Derek Winnert

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This article was written on 20 Jun 2016, and is filled under Reviews.

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The St Valentine’s Day Massacre **** (1967, Jason Robards, George Segal, Ralph Meeker) – Classic Movie Review 3896

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Producer-director Roger Corman’s modish 1967 cult gangster movie version of the 14 February 1929 Chicago gang killings stars Jason Robards as the notorious Al Capone, leader of the Southside Mob, and Ralph Meeker as his deadly rival George ‘Bugs’ Moran. George Segal and David Canary play his lieutenants Peter and Frank Gusenberg.

Howard Browne’s intelligent and knowledgeable screenplay conveys plenty of factual information, as well as historical and period detail, while the director and the cast add the passion and action thrills that turn it into such a strong and powerful movie.

Back in the Twenties, the American public of the day had turned a blind eye to the mobs’ murderous activities until the Capone mob’s garage killing of seven of Moran’s boys.

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After years of making poverty row independent movies, Corman evidently rejoices in the luxury of his fairly costly budget ($1,000,000) major-studio (20th Century Fox) project in a painstaking film where the money is up there on screen. It was shot at the 20th Century Fox Studios – 10201 Pico Blvd, Century City, Los Angeles, with its brothel set re-used from The Sand Pebbles (1966).

Jack Nicholson has an uncredited walk-on as hitman Gino.

Also in the cast are Jean Hale, Clint Ritchie, Frank Silvera, Joseph Campanella, Richard Bakalyan, Bruce Dern, John Agar, Alex D’Arcy, Kurt Kreuger, Harold J Stone, Joe Turkel, Milton Frome and Paul Richards, with Barboura Morris, Dick Miller, Joan Shawlee, Jonathan Haze, Alex Rocco, Gus Trikonis, Leo Gordon, Charles Dierkop and Reed Hadley also in there.

Some Like It Hot (1959) offers a comic take on the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 3896
Check out more reviews on: 
derekwinnert.com

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