May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

NBC (Sun.-Mon., May 10-11, 9 p.m. ET)

There are understandable reasons for dismissing this miniseries without a fair trial. You may be Mafia-ed out after enduring CBS’s The Last Don II. You may think you’ve seen enough TV dramas about imprisoned mob boss John Gotti (HBO’s Gotti, CBS’s Getting Gotti). But this one depicts the Dapper Don from the point of view of his enforcer-turned-betrayer, Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, basing its account on court records, FBI transcripts and news reports (rather than on Peter Maas’s 1997 bestseller Underboss, written with Gravano’s cooperation). The film carefully and absorbingly develops the relationship between Gravano (Nicholas Turturro of NYPD Blue), the reliable murderer and organization man, and flashy, publicity-hungry Gotti (Tom Sizemore of Heat), carried away with his media image as the people’s gangster. Turturro and Sizemore have the tandem act down to perfection—the tough talk, the cocky walk, the wary avowals of undying mutual loyalty. The pleasure of watching them work together compensates for a nagging sense that Witness to the Mob amounts to little more than ersatz Scorsese—Good-Fellas with laundered language.

Bottom Line: Violent, but give it a shot

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