Boardwalk Empire: The Truth Behind the Key Characters

Steve Buscemi as Nucky

From IndieLondon:

ACCLAIMED HBO prohibition dramaBoardwalk Empire borrows more from history than just the swinging 1920s setting and dangerous glamour of the speakeasies.

While the narrative itself is fiction, the era, specific events depicted, and even some of the characters are lifted straight from the history books.

Steve Buscemi’s Enoch Thompson and Dabney Coleman’s ‘Commodore’ Kaestner (among others) take inspiration from real people, while characters including Stephen Graham’s Al Capone and Vincent Piazza’s Charles Luciano see the actors portraying the infamous men more directly.






With the Blu-ray and DVD of Boardwalk Empire’s first season released on January 9, 2012, we’ve delved into the history behind some of the show’s most interesting characters to show that the best fiction can be rooted in fact.

Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson (Steve Buscemi) – Enoch L. ‘Nucky’ Johnson

Boardwalk Empire focuses on the fortunes during prohibition of Atlantic City’s powerful and intelligent treasurer Nucky Thompson. From his offices occupying an entire floor of the Boardwalk’s Ritz-Carlton, Nucky effectively runs the city. With the mayor, the Police, judges and senators in his pocket, Nucky is able to make the most of prohibition by importing and distributing the newly illegal alcohol.

Enoch Johnson, on whom Thompson is based, was the real treasurer of the county while leading the Republican organisation that effectively ran the local governments of Atlantic City and County. Much of Thompson’s lavish lifestyle was that of Johnson. An Entire floor of the Ritz-Carlton, a blue Rolls Royce, the finest tailoring and a fresh red carnation are just some of the hallmarks carried into the HBO show. It is claimed that Johnson’s illegally obtained income during prohibition exceeded $500,000 a year – he was no stranger to the practises of questionable legality enacted by Buscemi’s Nucky!


Read the full article, IndieLondon: Boardwalk Empire: The true story behind the key characters - Your London Reviews

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