THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in a cemetery, with several voices of the dead explaining themselves as their graves are shown. We then see the grave of Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), whose voice begins to narrate. He says that he lived and died by the mob life, but that was sometime later.
Jump back to Newark in the late ’60’s where Christopher’s father Dickie (Alessandro Nivola) is walking into the train station with his nephew and Chris’s later “uncle”, Anthony “Tony” Soprano (William Ludwig). Chris notes that Tony will later kill him in the future. Dickie and Tony meet Dickie’s father “Hollywood Dick” (Ray Liotta) and his new wife from Italy, Giuseppina (Michela De Rossi). Dickie later brings Aldo and Giuseppina to his house to have dinner with him and his wife Joanne (Gabriella Piazza). Dickie and Dick are involved with the mob, specifically the DiMeo crime family.
On the streets, an enforcer of Dickie’s, Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.) is seen chasing a young street thug, Leon Overall (Mason Bleu) for money owed to him. Harold beats him up until Dickie drives in and stops him. Harold, meanwhile, has aspirations to do better for himself and for his family.
The Soprano family gathers for the confirmation of Tony’s sister Janice (Mattea Conforti). Their father Giovanni “Johnny Boy” (Jon Bernthal) delivers a speech in Janice’s honor. Also in attendance is Johnny’s wife/the kids’ mother Livia (Vera Farmiga), Johnny’s brother Corrado/”Junior” (Corey Stoll), Silvio Dante (John Magaro) and Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpenseiro (Samson Moeakiola). While discussing some business between Dickie and Johnny, Junior tells Dickie to get a handle on his situation before things get out of hand.
Harold meets Dickie and the rest of the crew at Satriale’s meat market to deliver his cut of earnings, but Dickie complains about how light it is. He even chides Harold over the mess involving a young man from a street gang. In retaliation, Harold and his cousin Cyril (Germar Terrell Gardner) track Leon down. When he attempts to hide at an army recruitment office, Harold spots him and goes into the building to blast Leon with a shotgun.
Not long after, a cab driver (Ohene Cornelius) is pulled over by two racist cops. Protests soon break out when the black community believes that the cabbie was killed, despite the fact that he is just in custody. Dickie, the crew, and everyone around the city can see heavy smoke from fires caused by the riots.
Giuseppina tries taking English classes, but Dick thinks they are a waste of money based on what she retains. He also proves to be a terribly abusive husband, kicking her down the stairs when they have an argument.
Johnny and several others are arrested during a card game while he is out with Janice. Tony is also there but is hidden because Johnny had earlier told him to stay behind. He and Janice are taken home by police, where Livia yells at them. Tony runs away from her into the streets. Meanwhile, more riots and protests happen across the city.
Dickie sees Giuseppina looking distraught after enduring abuse from Dick. Although he tries to comfort her, she senses the attraction between them and she kisses him, but he tells her not to because Joanne is in the house. Dickie later confronts his father over his abuse, saying that he couldn’t tolerate it when he abused Dickie’s mother, and he is not going to take it now. When Dick insults him too much, Dickie snaps and bashes Dick’s head against the steering wheel until he is dead. Tony walks by the house and almost sees but Dickie tells him to go home. He drives Dick’s body to a drainage supply warehouse that the family owns and he sets fire to the place with Dick’s body inside to make it look like he was a casualty of the riots.
A funeral is held for Dick. Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri (Billy Magnussen) and Big Pussy steal a TV and bring it to the service to watch news on the riots. As they discuss things, Junior tells them that any business done while Johnny is away will go through him. Dickie walks into the room and smashes the TV to feign anger over their disrespect at the funeral. Dickie later goes to visit his uncle and Dick’s twin brother Sal (also Ray Liotta) to inform him of Dick’s death. Sal notes that it’s odd for Dick to have been in the warehouse because he never picked up a tool and got his hands rough, so it makes little sense for him to have been there.
Dickie begins an affair with Giuseppina, even buying a house for them. She expresses her aspirations to open up her own hair salon, since she used to do that back in Italy at her mother’s shop.
At school, Tony and his friend Artie Bucco (Matteo Russo) are taking bets and gambles from other students at school. This causes Tony to get expelled from school. Although Junior tries to talk to Tony, Livia notes that he will only listen to Dickie. He goes upstairs to Tony’s room to talk to him about the gambling and other troublesome deeds he has been committing in an attempt to get him to apply himself better at school. They even pinky swear on it.
Harold finds Dickie while he’s out to dinner with Junior, Silvio, Paulie, and their goomahs (mistresses). Harold asks Dickie if he can borrow some money, which he gives him, and they decide it’s goodbye between them.
Four years later, Johnny is being released from prison. As Junior is driving him home, Johnny complains about the presence of African-Americans in the neighborhood. He returns to a welcome home party for him. He sees his daughter Barbara (Lexie Foley) for the first time since she was a baby, but then chides Janice (now played by Alexandra Intrator) for how she is dressed. Livia tries to warmly greet her husband, but she loses it when he starts complaining about the black folks in the neighborhood. He then sees Tony (now played by Michael Gandolfini) again, learning that he is trying out for the football team (although Junior notes that he doesn’t have the makings of a varsity athlete). Tony also meets baby Christopher, who cries when Tony tries talking to him. A relative suggests that babies have knowledge of things from the other side.
Harold attends a meeting with other black folks in the area and discusses with Cyril and another friend his plans to start hustling in the neighborhood against the Mafia. He has notorious kingpin Frank Lucas (Oberon K.A. Adjepong) to back him up.
Giuseppina comes closer to getting her own salon. She discusses with the lady who owns the current building that she had wanted to be a priest back in her hometown but thought she would be restrained over there. Her relationship with Dickie also starts to sour, as he proves to be at least verbally abusive toward her. She even develops an affair with Harold, who claims he can help her get her salon faster than Dickie can.
Tony, plus Artie (now played by Robert Vincent Montano) and Jackie Aprile (Chase Vacnin), hijack an ice cream truck and harass the driver before going to a spot where they distribute free ice cream to the kids in the neighborhood. Later on, Johnny and Livia, plus Dickie and Joanne, discuss Tony’s prospects, with Dickie and Johnny having high hopes for him, but Livia only has negative things to say, to the point where Johnny fires a shot through Livia’s hairdo.
Harold goes by a shop where one of Dickie’s guys picks up the earnings in exchange for protection, telling the shop owner that one of his own guys will be picking up from now on. Harold kills Dickie’s guy and steals his money. In retaliation, Dickie gets Silvio, Paulie, and Big Pussy to get to Cyril, where they torture him by sticking a power tool in his mouth to find out who ordered the hit on Dickie’s guy. Cyril says Harold carried it out on his own volition, and when Cyril tries to run free, Silvio shoots him dead.
Livia is called in by Tony’s school principal to discuss his behavior. He stole the answers to a test, but the principal notes to Livia that Tony has genuine potential as a leader despite his lack of effort in school. She also tells Livia about how Tony had mentioned one of his fondest memories was Livia reading a story to him and snuggling up close to him in bed, which almost brings Livia to tears.
Dickie is out with Johnny, plus Buddha Bonpenseiro (Joey “Coco” Diaz) and another guy. Buddha makes a crass comment regarding Giuseppina, which causes Dickie to punch him in the face. Moments later, Harold and two of his guys blow off Buddha’s head and shoot Dickie and Johnny’s friend. The two shoot the driver and Harold’s friend before causing a van to crash into another car and start a fire. Dickie runs into the bar and grabs a rifle to arm himself as Harold makes his way in. Dickie fires a shot, but Harold isn’t hit. The two look at each other, and Harold leaves as they hear sirens getting closer.
Livia makes an earnest attempt to spend time with Tony by making him food. It gets sour when he notes a pamphlet on the table for a pill that was recommended to Livia, and Tony starts singing some Rolling Stones lyrics. Livia accuses him of being a drug addict because of his love for that kind of music, as well as Janice’s own use of weed.
At Buddha’s funeral, Tony approaches Dickie over the drug in question and asks if he can secure it to help Livia improve her mood and behavior. Dickie agrees to help. Afterwards, Junior slips and falls onto the steps, severely injuring his back. Dickie laughs hysterically, and Junior becomes visibly pissed. When trying to make love to his goomah later, he experiences too much pain and is still angry at Dickie for laughing.
When Tony goes by Dickie’s workplace to ask about the medicine, he shows Tony some of the TV’s and speakers he’s acquired legally. While Tony is impressed, he worries that participating in the same business as Dickie would hinder his chances at college since he does want to try out for the football team.
Harold meets with Frank Lucas, who suggests he start dealing in the same drug business that he is involved in. Harold brings up the issue about Dickie and his desire to take him out.
Dickie and Giuseppina go for a romantic day out at the beach. While they are walking, Giuseppina comes clean about her affair with Harold. Dickie becomes enraged and drags her out to the water where he drowns her in the tide and waits until her body sinks before he flees. He visits Sal again in prison and tells him about Giuseppina, saying she died of pneumonia, but while Sal seems to know that Dickie had something to do with both Dick and Giuseppina’s deaths, he doesn’t judge since he is a murderer himself. However, he does order Dickie to stay out of Tony’s life so that he does not fall down the same path as him.
Tony calls Dickie while out with Carmela De Angelis (Lauren DiMario) and another kid to ask him to get them some beer. Dickie doesn’t answer, and Tony ends up in a fight with the other kid when he makes a snide comment, and Carmela tries in vain to break up the fight. Tony later goes by Dickie’s workplace again, with Silvio telling Tony that Dickie isn’t there. Tony continues knocking, but Dickie tells Silvio to turn off the lights so he’ll go away. Dickie starts to weep but masks it through laughter.
Dickie goes to his car and doesn’t see a gunman behind him, and the man shoots Dickie twice, killing him. Junior then approaches a ringing payphone, where the gunman tells him “It’s done.”
Dickie’s funeral is held, with some giving varying opinions on the man. Livia thinks he was weak because they found the mood drug in his trunk that was meant for her, while Janice says that he was her favorite uncle. Tony then goes over to Dickie’s casket and appears to imagine him holding his hand up for another pinky promise, indicating that Tony will go on to join Dickie and his father’s line of work. Christopher’s closing words state that this is now his uncle Tony Soprano, the man he went to Hell for.
The credits show that Harold is continuing to do well for himself in the neighborhood.
In the late 1960's, Dickie Moltisanti works as a capo in the DiMeo crime family. He kills his abusive father Hollywood Dick after he hurts his new wife Giuseppina, and Dickie later starts an affair with her once his prominence in the mob rises. The one who idolizes him and views him as a mentor is his nephew, Anthony Soprano.
Following riots in Newark, a former enforcer of Dickie's, Harold McBrayer, attempts to make a name for himself independent of Dickie, leading to him and his guys attempting to kill Dickie and his men, including Johnny Boy Soprano. Dickie and Harold stop short of killing each other, although Harold makes his own plans to do away with him. Dickie tries to distance himself from his nephew so that he doesn't draw him into the life of crime, but Dickie is ultimately done in by a hitman hired by Corrado "Junior" Soprano in retaliation for Dickie laughing at Junior when he injured his back.
Harold ends up doing well for himself on his own, while at Dickie's funeral, Anthony appears to want to follow in Dickie's footsteps, leading him to become the legendary Tony Soprano.