Cellini-Freedom Fighter

Mick J. Prodger

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    20th Century (multiple decades)









    • NICKY: 20S. VITO'S SON.


    During WW2, Vito Cellini went from gangster to soldier to resistance fighter to undercover agent with a license to kill. He would spend the rest of his life in a private war. Freedom fighter, inventor, negotiator and confidant to political and business leaders and crime bosses - this is his story.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal


    USA (New York City, Detroit, Miami, San Antonio), Italy (Milan, Bari, Naples), Croatia/former Yugoslavia (Split, Sibenik, Makarska, Biokovo mountains), Nicaragua (Managua, San Antonio)

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Elm Grove Publishing

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    Cellini arrives in New York March 1948. Born in Brooklyn in 1923, his father took him back to Italy as a boy. He fought for 3 armies in WW2: the Italian fascists, whom he hated; then the Partisans in Yugoslavia; and the Allies, as an undercover agent. He is arrested before he gets off the ship...

    Ending Description

    Now in his 90s, Cellini has fulfilled his ambition to outlive all the bastards that have crossed him. As his wife dies in his arms, he decides he has been silent for too long to protect others and that it is time to tell his story.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise


    Main Character Details

    Name: Vito Cellini

    Age: Birth-94

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Desperate,Engaging,Honorable,Patriotic,Blunt,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Franci Cellini

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Blunt,Faithful,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Ceciglia

    Age: 50s

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Empathetic,Selfless

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Richard Meadows

    Age: 40s

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Skillful,Heroic,Leader,Confident,Adventurous

    Development Pitch

    For years, Italian-American Vito Cellini kept his mouth shut to protect himself and his family, now he wants tell his story. It spans a lifetime and lends itself to a series: from his early childhood in 1920s Brooklyn, to growing up in Italy and being forced to join the fascist Italian army in WW2… seeing war crimes committed and deserting to fight with communist Partisans in Yugoslavia… then becoming an undercover agent for Allied Intelligence, eliminating undesirables… witnessing the effects of chemical weapons in an incident that is covered up by order of Eisenhower. Returning to New York in 1948, he is arrested but talks his way out of jail. Times are hard, but his reputation, sense of adventure, ingenuity and ruthlessness pay off. He becomes close friend to a Mafia consiglieri and respected by the New York mob… he is hired to negotiate with deadly organized crime bosses in Naples… is embroiled in an assassination that leads to the Sandanista uprising in Nicaragua… acts as bodyguard to a merciless Mexican drug lord. A self-taught mechanic and gunsmith with 19 patents, one of his inventions is adopted by US Special Forces, financed by a high-profile Texas billionaire. Each adventure is a self-contained episode full of brutal action, excitement and danger, punctuated by moments of tenderness and humor. Cellini has his own moral compass and sense of purpose, and while his true story reads like a fictional secret agent, he always remains faithful to one woman…


    Vito Cellini is known for his many inventions and mechanical adaptations for guns, but the man was much more than a simple inventor. During WW2, Vito Cellini went from gangster to soldier to resistance fighter to undercover agent with a license to kill. This is the life story of the freedom fighter, inventor, negotiator and confidant to political and business leaders and crime bosses.

    What We Liked

    - This is a fascinating tale that never fails to surprise readers with twists and turns. It's the kind of story that's so unbelievable it has to be a biography or no one would trust it;
    - This would make for a great biopic that would stand out amongst the other stuffy historical films as exciting and fun;
    - This would be a fun, action-packed television show chronicling the life escapades of Vito;
    - Based on a true story;
    - Action scenes;
    - Romance scenes;
    - Moral main character;
    - Modern-day relevance.


    Vito Cellini is born in Flatbush Avenue, New York, in 1923. His life is fraught with tragedy from the beginning--as a young child, his mother leaves his child for another man and soon dies due to complications in surgery. His father, Francesco, is moody and violent,. His father soon moves the young trio, including Vito's older brother, Nicola, back to Bari, Italy. Francesco takes on a lover, Ceciglia, who raises Vito like her own son. Vito is aggressive and rebellious from the start, constantly getting into trouble in school for picking fights and figuring out shortcuts. He and his friends take a liking to simple theft, including stealing guns at one point from the fascist government. His father is an ardent fascist supporter, but Vito sees the fascists as inefficient buffoons and is content to steal from them. Vito is done with school by the age of 11 and already determined to work. He works for his godfather in a small mechanics workshop and even cons some of their contractors out of wares to earn himself a little extra money on the side. Nicola goes off to war to fight for the fascists and is soon killed in combat.

    Vito joins a gang selling black market wares for extra cash. Soon, Vito is drafted into the Italian army. At one point, he is caught sneaking away from the camp and gets imprisoned for desertion. He gets an offer to get the charges removed if he goes to the front lines in Yugoslavia, which he accepts. Cellini ditches the forces again and instead joins the Partisans. He learns many useful skills in the Partisans despite the fact that he is not compensated monetarily for his work. Vito eventually leaves the Partisans to offer his assistance to the Allied forces back home in Bari. The OSS gives him some tasks under the radar for no pay. He's more than happy to accept the challenges, including one main goal: find Tedeski. After a few false leads, Vito is able to work his black market contacts and finally meet Tedeski. Soon after, his service with the OSS ends. The war soon ends, and Vito leaves Bari for Milan.

    Cellini decides he wants to go back to America with his cousin, Franci, but immediately runs into trouble trying to move back. It takes at least two years for Vito to heal and begin the journey back to his homeland. Vito's first job makes him barely a living wage, and his efforts to marry Franci are thwarted by his lack of baptism. Finally, he finds a priest willing to marry the two on a budget, and they get married in 1948. Vito again tries to join the American military, and is again rejected. Soon, he finds a high-paying job in Venezuela, and leaves Franci for two months. He is a quick machinist and soon attracts the attention of high-profile mobsters who want him to create illegal silencers for their pistols. Vito sticks with his morals however and refuses to break the law for any amount of money. Cellini meets Ramos, who hires him to build a machine to assist with blood donations in Nicaragua. Cellini takes an immediate disliking for Ramos and decides to not trust him. While in Nicaragua, Cellini has a completely platonic relationship with a hooker named Maria, who comes onto him but he refuses to betray his wife. Cellini meets with the Nicaraguan president through Ramos. Cellini's work with Ramos soon ends when Ramos is wanted for an assassination of an important Nicaraguan. Cellini and his family move to San Antonio, Texas, where Cellini begins work on his ""stabilizer."" His name as an innovator starts to draw the attention of many, including Mitch Werbell. Vito develops more guns and innovations. Cellini gets caught up in international mafia dealings, but is able to get the upper hand through his force of wit. Cellini ages, continues inventing, and watches as old associates and enemies age out and die around him. Franci eventually succumbs to Parkinson's Disease, devastating Cellini. Now, at the age of 94, Cellini has no military pension but has a lifetime of stories and is finally ready to tell them.

    About The Author

    After completing his studies at the West Sussex College of Design, author Mick J. Prodger worked at a graphic design firm in London and enjoyed a brief spell as a syndicated cartoonist before moving to the USA where he co-founded a successful graphic design and advertising company. Well-known for the scholarly approach and meticulous research in his writing, his highly acclaimed reference books on vintage military flying clothing are considered definitive works. Prodger spent more than two years interviewing Cellini, traveling in the US and Europe with him, talking to those who know him and visiting the sites of his adventures, as well as researching the historical background for this book, which includes more than 75 photographs.