Synopsis by Karl Williams
A hybrid cross-pollination of a Martin Scorsese and Frank Capra film, this feel-good comic fantasy is loosely based on the real-life story of a New York lottery winner. Anthony LaPaglia stars as Frank Pesce Jr., a New Yorker with a good-luck streak that is unmatched in his Little Italy neighborhood. When Frank throws a pair of dice in a game of chance, he doesn't just toss a winning hand, the dice land on top of each other. When he's stabbed in the chest by a girlfriend's brother, his doctors find a pre-cancerous tumor. Although he tries again and again to get rid of a vehicle he no longer wants, it is retrieved every single time by the authorities. So when New York announces its first statewide lottery in 1976, Frank buys one ticket and immediately becomes everybody's best friend. Unfortunately, Frank's good luck is matched by the equally bad luck of his hard-working father, Frank Sr. (Danny Aiello), who has run up a gambling debt to a local mobster. The wise guy is willing to forgive the note if Frank Jr. will just hand over his sure-to-be lucky ticket, leaving the city's luckiest Italian-American in a bit of a moral quandary. The real Frank Pesce Jr. executive produces and co-stars in 29th Street as his own police officer brother, Vito.
debt, father, gambling, gangster, lottery, luck, parent/child-relationship, son