Affleck Movie "The Town" Paints Boston Florist in a Different Light
Ben Affleck's new movie "The Town" is an adaptation of the 2004 novel "Prince of Thieves" by Chuck Hogan. The story is a tale of four men - thieves, rivals, friends - who are hunted through the streets of Boston by a driven FBI agent (Jon Hamm).
Ben Affleck plays lead character Doug MacRay. MacRay was born and raised in Charlestown and a lifelong criminal who learned his trade from his father. MacRay is the leader of a gang of bank robbers who has eluded capture. The gang works for crime boss Fergie, played by Pete Postlethwaite.
In order to have a public profile, Fergie's front is as a Boston florist. Scenes in the movie show Fergie in his shop and arranging flowers. These scenes give viewers an interesting look into day to day operations at a Boston flower shop.
(Inset of O'Banion flower shop)
Fergie's character is loosely based upon Irish American mobster Dean O'Banion (1892-1924). O'Banion was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone in Chicago. At the height of his power, O'Banion was rumored to be making one million dollars in bootlegging operations. Like Fergie, O'Banion need a legitimate front for his criminal operations. O'Banion was not only known as a successful Chicago florist, but also an excellent floral designer. Much of his floral work came as a result of the Mob wars in Chicago. These mob hits often resulted in $1000 floral tributes for the deceased. The rooms above O'Banion's flower shop (Schofield's) were used as headquarters for his Northside Gang.