The Capone Treasure
Capone’s Treasure of the Heart
An RL Films Presentation
RL Films is engaged in the production of a documentary film that explores and enumerates the substantial contributions that gangster Al Capone made to the establishment and promotion of jazz music in the 1920’s. Thousands of hours of thorough and dedicated research, including the reviewing of 53 books, has revealed conclusive evidence that Capone was a huge influence in the transformation of Chicago’s image as the animal slaughterhouse capital of the world into the jazz center of the country. A serious study of how jazz music blossomed in Chicago in the early twentieth century illustrates beyond the shadow of a doubt that Al Capone was a central figure in this occurrence. The man was, in fact, a serious music impresario/aficionado and patron of the arts, displaying a great love of both jazz music and grand opera.
Forget about the machine guns and the notorious activities for a moment. Al Capone’s nightclubs provided the stages upon which the then-unknown musicians honed their skills and evolved into world famous entertainers. In most of the dozens of biographies and auto-biographies of stars such renown as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, recognition and gratitude is expressed to Al Capone for having been a major force in the advancement of their careers.
Music was evidently a huge part of Capone’s life. This is all certainly very much in contrast with the scar-faced, single-faceted, homicidal maniac we have all come to know through endless television programs and movies over the years. But perhaps it would be interesting for the public to be able to take a look at a specific part of Capone’s life without the redundancy of the booze and bloodshed. Perhaps presenting a Capone film that displays a bit of creativity, originality, and sophistication would be a refreshing change.
The story of Al Capone’s direct and significant involvement in the profusion of great jazz music flooding the Windy City during the Prohibition Era would be surprising news to the majority of the public.
Capone’s Treasure of the Heart will be a television special that finally features something new and interesting about Chicago’s most famous former citizen. And as a bonus, the content for this documentary film was impeccably researched. Therefore it is historical and factual, which is unique in itself for a Capone movie. Our film explores a never-before-examined or forgotten piece of history that needs and deserves to be reviewed, acknowledged, and presented. The public has been browbeaten, by the press and Hollywood, into accepting as fact that Al Capone’s greatest pleasure in life was murdering people, when in fact his greatest joy seemed to be music. Perhaps he would listen to some great jazz music for a couple hours and then go out and blow away a few hundred people to round out his evening of pleasure. We don’t know. But in all fairness to a man who is not here to defend himself, it must be said that research indicates that he spent far more time listening to jazz bands than he did murdering people, believe it or not.
In 1986 Tribune Broadcasting aired a two hour television event entitled The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults. It was televised on 181 stations nationwide and set a Nielsen viewer ratings record for having been the most-watched (non-sports) television special in history. Host Geraldo Rivera did not succeed in locating the Capone treasure and the much-hyped concept failed to deliver. It was disappointing, even embarrassing to watch. Yet Rivera, in his auto-biography, credits the fiasco with helping to launch his career as a broadcast journalist and national talk show host. The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults was also actually very successful from an advertising revenue standpoint. It made money for the producers and broadcast sources. But for now, the public would have to wait for years to at last behold the long-awaited secret Capone Treasure: Capone’s Treasure of the Heart.
Capone’s Treasure of the Heart bears some similarity to the Geraldo presentation in terms of its basic contextual design. But the distinguishing qualitative factor and end results comparison of the two productions will be like night and day. Geraldo’s chance of locating anything of relevance connected to Capone was a roll-of-the-dice at best. To have produced a nationally televised program on a hunch of rumor was risky and dubious. However, our program features a predictable and compelling conclusion. We discovered quite a bit more than a couple of old whiskey bottles. Our intriguing discovery is not a vault full of money or a trunk full of machine guns. It is a treasure of the heart. It is a beautiful Italian love ballad that Capone transcribed as a testament of his everlasting love for his wife while he was incarcerated at Alcatraz in the 1930’s.
Capone’s Treasure of the Heart is both about Capone’s love of and involvement with jazz music, as well as the discovery of the sheet music to a song called “Madonna Mia”. The words and music to the “Capone love song” will be played by a 25-piece orchestra for the first time in history at the end of the film. David Muir of ABC World News referred to our Capone discovery as “tantalizing”. A two minute report on “Capone’s Killer Love song” on ABC World News can be viewed at this ABC News link.
The fascinating revelation of Capone’s previously unknown but significant connection to music is further bolstered and validated by the surfacing of the sheet music for Madonna Mia. Having also been signed by Al Capone, this incredible historical document was sold recently by Kenneth Rendell Collectibles in Boston for an undisclosed figure. The asking price was $65,000. Would this item be considered either a historical Capone artifact or a “Capone Treasure”? Some might think so. Perhaps the Capone treasure Geraldo never found? One could say that too. What is the film’s potential to establish its own Nielsen record? Virtually guaranteed. If this film could be broadcast nationwide on Valentine’s Day, we would have about 214 million people waiting in anticipation on the air date.
If you would like to become an equity partner and gain an Executive Producer credit, or if you are interested in film production and would like to become a part of this production in some capacity, please contact Rich Larsen.