Was 'Gone in 60 Seconds' Based on Merolle Crew?

Some claims made in the press seem suspicious to us.

A remake of a 1974 film was also based on the story of the Ray Merolle crew, a Staten-Island-based car-theft ring? Sounds preposterous to us, and yet....


If you have read about new Mob Wife Love Majewski, chances are you will have seen a little anecdote in the story that goes something like this:  

Love Majewski and Ray Merolle, the man famous for running the "Untouchables" car-theft operation, were the inspiration for the film "Gone in Sixty Seconds," with Angelina Jolie playing a character based on Love. [Does that mean ol' Nic Cage was playing Ray?]



One prominent place where this is noted is on the ID blog for I Married a Mobster:

"Through Staten Island mob daughters like herself, Love Majewski meets Chris Paciello, a member of the Bonanno crime family, as well as Ray Merolle's "The Untouchables," the car-theft operation that inspired "Gone in 60 Seconds." When Chris grows abusive, Love asks for Ray's protection, becoming at once his personal property and accomplice to theft. Chris moves to Miami, but is eventually arrested for murdering a porn king's wife, while Ray is convicted of more than 100 counts back in Staten Island. This leaves Love to live her life in limbo, trying to date normal guys but never fully escaping the FBI's radar."

I am a film buff -- and a stickler for the truth -- and am a fan of 1970s' grindhouse films, which were the wellspring of inspiration for Quentin Tarantino. [I also love giallo films, that peculiar blend of sex and horror common in 1960's Italian cinema.]


But I brought up grindhouse for a reason. Something I had read somewhere... So, finally, I did a little research, which in the Internet age, takes very little time. The result is that it seems highly unlikely that the film "Gone in Sixty Seconds" (released in 2000) was based on Ray's infamous car ring. Why? Because that film was a remake of a 1974 film of the same name, "Gone in 60 Seconds." (Both films spelled out and used the numeral 60, based on the DVD box covers and theater one-sheets.)

The original version was written and directed by classic grindhouse filmmaker H.B. Halicki; the rewrite, though it shares little with the original version, according to IMDB.com, was written primarily by JJ Abrams, of "Fringe" and "Person of Interest" fame.

As for the synopsis of the original, according to IMDB.com:

Insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed "Eleanor," in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute. Detectives are waiting and pursue Pace through five cities as he desperately tries to get away.

And the 2000 remake:

An action-Packed Heist caper that combines hi-tech action with refreshing comedy and never lets up for a minute. Legendary car booster Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) thought he'd left the fast lane behind -- until he's forced out of retirement in a do-or-die effort to save his kid brother (Giovanni Ribisi, LOST IN TRANSLATION, TV's FRIENDS) from the wrath of an evil mobster! But with speed to burn and attitude to spare, Memphis hastily reassembles his old crew -- a rogues' gallery including Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall (1983 Best Actor, TENDER MERCIES; OPEN RANGE) -- and floors it in a full-throttle race to pull off the ulimate car heist: 50 exotic beauties in 24 hours -- and the cops are already on to them! Directed by Dominic Sena and written by Scott Rosenberg and featuring a great soundtrack, GONE IN 60 SECONDS is an action-packed thrill ride that comes out fast and never slows down...Ice Cold and Hot Wired.

The bottom line: the film is a remake of another film, the plots are very similar -- although IMDB claims there is little resemblance between the two versions, the synopses sound pretty damn close to me: the basic premise of both films involves a small crew having to steal a ridiculously large number of cars in one evening.

Also, Dominic Sena is the director of the remake; he is from Niles, Ohio. Scott Rosenberg, the credited writer of the remake, is from Needham, Mass. (And don't anyone tell me JJ Abrams finds inspiration in Staten Island car thieves.) If either one of them were from Staten Island that would have been enough for me. 

Love said on Twitter that it is "well documented" that "Gone in 60 Seconds" is based on Ray's car theft ring; presumably Love also means the little factoid she's brought up and kicked around about Angelina Jolie playing her, Love. (It must be something to be able to say: Angelina Jolie played me. I am so cool!)

Well, love, how about sharing some of the documentation with us... I don't say you are lying, and I don't claim to be infallible either. But I do say I could find no such documentation...

I must also add: the remake sucks, too. As one critic wrote:

"Even though Oscar-bearers Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall came aboard for this project, the quality of Gone in 60 Seconds is disappointingly low. The plot line is nonsensical, and even the promised car-chase scenes are boring."

So on the one hand, you could think, who even cares! But then again, I guess some of us prefer to hold people accountable for what they say so that they can't go around and say any damn thing.





Comments

  1. Isn't it a shame that the producers of the Mob Wifes dont check backrounds like Love's anything to get rating's. How dishonest misleading the public. The truth always comes out. People want to be something that their not. What a joke. Get a life Love!

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  2. The producers had to invent something for ratings. Otherwise it's the same old story with the existing cast.

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  3. Producers invented this? That dog won't hunt! It's been around longer than MW has

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  4. If you watch the 2 movies the only similarities are the title. The names and characters and story lines are extremely different. Ray Merolle and the Untouchables are real people, maybe somebody sold her a line and now she is selling it. Or maybe its true since the second movie was so much different than the first.

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    1. I think you are on to something.

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  5. So stupid! She should stop trying to gain fame off of H.B. Halicki's film. Check out the original! It was not done with computers like car chase movies of today!

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  6. What a fake. Love should get her facts straight! Watch the original 70's Gone in 60 seconds

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  7. I don't say Love originated the idea; I just wonder where it came from. It's not in McPhee's book -- the earliest mention I could find on the web was ID's promo copy for "Love Hurts."

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  8. "Mob Wives" is a joke. Love is in no way connected to the Mob. She not only lies about movies being made about her and Ray Merolle, she also lies about Ray Merolle being a wise guy. Ray was was arrested on Staten Island for car theft. "The Untouchables" was a term he invented. Telling people about how untouchable he was got him caught. Google him and see if he turns out to be a big mobster. What crime family is he a member of or even associated with. Love is a self promoter.

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    1. I just had to reply to this because for some reason in my 20's, which would of been in the 90's, I became very interested in all things Cosa Nostra. I watched movies, read books, documentarys, etc. When I found out about Mob Wives, I wanted to check it out. From my years of learning about the "life style" I actually have learned a little more not so much what these woman say, it was what they do not, then I read something in the news that validates what I was assuming. This is for the person that stated Mob Wives is a joke, now that depends on what you think a joke is. These woman would say,"Treat me like a joke and I will leave YOU like your funny!" Rene Graziano, daughter of Anthony Griaziano active leader of the Bonnano crime family was in prison, released last year from prison only to return very soon due to Rene's ex JR Pagan wearing a wire. This is public record. Karen Gravano daughter of "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. Too put it simply he brought down John Gotti all public record. The bull Gravano went into witness protection program in AZ..started a drug ring his daughter worked for. Ramona Rizzo is the granddaughter of former mobster Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero, who was played by Al Pacino in the movie Donnie Brasco, and a childhood friend of Karen Gravano. These woman are people grew up surrounded by the mafia. As far as Love, I think the connection is dating men that worked for these other ladies fathers. I know that she was a child hood friend of Karen's and Romana's. You can say they play it up for the camera, or something like that. Saying they are a joke or fakes, is simply not true. Felons have no privacy, read the court records. Love or hate them, their family were dangerous high level ranking men in yes, The Mafia.

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  9. LOVE IS A FAKE! NOT TOO LONG AGO SHE WENT INTO A HOTEL'S BATHROOM AND SAID A GUY PISSED ON HER HEAD. WHERE WERE HER SO CALLED WEAPONS THAT SHE SAID SHE USED ON HER X BOYFRIENDS??? SHE RAN OUT CRYING LIKE A LITTLE BITCH. SHE DID NOT DEFEND HERSELF! WHY DIDN'T SHE KICK HIM IN THE BALLS??? LOVE IS A LEGEND IN HER OWN MIND! ITS GOING TO COME OUT SOON, HOW ONE OF HER BEST FRIENDS IS A FRAUD JUST LIKE HER! IT WILL COME OUT WITH ALL THE PROOF AT THE RIGHT TIME. IT WILL BE COMING STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE ITSELF. NOTHING LIKE THE MEDIA TO BRING OUT THE TRUTH. I GUESS SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SO IMPRESSED WITH THE MOB LIFE! GET A LIFE LOVE, TELL YOU FRIEND TO DO THE SAME BITCH!

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  10. Google the full film credits for Gone in 60 Seconds. It would not let me provide the link here. The dog trainer is mentioned but no mention or reference to Love, Ray or The Untouchables. Imagine a dog trainer gets recognition but not the suppose inspiration. Not saying much about the VH1 network, Love Majewski or JustJenn productions when you push and promote a lie to gain viewers. They may not have started it but have done nothing to rectify the claim. Spreading a lie is as deceitful as starting it.

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  11. You people are so right. I even got something better. Love is on the mob wifes stating she is from Staten Island and brooklyn.She lived in Florida. The real people in this life style know what kind of fraud and deceitful person Love is to the viewers. I dont understand why girls are not happy with their own lifes and their own accomplishments. They ride other peoples coat tails. They steel other people stories. They are trying to get famous on other peoples true life stories. Love is a very bad actress like her friend Kim??? People soon are going to step forward to tell the truth about both of them. God Bless the media.

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  12. I would also like to add if this movie were about Ray Merolle wouldnt they have used that to promote the movie not once did they say it was based on his life.

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    1. These girls are trying to live other peoples lifes, cause they have no life!

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  13. The only reason MOBWIVES was invented was because Renee Graziano's Cousin is a producer. Thats how all this got started.As far as that comment about media bringing out the truth, WHAT!? your kidding right? the media is the WORST fabrication of the truth! I know this from personal experience. As far as that movie no it was not a depiction of anything to do with the mob or Love or any of that. Apparently some of you have not been paying attention to the Mobwives episodes. although she can be a sweetie at times,LOVE IS CRAZY, she admits that! so why would anyone even believe anything she says? really? people are gullible.

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    1. u are so dam...right!

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  14. Renee's sister Jenn is the creator /producer... solid comment otherwise ...

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  15. How bout this, Kim is Kim Lebron she is 100% PR her Maden name is Carrion she has 2 kids and a tit job, she is the fakest girl I've ever met. Look at her name on R/E transactions and look at the Italian name she's affiliated with.that name I know and he is the Real Deal as for her, ask her First Husband Pete Agipito, about her 2nd husband Sonny Gambimo, talk about wanna be, PR are so proud why does she denounce her heritage for some fake upbringing

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  16. Maby she was maby she wasn't the mob dosent want the whole truth to b known lol the titel gone in 60 seconds realy means the thief has 60 seconds to disapear not turn it into a fkn movie who the hell is love?? Lol lol

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