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Franklin "Frankie" Monaldi is a supporting antagonist in the 1984 gangster film Once Upon a Time in America.

He was portrayed by Joe Pesci, who also played Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, Harry in Home Alone by 20th Century Fox, and Nicky Santoro in Casino.

Biography

Frankie Monaldi is a powerful Italian-American crime lord alongside his brother Joe Monaldi, and he is initially introduced as an affably evil gangster, allowing Noodles, Max, and the gang to take a seat with he and his brother sharing jokes with them at the dinner table. He then tasks them with robbing diamonds which are about to be shipped to Detroit, and bring them back to him and his brother Joe. They pull off the heist, and during it, Noodles has aggressive sexual intercourse with an employee there named Carol, in exchange for information, who would go on to become Max's girlfriend. When they return and go to an abandoned wharf to exchange their diamonds for a payoff from Joe, they massacre Joe and his men. Noodles is shocked and disturbed by the double-cross, but Max explains that it was all part of Frankie’s plan, thus unveiling Frankie's true colors, a greedy, treacherous and corporate coward who wanted all the money, diamonds and power for himself only.

When the gang join union boss Jimmy Conway O'Donnell, and after Max, Patsy, and Cockeye all supposedly die, he has his henchman go on the lookout for Noodles, killing his girlfriend Eve in the process, as well as brutalizing Fat Moe, and attacking a couple at the Chinese opium theater.

While Michael Corleone is guilty of similar crimes, including killing his own brother Fredo after the latter betrayed him and his family, Michael shows remorse and guilt for what he did and ultimately spends the rest of his life trying to repent for the sin of fratricide. Frankie however, shows no remorse and guilt for what he did, only concerned about himself, and his power and personal gain. Thus, along with Bugsy, he stands out as one of the film's vilest characters as he shows little to no guilt at all when he commits horrible crimes, with nothing but business as an unjustifiable excuse.

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