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New York City, 1889 – The movie opens on a young teen, FRANK PATRONE at a police precinct speaking with SERGEANT MOLLOY about becoming a copper to help solve the crime wave brought about by Sicilians from the BLACK HAND. He works as a shoeshine boy making a few bucks working on loyal customers like OFFICER BILL TERRY. The next day at the shoe shine stand, Bill Terry discusses the wave of violence effecting the city lately, thanks to the Black Hand. Bill points out how he knows there are good Italians, but they need to step up and be heard to help fight the corruption to salvage their reputation and pride. Frank is conflicted on helping because his father, VICENTE PATRONE is adamant about Frank getting involved and turning informant. Bill Terry urges Frank to reconsider and that night, Frank brings it up to Vicente Patrone who once again yells at him and warns him to keep his nose out of the mob’s business. Later, Frank bumps into his best friend, CARLO the newsboy, they talk and then Carlo goes to a local fish market, unaware that a hired SICILIAN bomber has wired it to explode to settle a due payment matter. The bomb takes Carlo’s life, Frank runs over to help and Carlo dies in Frank’s arms. Frank tells Carlo’s mom Josefina about the death and goes to the morgue with her to identify the body; he consoles her in her grief. Three Black handers, Umberto, Palazzo and Vito pay the Sicilian for the bombing. Captain McClellan reads the Black Hand letter given to Micheli’s Fish Market owner. He angrily walks over to show Chief Patrick McDonald the letter. Mayor Jeffrey Sullivan is informed and takes immediate action to solve this violence. Frank is motivated to finally take action and tells Bill Terry he wants to help the police bring down the mob. Bill Terry puts Frank to work and soon he helps target the mob. He goes looking for the suspects of the bombing. He goes to a popular criminal hangout and over hears three men (Umberto, Palazzo and Vito) discussing their role in the bombing. Frank immediately hands over the information to Bill Terry and arrests are made. The three responsible are tried and hung. However, Frank is unaware that they had a fourth conspirator, Frank’s father Vicente Patrone! Vicente Patrone works with the local mob making counterfeit money and enforcing using violence.
Frank is given a lot of credit for his role in taking down the fish market bombers, subsequently is given the Medal of Honor; and he is later given entry into the police department. He is a minority in a mostly Irish police force, but he is undeterred and happy to help the effort. On his graduation day, he goes out to celebrate at a local restaurant and meets a stunning young woman named Francesca. Her parents own the restaurant and Frank asks for permission to take her out on a date. Francesca’s mother accompanies the young couple on their first outing and there is a genuine connection that soon turns into a promising relationship. Back on the job, the mob receives some reinforcements in New York and they target a local Italian doctor named Dr. Percorino who is making life tough for them with his organization to counter this Mafia. The doctor’s nephew is kidnapped and stabbed, he almost dies, and Frank leads the effort to catch the bad guys. During the interrogation of a man in custody, it’s uncovered that Frank’s father may be involved. Meanwhile, Frank’s relationship with his father is deteriorating. He doesn’t speak to his father and his mother is torn. Frank eventually is given the case of Dr. Pecorino’s nephew, and takes down the thug who stabbed the doctor’s nephew. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t stop there. Bill Terry, Frank’s mentor, is stabbed while trying to make an arrest on a counterfeiting operation lead by another Sicilian. Bill Terry lives from his injuries and the whole police force tries to hunt down the perpetrator, the independently connected mob goon named JOE CASTELLANO.
The outcome leads back to Vicente Patrone who is harboring Joe Castellano before being shipped to Italy to avoid prosecution. Alongi and Frank are given the assignment to hunt down Joe Castellano. In a remote hideout in upper Manhattan, Joe Castellano is chased down and caught by Alongi, Mungo the hideout owner escapes, but Vicente Patrone, who is in the bathroom and doesn’t know who has entered the hideout ends up firing off some shots in the darkness of the hideout as he bursts out of the bathroom blindly, and the startled Frank has to put him down, unknowingly it is his father. The shocking moments ensue when Frank realizes it is his father; Frank shares a few final words of regret with his father before he dies.
Later, Frank is full of guilt and remorse over the death. He lies to his mom about his father’s death. He marries Francesca and her parents want him to quit the police force and join the family business. Francesca is pregnant as