Find Me Guilty (2006)
Movie Company: Status
Director: Sidney Lumet
Producers: Vin Diesel, Sidney Lumet, T.J. Mancini, George Zakk, Bob DeBrino, Robert Greenhut
Writers: T.J. Mancini, Robert McCrea
Picture: Ron Fortunato
Budget: $13 million
Total gross: Worldwide: $2,636,637
MPAA rating: Rated R for strong language and some violence.
Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Annabella Sciorra, Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Alex Rocco
DiNorscio’s life story reads like typical Lumet fare: an intriguing mix of crime, character and courtroom theatrics. In some ways, “Find Me Guilty” is reminiscent of some of Lumet’s earlier legal dramas, particularly “The Verdict,” “Q & A,” “Guilty as Sin” and his feature debut, “12 Angry Men.” Unlike those films, though, “Find Me Guilty” was made outside of the studio system. Financed by producer Bob Yari, the $13-million production was released by Freesytle Relesaing on March 17, 2006.
“Find Me Guilty’s” script, by Lumet and screenwriters T.J. Mancini and Robert McCrea, focuses on the real-life 1987-88 racketeering trial of DiNorscio and 19 other reputed members of the Lucchese crime family. The court case lasted 21 mind-boggling months. At the time, it was the longest criminal case in U.S. District Court history. DiNorscio said during his trial that he was a “comedian, not a gangster,” was allowed to represent himself, and his legal tactics and profane rebuttals helped turn the trial into a circus.
An ailing DiNorscio visited the set of “Find Me Guilty” at Lumet’s invitation, and died a few days later, in November 2004.
When Lumet began work on the script, Joe Pesci was being courted to play the lead role. When negotiations with the “GoodFellas” star came to an impasse, Lumet lobbied for Diesel, having seen him in “Boiler Room” and “Multi-Facial.”