blackballing from the union as well as more personal indignities, as he rises higher in Cleaveland’s underworld, he later graduates to carrying a pistol himself. Contrary to certain ethnic stereotypes concerning the Irish and Irish-Americans, he also initially “doesn’t drink”, but is later seen drinking socially, and still later, habitually.
Towards the end of the story, he expresses an ambition to start an Irish pub, for which he would need to borrow money from the Italian mafia element in Cleaveland, who, being connected to the mafia of New York, borrow it, in turn, from the Gambinos, leading to a chain of events which leads to additional death threats against him. The financial and societal rewards of Greene’s increasingly risky life are portrayed in the movie as reletively modest: he starts a family and moves them to a largish Victorian house in a lower middle-class neighborhood, wears a suit, and briefly joins the ranks of the seeming white-collars. Two of his daughters, interviewed for the special feature, tell of living among bank presidents. Another interviewee says that he furnished his office in the color green and flew the Irish flag, identifying as Irish was a substitute for identifying with a family, as he grew up with very little of the love, support, and guidance that one might expect from a family: his parents left him to be raised by a grandfather who slept all day because he worked at night.
A run-in with an old Irish grandmother type who lives in his new neighborhood who is not intimidated by the fact that she “knows what he does”, (it is to be observed that only an Irish matriarch can be so bold as to openly denounce such evildoers to their faces) portrays a different sort of Irish character and a more humble and gentle side of Daniel Greene.
Though he postures as a tough guy in the world of men, he nevertheless saves her from eviction by paying her back rent, she gives him a golden Celtic cross pendent and tells of a Celtic custom of which he, as a second-generation Irish person in America, is unacquainted: the idea of leaving one’s loved ones with an heirloom before going off to do battle.

The auld Irish grandmother he saves from eviction gives him her Celtic cross pendent.

He continues to act the part of the Celtic warrior, but wears the cross boldly and publically, only relinquishing it to a neighborhood child shortly before his assasination by car bomb, having advised the child who was in awe of his underworld fame not to “be like me”.
Following this encounter, though he continues to miss Mass (at St. Malachi’s) and engage in dubious activities, including a brief strategic alliance with some individuals in the mafia, Greene tries to balance out his racketeering activities with philanthropy: he gives away turkeys to poor families at Christmas and Thanksgiving, coaches youth basketball, and engages in a series of very public good works.
He develops a relationship with another woman who considers being with him exciting, but is well aware of his ties to organized crime. Though he still is married to his wife legally and in the eyes of the Church, he shows his seriousness of intention with the new girlfriend (and his recognition that the ball is in her court) by giving her a gold claddaugh ring with the instructions that “it is to be worn with the heart turned outward if you are free, turned inward if you are taken. Don’t put it on until you are sure” (which it will be).
The Claddagh Ring
otherwise known as "The Irish Wedding Ring".

Nevertheless, in spite of his new relationship, and some ideas he develops for legitimate business ventures, he gets deeper and deeper into the world of organized crime.

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