Synopsis by Mark Deming
Vincent Albert Cianci Jr. -- better known by the nickname "Buddy" -- is a living legend in New England politics. A former prosecutor in the Rhode Island Attorney General's office, Buddy Cianci was elected mayor of Providence, Rhode Island in 1975, and remained in office until 1984; he was voted back into office in 1991, and served until 2002, making him the longest-serving mayor in the city's history. While Cianci was a charismatic figure and much loved my most of his constituents, the man who was first elected to office on a pledge to clean up corruption had a less than stellar record with the law; he left office for the first time after he was charged with assaulting a man he claimed had seduced his wife in 1984, while in 2002 he was convicted of conspiracy in a bribery scandal that found him charged in federal court on twelve charges, including extortion, racketeering and witness tampering. Despite it all, Cianci remains a popular figure in Rhode Island -- he's also known for a talk radio show he hosted in Providence between stints as mayor, and even markets his own brand of spaghetti sauce. Filmmaker Cherry Arnold persuaded Cianci to talk on camera about his remarkable and sometimes controversial career in politics, and Buddy is a documentary that follows the peaks and valleys of his years in office as he speaks frankly about his accomplishments and the scandals that have dogged him. Former Rhode Island native James Woods provides narration.
comeback, controversial, fall [downfall], Italian-American, mayor, opposition, politician, popularity, Republican-Party, scandal