In the movie Donnie Brasco,

Lefty says to Donnie after being introduced to Richie Gazzo:

What kind of a man has a malvole? He won't provide for his own wife.

Is he talking about the bar, the car, a goomar?

2 Answers 2


An early (1992) draft of the script gives us some more explanation. Lefty thinks the guy is cheap and he's not impressed that he's talking smack about his own wife.

LEFTY: You gonna put any money in this?

CALVINO: First class all the way, Left-- that was my original plan. Then the minute I opened the joint I discovered I had partners--these goombahs. 'Gimme two hundred.' 'Gimme three hundred.' I said, 'Hey--I got a wife for that'

[Lefty shoots him a withering look.]

LEFTY: Wait here.


DONNIE: So whaddaya think?

LEFTY: I hate Neapolitans. You vouch for this guy, Donnie?

DONNIE: Like any body else. I knew him ten years ago, he was okay then.

LEFTY: What kind of man begrudges his wife?

DONNIE: Look, I'm just making the introduction. You make the decision.

The 1997 (redraft) of the script has that line in full. It's not 'malvole', it's 'male voglia', literally 'ill will' in Italian

LEFTY: What kind of man has a [underlined] male voglia [underlined] he don't want to provide for his wife?

DONNIE: What, Richie? He's okay.


Is he talking about the bar, the car, a goomar?

He's talking about Richie's attitude. About the man itself, and his weakness. "Malvole" can be translated into "someone who's forced into doing things against his own will". When they meet, Richie complains about people taking money from him, and jokes about his wife who could do the same.

Donnie is proud to be "one of them", a man you don't force into anything. He instantly belittles Richie because he sees him as a weak person, not able to protect his business, make money, and can give his wife enough money so that she won't need anything or complain ("what's this dump?!"). Like in The godfather, a real man has to take care of his wife/family, Richie doesn't seem to do that, and Donnie instantly dispises him for not standing his ground against adversity.

From the script - pages 66 & 76:

Richie called me up, he's getting hassled by some half-assed wiseguys. He needs a partner who can give him peace of mind. He has a nightclub down there.

Gazzo: hadda shut the doors. The way these bums had their hands in my pockets. Two hundred bucks for this, three hundred bucks for that. I got a wife for that!


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