Sonny Gibson begins to go wrong at age 8, when he moves from the country to a city ghetto. A delinquent by 13, his only friend in school is Nick but after saving him in a gang fight, Sonny is expelled. His life of crime begins. A diamond heist leads Sonny to the Chicago Mafia boss who gives Sonny a job as an enforcer; vicious methods earn him the title "The Devil." Meanwhile, top underworld leaders are called to a peace conference to end a Mafia war. Sonny is surprised to see Nick whose grandfather turns out to be a powerful NewYork Don, the "Boss of Bosses." In gratiitude for saving Nick, the old man grants Sonny's request to be a Mafia member, even though he is half-Sicilian.
The Don sends him to train in Sicily under the fierce leader, Alfonso Lambretti. While training in the deadly arts to become an assassin, Sonny also learns Sicilian ways. After three years, Alfonso becomes Sonny's Godfather. In a never-before-seen, secret ceremony, Sonny takes vows in the Sicilian Mafia's closed circle. Now a made man, he embarks on his first his mission. As a soldier in the Mafia's bitter war against communist terrorists who finance the KGB, Sonny kills 13 of their leaders plus one special mark...an ex-Nazi who murdered Alfonso's sons during the war. In a spine-chilling scene, Sonny coldly feeds him to the sharks.
On his next assignment, posing as an insurance executive and despite illiteracy, Sonny learns to engineer sophisticated financial swindles. He buys a hotel and casino, a bank and an insurance company. Surrounded by bodyguards, this criminal Einstein conducts international scams and even invents new ways to smuggle drugs. In the Bahamas, Sonny meets the engaging Theresa; before long, she moves into his Beverly Hills mansion.
The Mafia Kingpin is riding high when Nick is killed. Sonny revenges his friend’s death in a gruesome hit. Soon after, the goliath's empire begins to crumble. He gets indicted in a $150 million bank fraud and mail fraud scheme but negotiates probation by pretending to cooperate. When he refuses to testify against the Mafia, the government prosecutors realize they were conned and close in. Sonny is sentenced to life. The mobster's attorney makes a deal to get him out in six months. Soon after, the deal falls through, the Don has a stroke and Alfonso dies. With no one to help him, he turns into a vicious animal. When Sonny sees guards kicking an old man, he battles eleven at once and is himself brutally beaten.
Thrown in the hole, the guards torment him, staging mock executions in the gas chamber. In solitary for 65 days, without food or clothes, Sonny eats mice to stay alive. Father Molinari, the prison priest, discovers that the guards are trying to kill Sonny. Molinari gets him out, helps him to get educated and Sonny studies acting behind bars. A changed man, but convinced he'll never be free, Sonny marries Theresa inside.
In 1977, Sonny Gibson goes blind from the beatings. He makes a promise to God: if he can get back his sight and his freedom to work as an actor, he'll help youth stay away from a life of crime. A messenger in a vision tells him that he'll be out soon and will see better than ever. Within eight months, the convict has a parole date and, astonishing doctors, his eyesight is fully restored. While waiting for release, Sonny continues teaching his drama workshop. The eve of his parole, his favorite young student is killed in the most gruesome incident ever recorded in a state penitentiary. Sonny is still in the human jungle.
The next day, Sonny is released with $10.91. Theresa drives him to the mountains for a vacation. On the way Sonny gets out of the car to climb a huge tree. At the top, he thanks God, knowing that if Sonny Gibson can change, "ANYONE CAN CHANGE".