Last night I saw "Donnie Brasco", the 1997 film with Al Pacino and the always-solid Johnny Depp, portraying the real life story of FBI agent Joe Pistone's infiltration of the Bonnano Family (one of New York's Big Five) and the hijinks that ensued. This was a terrific film with solid portrayals, and was an Oscar contender but it had the misfortune of running up against Titanic, which was a giant piece of shit about a goddam boat and a hackneyed love story that was pulled out of the ass of some Hollywood hack. Did I mention I hated Titanic? Because it did in fact suck monkey turd.
Back to Donnie Brasco--the film raised some questions I always had about cops going into deep cover with gangs--for instance, how far does the undercover man have to go to maintain his cover? If he's asked to "ice some stone cold homeys", will he later be charged with murder? If so, then what is he to do if committing the murder is the only way to maintain cover (and save his own life, most likely)? At the very least an undercover cop ought to be able to steal some cool stuff and slap around meter maids. Otherwise there's no point in being a cop.
Also, it reminds me of the crime family that Don Marco tried to start back in Portland, which was amusing because it was to be led by the one guy in that town who wouldn't hurt a fly without feeling bad about it. In that case I imagine the meter maids would have gotten the drop on us!