Joe Spinell

​Joe Spinell was born Joseph J. Spagnuolo in Manhattan, New York of Italian immigrant parents, and the last of six children. His father, Pelegrino Spagnuolo (b. 1892, d. 1950), died from liver and kidney disease. His mother Filomena Spagnuolo (b. 1903, d. 1987) was a bit-part actress who acted in a few movies, some of them alongside her son. Spinell stood 5 foot and 11 inches. He was born at his family's apartment in Manhattan's Little Italy on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. A few years after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and older siblings to Woodside, Queens, New York where he lived off-and-on for the remainder of his life. Spinell suffered most of his life from hemophilia as well as chronic asthma. Because of his large, heavyset frame and imposing looks, Spinell was often cast as criminals, thugs, or corrupt police officers. His most notable roles were as mafioso Willi Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and as loan shark Tony Gazzo in Rocky and Rocky II. Although primarily known as a character actor, Spinell co-wrote and starred as a serial killer in the 1980 film, Maniac. Joe Spinell died in his apartment on January 13, 1989 at the age of 52. The cause of his untimely death is arguable to this day. Some say that his death was caused by sudden heart attack due to heavy drug use, drinking and emotional distress in light of his mother passing away two years earlier. It is also speculated that he may have died from asthma complications, or ...

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The Godfather (1972)

PowerfulCharmingClassicDramatic

Spanning the years 1945 to 1955, a chronicle of the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. When organized crime family patriarch, Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son, Michael steps in to take care of the would-be ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francis Ford Coppola
CAST:  Marlon Brando  •  Al Pacino  •  James Caan  •  Richard S. Castellano

Spanning the years 1945 to 1955, a chronicle of the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. When organized crime family patriarch, Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son, Michael steps in to take care of the would-be ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francis Ford Coppola
CAST:  Marlon Brando  •  Al Pacino  •  James Caan  •  Richard S. Castellano

Big Wednesday (1978)

Three 1960s California surfers fool around, drift apart and reunite years later to ride epic waves.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Milius
CAST:  Jan-Michael Vincent  •  William Katt  •  Gary Busey  •  Patti D'Arbanville

Three 1960s California surfers fool around, drift apart and reunite years later to ride epic waves.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Milius
CAST:  Jan-Michael Vincent  •  William Katt  •  Gary Busey  •  Patti D'Arbanville

Cruising (1980)

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Karen Allen  •  Paul Sorvino  •  Richard Cox

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Karen Allen  •  Paul Sorvino  •  Richard Cox

Forbidden Zone (1980)

A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Elfman
CAST:  Hervé Villechaize  •  Susan Tyrrell  •  Gisele Lindley  •  Jan Stuart Schwartz

A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Elfman
CAST:  Hervé Villechaize  •  Susan Tyrrell  •  Gisele Lindley  •  Jan Stuart Schwartz

Married to the Mob (1988)

Angela de Marco is fed up with her gangster husband's line of work and wants no part of the crime world. When her husband is killed for having an affair with the mistress of mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo, Angela and her son depart for New York City to make a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Demme
CAST:  Michelle Pfeiffer  •  Matthew Modine  •  Oliver Platt  •  Alec Baldwin

Angela de Marco is fed up with her gangster husband's line of work and wants no part of the crime world. When her husband is killed for having an affair with the mistress of mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo, Angela and her son depart for New York City to make a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Demme
CAST:  Michelle Pfeiffer  •  Matthew Modine  •  Oliver Platt  •  Alec Baldwin

Melvin and Howard (1980)

The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Demme
CAST:  Jason Robards  •  Paul Le Mat  •  Elizabeth Cheshire  •  Mary Steenburgen

The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Demme
CAST:  Jason Robards  •  Paul Le Mat  •  Elizabeth Cheshire  •  Mary Steenburgen

Night Shift (1982)

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the "one great idea" for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbour complains about the loss of her ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ron Howard
CAST:  Henry Winkler  •  Michael Keaton  •  Shelley Long  •  Gina Hecht

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the "one great idea" for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbour complains about the loss of her ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ron Howard
CAST:  Henry Winkler  •  Michael Keaton  •  Shelley Long  •  Gina Hecht

Nighthawks (1981)

An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bruce Malmuth
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Rutger Hauer  •  Billy Dee Williams  •  Lindsay Wagner

An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bruce Malmuth
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Rutger Hauer  •  Billy Dee Williams  •  Lindsay Wagner

Rocky (1976)

ClassicAction-packedDramaticUplifting

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

Rocky II (1979)

IntenseAction-packedDramaticSlow moving

After Rocky goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed, both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian but can't put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Sylvester Stallone
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

After Rocky goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed, both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian but can't put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Sylvester Stallone
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

Sorcerer (1977)

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting several cases of dynamite (which is so old that it is dripping unstable nitroglycerin) across dangerous jungle terrain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Bruno Cremer  •  Francisco Rabal  •  Amidou

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting several cases of dynamite (which is so old that it is dripping unstable nitroglycerin) across dangerous jungle terrain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Bruno Cremer  •  Francisco Rabal  •  Amidou

Stay Hungry (1976)

A dishonest businessman asks rich layabout Craig Blake to help him buy a gym, which will be demolished for a development project in Alabama. But after spending time with weightlifter Joe Santo and gym worker Mary Tate Farnsworth, Craig wants out of the deal. The ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bob Rafelson
CAST:  Jeff Bridges  •  Sally Field  •  Arnold Schwarzenegger  •  R. G. Armstrong

A dishonest businessman asks rich layabout Craig Blake to help him buy a gym, which will be demolished for a development project in Alabama. But after spending time with weightlifter Joe Santo and gym worker Mary Tate Farnsworth, Craig wants out of the deal. The ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bob Rafelson
CAST:  Jeff Bridges  •  Sally Field  •  Arnold Schwarzenegger  •  R. G. Armstrong

Taxi Driver (1976)

SuspensefulViolentDisturbingThought provoking

A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feed his urge for violent action.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Martin Scorsese
CAST:  Robert De Niro  •  Cybill Shepherd  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Jodie Foster

A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feed his urge for violent action.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Martin Scorsese
CAST:  Robert De Niro  •  Cybill Shepherd  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Jodie Foster

The Godfather Part II (1974)

BeautifulBrilliantCharmingEmotional

In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francis Ford Coppola
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Robert Duvall  •  Diane Keaton  •  Robert De Niro

In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francis Ford Coppola
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Robert Duvall  •  Diane Keaton  •  Robert De Niro

The Ninth Configuration (1980)

Col. Vincent Kane is a military psychiatrist who takes charge of an army mental hospital situated in a secluded castle. Among Kane's many eccentric patients is Capt. Billy Cutshaw, a troubled astronaut in the midst of an existential crisis. Although Kane's own ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Peter Blatty
CAST:  Stacy Keach  •  Scott Wilson  •  Ed Flanders  •  Neville Brand

Col. Vincent Kane is a military psychiatrist who takes charge of an army mental hospital situated in a secluded castle. Among Kane's many eccentric patients is Capt. Billy Cutshaw, a troubled astronaut in the midst of an existential crisis. Although Kane's own ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Peter Blatty
CAST:  Stacy Keach  •  Scott Wilson  •  Ed Flanders  •  Neville Brand

Monsignor (1982)

The vows of an ambitious young American priest are tested during World War II. Not only does Father John Flaherty get involved with the black market to raise money for the Vatican, he also falls in love with a young French nun.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Perry
CAST:  Christopher Reeve  •  Geneviève Bujold  •  Fernando Rey  •  Jason Miller

The vows of an ambitious young American priest are tested during World War II. Not only does Father John Flaherty get involved with the black market to raise money for the Vatican, he also falls in love with a young French nun.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Perry
CAST:  Christopher Reeve  •  Geneviève Bujold  •  Fernando Rey  •  Jason Miller

Maniac (1980)

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree?  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Lustig
CAST:  Joe Spinell  •  Caroline Munro  •  Abigail Clayton  •  Kelly Piper

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree?  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Lustig
CAST:  Joe Spinell  •  Caroline Munro  •  Abigail Clayton  •  Kelly Piper

The Last Horror Film (1982)

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Winters
CAST:  Caroline Munro  •  Joe Spinell  •  Judd Hamilton  •  Devin Goldenberg

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Winters
CAST:  Caroline Munro  •  Joe Spinell  •  Judd Hamilton  •  Devin Goldenberg

Losin' It (1982)

Set in 1965, four Los Angeles school friends -- Woody, Dave, Spider and Wendell -- go on a series of misadventures when they head to Tijuana, Mexico, for a night of cruisin', causing trouble, and to lose their virginity.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Curtis Hanson
CAST:  Tom Cruise  •  Jackie Earle Haley  •  John Stockwell  •  John P. Navin, Jr.

Set in 1965, four Los Angeles school friends -- Woody, Dave, Spider and Wendell -- go on a series of misadventures when they head to Tijuana, Mexico, for a night of cruisin', causing trouble, and to lose their virginity.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Curtis Hanson
CAST:  Tom Cruise  •  Jackie Earle Haley  •  John Stockwell  •  John P. Navin, Jr.

Out of the Darkness (1985)

A gripping thriller telling the true story of the hunt and capture of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. "Son of Sam" — the infamous serial killer who stalked New York in the 70s.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jud Taylor
CAST:  Martin Sheen  •  Hector Elizondo  •  Charlie Sheen  •  Matt Clark

A gripping thriller telling the true story of the hunt and capture of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. "Son of Sam" — the infamous serial killer who stalked New York in the 70s.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jud Taylor
CAST:  Martin Sheen  •  Hector Elizondo  •  Charlie Sheen  •  Matt Clark
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