Based on the book To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia by Rick Porrello, it's about the story of Danny Greene (Stevenson), the Cleveland-based Irish mobster who took on the Mafia.
Examples of tropes in this film include:
- Anti-Hero: While Danny is a criminal and a mobster and a rat, he is taking on the Mafia and was generally considered a good person who gave generously. Supposedly, Danny gave away so much money, he died penniless.
- Based on a True Story: Some details may be different from both the book and reality, but this is literally about Danny Greene's war with the Mafia.
- Dying Smirk: When Danny Greene realizes he's about to be blown up by the car bomb next to his Cadillac, he sees Ray Ferrito driving by with the detonator in one hand and tipping his hat in farewell with the other. Accepting death, Greene points his finger like a gun just as the bomb kills him.
- The Irish Mob: Danny Greene leads The Celtic Club.
- The Mafia: In Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland was run by Capo Jack Licavoli. Some New York City mobsters are brought in later. The Irish led by Danny Greene form their own Mafia, in opposition to the Italians. Shonder Birns is a Jewish loan shark associate for the Italians.
- This Is Unforgivable!: When Danny finds out Artie has been gambling again, he has no choice but to deal with him.
- Title Drop: When Shonder Birns hands an envelop full of $25,000 to an associate.Shonder Birns: You give this to the man who Kills the Irishman.
- Why Won't You Die?: 8+ times the Cleveland Mafia tried to kill Danny and he walked away every single time.