The Three-Fingered Hero…Sort Of.
At the beginning of “A Bronx Tale,” our narrator and main character, C, introduces local mobster Sonny, explaining that, “Sonny had five fingers, but he only used three.” This refers to the gangstery way Sonny used to talk with his hands. The nine-year-old C (short for Calogero) looked up to Sonny (played by Chazz Palminteri) which caused problems with C’s father (Robert DeNiro), a straight edge bus driver who didn’t want his son involved with the local hooligans. Despite his father’s warnings, however, C looked up to Sonny as a role model, and though he was indeed a cold-blooded murderer, Sonny did have some valuable lessons to teach. There was the time Sonny and his crew beat the snot out of a biker gang that messed with the wrong peeps.
After asking them to leave nicely, and getting not quite the polite response he wanted, Sonny locked the door, silently saying, “Now yous can’t leave.” Bad news for Satan’s Messengers. Good learning for Calogero. Sonny also gave great dating advice, like if a girl doesn’t unlock the car door for you should dump her, plus love advice claiming that, “You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime. They come along like the great fighters, every ten years. Rocky Marciano. Sugar Ray Robinson. Joe Louis…You gotta do what your heart tells you to do.” Though wise in the ways of the world, it wasn’t enough to keep Sonny around for very long. He was killed by the son of a man he’d whacked years earlier. But even in his death, he continued to teach Calogero a lot about life. Salut, Sonny.