The Many Saints of Newark
Fourteen years after its notoriously ambiguous conclusion, the Sopranos story returns with a prequel film (in cinemas now), stepping back to the teenage years of future mob boss Tony Soprano, set amid the 1967 race riots in New Jersey’s largest city.
The Gandolfini family
Young Tony is played by Michael Gandolfini, son of James, who starred as old Tony in the original. Michael’s first major role was as the son of a pimp in another HBO series, The Deuce, David Simon’s drama about the porn industry in 1970s New York. Watch it for a deft recreation of Manhattan’s lost dark side and one of the best TV soundtracks ever.
Gandolfini Sr died of a heart attack aged just 51 in 2013. One of his final roles was alongside another celebrated TV actor, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in the cult comedy-drama Enough Said by writer-director Nicole Holofcener. Like 2009’s In the Loop, in which he played a US lieutenant general, the film displayed Gandolfini’s underutilised comedic chops. Ooof marone!
Holofcener, best known for her witty, urbane films such as Please Give and Friends With Money, has taken a dramatic screenwriting leap with the upcoming Ridley Scott film The Last Duel, about the last legally sanctioned duel in 14th-century France, which she co-wrote with Matt Damon and his old mucker Ben Affleck.
Weehawken duelling grounds
The infamous history of settling arguments through trial by combat perhaps peaked in 1804 with the deadly duel between US vice-president Aaron Burr and ex-Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton (you may be more aware of it in musical-rap form). You can visit the site of the shootout, which is in Weehawken, New Jersey – 10 miles from … Newark.
Listen Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli (Christophaaa) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri) revisit the series, episode by episode, in their hit podcast Talking Sopranos.
Drink Ruffino Chianti Classico – Tony Soprano’s go-to full-blooded Tuscan red.