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A Bronx Tale Quotes From the Coming of Age Gangster Film

These A Bronx Tale quotes about love, wasted talent, and family will take you back to the streets of New York.

Nothing says ‘coming of age’ like this American crime drama from 1993. A Bronx Tale tells the coming of age story of an Italian-American boy named Calogero.

After an encounter with a local Mafia boss, Calogero is torn between the wealth, power, and glamour of organized crime and the values his honest and hardworking father has taught him. The movie also highlights the racial tensions in Calegaro’s community.

The movie was originally a 1989 Broadway production, an autobiographical account of Chazz Palminteri’s childhood. Robert De Niro saw the play in LA in 1990 and purchased the rights to the screenplay. He and Palminteri (who starred in the movie as Sonny) converted the play to film but made few changes as Palminteri wanted to keep it as close to his childhood as possible.

De Niro not only directed this film but also starred as Lorenzo. One of the best scenes in this movie is the police interrogation between Lorenzo and Detective Belsik, which you can almost visualize by reading these A Bronx Tale quotes.

Don’t forget to also check out our list of The Goonies quotes about the 80s treasure hunt movie.

A Bronx Tale movie quotes about wasted talent and other life lessons

1. “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” — Lorenzo Anello

2. “I was getting two educations: One from the street and one from school. That way I’d be twice as smart as everybody.” — Calogero “C” Anello

3. “Didn’t we tell ya a thousand times not to go near that bar?” — Rosina Anello

4. Lorenzo: “You stay away from that bar. You don’t see me going to the bar, do you?”

Calogero: “You mean Mom won’t let you go either?”

5. Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “He owes me 20 dollars. It’s been two weeks now, and every time he sees me he keeps dodging me. He’s becoming a real pain in the ass. Should I crack him one, or what?”

Sonny: “Sometimes hurting somebody ain’t the answer. First of all, is he a good friend of yours?”

6. Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “No, I don’t even like him.”

Sonny: “You don’t even like him. There’s your answer right there. Look at it this way: It costs you 20 dollars to get rid of him… He’s out of your life for 20 dollars. You got off cheap. Forget him.”

7. “Sometimes in the heat of passion, the little head tells the big head what to do, and the big head should think twice about what you are doing.” — Lorenzo Anello

8. “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. But you can ask anybody from my neighborhood, and they’ll just tell you this is just another Bronx tale.” — Calogero “C” Anello

A Bronx Tale quotes about love and family

9. “You gotta do what your heart tells you to do. Let me tell you somethin’ right now. You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime. They come along like the great fighters, every ten years.” — Sonny

10. “Let me tell you something: when you’re alone late at night in bed, just you and her under the covers, that’s all that matters. You gotta do what your heart tells you to do. Let me tell you something right now.” — Sonny

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11. Sonny: “You like her?”

Calogero: “I do, but I don’t want to hear the guys.”

Sonny: “F*** them. Half of them are gonna end up dead or in jail. Nobody cares. All that matters is what’s good for you… and how you feel about each other.”

12. [as C walks out of Sonny’s funeral] “Sonny and my father always said that when I get older, I would understand. Well, I finally did. I learned something from these two men. I learned to give love and get love unconditionally.” — Calogero “C” Anello

13. “You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all.” — Calogero “C” Anello

14. “I know who you are, Sonny. I know what you’re capable of, and I would never step out of line. You can ask anyone in the neighborhood who knows me. But this time, you’re wrong. You don’t fool with a man’s family. This is my son, not yours.” — Lorenzo Anello

15. “You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all.” — Calogero “C” Anello

The Bronx Tale quotes about the working man and money

16. “Sonny was right. The working man IS a sucker, dad. He’s a sucker.” — Calogero “C” Anello

17. “He’s wrong! It don’t take much strength to pull a trigger, but try and get up every morning, day after day and work for a livin’! Let’s see him try that! Then we’ll see who’s the REAL tough guy! The working man’s the tough guy! Your father’s the tough guy!” — Lorenzo Anello

18. Lorenzo: “The other night he tried to throw away his baseball cards because he said Mickey Mantle would never pay our rent.”

Sonny: “He said that to you? I can’t believe that kid.”

Lorenzo: “That’s not funny. Not when your kid has a bigger bank account than you do.”

19. Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Mommy! Mommy! Look what I got! Some peaches…for…free.” [he sees his parents about to confront him]

Lorenzo: [showing C the wad of cash] “What’s this?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “What’s what, Dad?”

20. Lorenzo: “Where’d you get this? Your mother found it behind your drawer.”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “It’s my savings, Dad.”

Lorenzo: “600 dollars you’ve been saving? What’d you do, become a brain surgeon overnight, son?”

21. Rosina Anello: “Tell your father where you got the money!”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “I worked for it.”

Lorenzo: “Doin’ what?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Things.”

Lorenzo: “Things? Whadaya mean ‘things’? What things?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Things. Y’know, things.”

22. Lorenzo: “Don’t lie to me. Just tell the truth and I won’t get upset.”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Promise?

Lorenzo: “I’m your father. Would I say it if I didn’t mean it?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “I worked the crap games, and the guys gave me tips.”

Rosina Anello: “Crap games?”

23. Lorenzo: “Crap games? What crap games?” [C looks down]

Lorenzo: “What crap games? What tips?” [still no answer]


Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “I thought you weren’t gonna get upset, Dad.”

24. Lorenzo: “I lied! Now tell me everything!”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “I told you. I worked for Sonny and the guys gave me tips.”

Lorenzo: “I knew it!”

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Relive the police interrogation with these A Bronx Tale quotes

25. Lorenzo: [hears knocking on the door] “Who is it?”

Detective Belsik: “POLICE. Is this the Anello residence?”

Lorenzo: “Yeah, could I help ya?”

26. Detective Belsik: “Look, we’re detectives. We’d like to ask you some questions.”

Lorenzo: “About what?”

Detective Belsik: “Just open the door!”

27. Detective Belsik: [walks into the Lorenzos’] “I’m Detective Belsik. [points to Vella] This is my partner Detective Vella. [to Calogero] Hello, son. [to Mrs. Anello] How ya doin’, ma’am?

[turns to Lorenzo] We’d like to ask your son a few questions.”

Lorenzo: “About what?”

28. Detective Belsik: “There was a shooting in front of the building a little while ago and we believe your son was there.”

Lorenzo: “Really? Well, he don’t know nothin’ about that.”

Detective Belsik: “Well, we feel he DOES. There were people who saw him.”

Lorenzo: “Well, they’re WRONG. He don’t know nothin’.”

29. Detective Belsik: “Listen, Mr. Anello, we could do things the nice way or we could do things the hard way. All right? We could go down to headquarters…”

Lorenzo: “I don’t care what way you do it! He don’t know nothin’!”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Daddy, I know everything.”

30. “Kids, ya know, sometimes they make believe they see things.” — Lorenzo Anello

31. Detective Vella: “We didn’t pick your name out of a hat. We know your son was down there. So, come on, let’s go.”

Detective Belsik: [to Calogero] “Son, listen. Here’s what I’d like you to do for us. I’d like you to take a walk downstairs with us. And your father. We have some people down there. All I want you to do is pick out the person you saw with the gun in his hand. That’s it. Do you think you could do that for us?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: [thinks about it, looks at his father] “Yeah.”

32. Lorenzo: [after Calogero looks at a whole lineup and doesn’t identify the shooter] “You satisfied, officer?”

Detective Vella: “No, I’m not satisfied.”

33. Lorenzo: “He don’t know. He can’t help you.”

Detective Vella: [cynically] “Yeah, yeah, I know. Your son doesn’t know anything. I know all about it.”

34. Lorenzo: “He said no. He can’t help you.”

Detective Vella: [annoyed] “I’ll tell ya what, take a walk. G’head. G’head.”

Other A Bronx Tale quotes that are fantastic and totally gangster

35. Sonny: “There’s only three things you can do in the joint, kid: lift weights, play cards, or get in trouble.”

Calogero “C” Anello: “What did you do?”

Sonny: “Me, I read.”

36. Priest: “Don’t be afraid, my son. No one is more powerful than God.”

Calogero “C” Anello: [Calogero talking about his boss, who is a gangster] “I don’t know about that, father. Your guy may be bigger than my guy up there, but my guy is bigger than your guy down here.”

Priest: “Ya got a point.”

37. “It was great to be Catholic and go to confession. You could start over every week.”— Calogero “C” Anello

38. “I’ll tell you when the fuck we leave alright. Get the fuck away from me.” — Satan’s Messengers

39.. “We’ve been ‘mushed’.” — Sonny

40. “Now you’s can’t leave.” — Sonny

41. Lorenzo: [Coming to Calogero’s defense against the angry gangsters] “Calogero! Calogero!

[to Sonny] “What happened to my son?”

Sonny: “Drive your bus and get the fuck out of here!”

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42. Lorenzo: “I’ll get my fucking bus! [Tries to hit Sonny, but the gangsters grab him] You put your hands on me, I’ll stick you in the fucking ground!” [the gangsters punch Lorenzo in the stomach and knock him down]

Sonny: “Next time find out what’s going on before you open your mouth.”

43. “Alright, listen to me. You pull up right where she lives, right? Before you get outta the car, you lock both doors. Then, get outta the car, you walk over to her. You bring her over to the car. Dig out the key, put it in the lock and open the door for her. Then you let her get in. Then you close the door. Then you walk around the back of the car and look through the rear window. If she doesn’t reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in: dump her.” — Sonny

44. “Fellas, youse are not dressed properly. Youse gonna have to leave.” — Jimmy Whispers

45. Sonny: “What’s your name, kid?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “Calogero.”

Sonny: “That’s a long name. Don’t you have a nickname?”

Calogero ‘C’ Anello: “No.”

46. “First of all, I respect you, Lorenzo, you’re a stand-up guy and we’re from the same neighborhood, but don’t ever talk to me like that again.” — Sonny

47. “I will never forget the look on their faces. All eight of them. Their faces dropped. All their courage and strength was drained right from their bodies. They had a reputation for breaking up bars, but they knew that instant, they’d made a fatal mistake. This time they walked into the wrong bar.” — Calogero “C” Anello

48. Slick: “What the fuck, man? What the fuck? These fuckin’ spooks just came out of nowhere!”

Calogero: “Why don’t you just leave em alone?”

49. “People don’t love him, they fear him. There’s a difference.” — Lorenzo Anello

50. Lorenzo: “You don’t see me going to the bar, do you?”

Calogero: “Mommy won’t let you go there either?”

Which of these A Bronx Tale quotes is your favorite?

This movie is not only a coming of age story, it is almost a Shakespearean romance, with a classic Romeo and Juliet feel. Calogero is not only struggling to find himself, and reconcile his two identities, he also falls for a black girl, and because of the violence in the neighborhood, the pair face many challenges. I won’t ruin the story because it is central to the plot, but there is a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice that leads to some disastrous consequences.

The movie is also a critically acclaimed film, not bad for De Niro’s first foray into the role of director. Roger Ebert gave the film four stars, calling it “very funny [and] very touching. It is filled with life and colorful characters and great lines of dialogue, and De Niro, in his debut as a director, finds the right notes as he moves from laughter to anger to tears [while] retaining its values.” It also did very well in the box office, grossing $17.3 million domestically. It is also a crime drama fan must-see film!

Did you enjoy reading these A Bronx Tale quotes and lines? Let us know your favorite scene in A Bronx Tale, using the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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