Tony Vitale

Last updated
Tony Vitale
Anthony Vitale

OccupationWriter, Producer, Director, Entrepreneur
Years active1994–present
On the set of ONE LAST RIDE Tony Vitale.jpg
On the set of ONE LAST RIDE

Tony Vitale (born Anthony Vitale) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and television producer. He is best known for the 1997 film Kiss Me, Guido . More recently, Vitale pioneered the use of IPTV technologies and broadcast TV programming to help create dedicated OTT streaming channels.


Early life

Vitale was born in the Bronx. His father, Anthony, worked for the Dept. of Transportation of New York City and died when his son was 13. His mother, Mildred, worked as an aide in the New York City Department of Education. [1] Vitale graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and from Iona College with a degree in finance and minor in communications. Vitale worked at the New York Public Library after school and worked on weekends as a DJ. On the last day of his internship on Wall Street during his senior year in college, Vitale stopped into the Club Med offices in New York City and interviewed for a position as a DJ with Club Med. After graduating with honors, Vitale soon traveled to different locations around the world working for Club Med. After meeting a Specialist from the New York Stock Exchange, he returned to New York where he was hired as a clerk on Wall Street. He began writing screenplays and teleplays while taking film courses at night at New York University. [2]

Film and television career

While working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange including during the infamous day known as Black Monday, [3] Vitale attended film classes at night at New York University. After the death of his mother in 1990, Vitale began working in the film and television industry as a location assistant, eventually working his way up as a second unit director for the opening shot of Robert De Niro’s, A Bronx Tale. [4]

In 1996, Vitale wrote and directed the feature film, Kiss Me, Guido which became an official entry in the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Paramount Pictures to favorable reviews the same year. "Mr. Vitale makes his first feature with the same kind of colloquial New York humor that Edward Burns gave The Brothers McMullen. A former location manager, he shows off a sure familiarity with his settings while he makes his audience enjoy the very bluntness of his film's caricatures. [5]

In 1999, Vitale thought the time was right to pitch his idea again of turning "Kiss Me, Guido" into a show of its own. [6] The pitch wound up with the Axelrod-Widdoes production company ("Can't Hurry Love" and "Brother's Keeper"), who were without a project at the time. Production company co-founder Jonathan Axelrod was married to actress Illeana Douglas, who was good friends with Craig Chester, who co-starred in the film. Douglas rented the movie and screened it for her husband, who saw the series potential. Sitcom veteran Marc Cherry, was brought in to help develop/produce the series, and he and Vitale instantly hit it off. The series was renamed, Some of My Best Friends starring Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci and ran for eight episodes on the CBS Television network.

Vitale's second film, Very Mean Men , won the 2000 Seattle International Film Festival: New American Cinema Award. The film starred Martin Landau and Louise Fletcher along with Matthew Modine, Ben Gazzara, Charles Durning and Burt Young. Vitale's third film, Life's A Beach, stars Christopher Walken, Rutger Hauer, Robert Wagner and Morgan Fairchild. Vitale also directed One Last Ride starring Pat Cupo, Chazz Palminteri and Robert Davi, with Oscar Winner Ang Lee as executive producer. Vitale also co-produced the feature film Man From Elysian Fields starring Andy Garcia, Mick Jagger, James Coburn, and Anjelica Huston in 2002. [7]

Vitale continues to work in television/multimedia, producing shows for CBS, NBC and FOX television, and in 2012, pioneered OTT/IPTV technologies as Executive Producer and Director of Programming for the financial news network, tastytrade, with Tom Sosnoff. The tastytrade financial news network features 8 hours of live programming, Monday through Friday, during open hours of the financial markets delivering interactive content to its trading platform, tastyworks. [8] While at tastytrade, Vitale directed and produced documentaries including Cancel Crash about Black Monday the Crash of 1987, [9] aired on PBS, and SOLD!: The Lewis Borsellino Story, about a Chicago Southside native who came to be one of the most legendary S&P pit traders in history.

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  1. Weinraub, Bernard (July 1997). "In 'Guido,' No Mafia, No Guns And No Guys With Money". New York Times.
  2. Weinraub, Bernard (July 1997). "In 'Guido,' No Mafia, No Guns And No Guys With Money". New York Times.
  3. Fox, Kristen (September 2013). "Cancel that crash New York. We've got a trade!". Futures Mag.
  4. Gallagher, Stephen (July 1997). "A Bronx Tale, Stephen Gallagher chats with Kiss Me Guido director Tony Vitale". Filmmaker.
  5. Maslin, Janet (July 1997). "It's Not Only Straight and Narrow". New York Times.
  6. Rattolle, Vinnie (August 2007). "Some of My Best Friends". Cult Oddities.
  7. McCarthy, Todd (October 2001). "The Man From Elysian Fields". Variety.
  8. Saito-Chung, David (January 2020). "12 Reasons why Newcomer Tastyworks Catapulted Into Best Broker Rankings". Invesotrs Business Daily.
  9. Fox, Kristen (September 2013). "Cancel that crash New York. We've got a trade!". Futures Mag.