Emmy-winner Alan Taylor was recently tapped to direct the upcoming prequel movie to The Sopranos television series being produced by New Line Cinema based on a concept and script from Sopranos’ creator David Chase. The film, titled The Many Saints of Newark, deals with competing criminal factions amid rising racial tensions in the New Jersey underworld of the late 1960s.

Taylor helmed nine episodes of the landmark HBO series chronicling fictional middle-aged Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and his life on and off the street. His episodes stretch from the first season in 1999 until just before the finale in 2007. He’s also directed episodes of Game of Thrones, Sex and the City and Deadwood and has shot two big-budget studio films, Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genisys.

Gangster Report recalls Taylor’s best twirls in the director’s chair for The Sopranos:

1 Pax Soprana (Season 1, February 14, 1999) – The sixth episode of the series sees Tony’s uncle “Junior” Soprano exert his influence as new boss of the Di Meo Crime Family, not knowing he is actually being exploited as a front for Tony and the rest of the captains. The last scene in the episode where Junior’s formal inauguration in a hotel banquet room is shown being monitored by FBI agents dressed as waiters is an all-time classic.

2 The Blue Comet (Season 6, June 3, 2007) – Taylor won an Emmy for The Sopranos’ second-to-last episode, probably the best and most exciting of the series’ fast-paced final season. The escalating bad blood between Tony and his rivals in the New York mafia breaks into an all-out war, costing him his brother-in-law, the big-hearted “Bobby Baccala,” murdered buying a model train set, and his consigliere and best friend Sylvio Dante, who is shot and clinging to life in a coma at the hospital.

3 The Strong, Silent Type (Season 4, November 17, 2002) – Tony and his family and friends stage an intervention for his nephew, drug-addled young mob capo Christopher Moltisanti and Tony sleeps with his uncle’s one-legged caretaker, a one-time sexual dalliance which will take its toll on his marriage down the line.

4 Rat Pack (Season 5, March 14, 2004) – As several New York and New Jersey mob figures return to town from serving long prison sentences, a guilt-ridden Tony welcomes home his first cousin “Tony B” Blundetto, while having to deal with the news that his partner in the construction business, “Black Jack” Masserone is wearing a wire for the feds.

5 Kennedy & Heidi (Season 6, May 13, 2007) – To cope with killing his nephew Christopher following an auto accident, Tony escapes to Las Vegas and experiments with psychedelics with a prostitute Christopher used to know.

6 (tie) The Fleshy Part of the Thigh (Season 6, April 2, 2006) – The episode where Tony’s mob pal, “Paulie Walnuts” Gulatieri, discovers that his beloved mother adopted him from his aunt as Tony enters the final stages of recovery from his gun-shot wound in the hospital.

6 (tie) The Ride (Season 6, May 7, 2006) “Paulie Walnuts” reconciles with his mom after his overseeing of the annual Feast of Elzear goes awry and feuds with usually congenial Bobby Baccala because of shoddy kiddy ride at the feast that almost injures Baccala’s wife and daughter.

Leave a Reply