Al Capone

His True Shocking Story...Filmed with Bullet Force!
Al Capone
In this unusually accurate biography, small-time hood Al Capone comes to Chicago at the dawn of Prohibition to be the bodyguard of racketeer Johnny Torrio. Capone's rise in Chicago gangdom is followed through murder, extortion, and political fraud. He becomes head of Chicago's biggest "business," but moves inexorably toward his downfall and ignominious end.


John Chard
Nobody who's smart goes hungry in Chicago. Al Capone is directed by Richard Wilson and written by Malvin Wald and Henry F. Greenberg. It stars Rod Steiger, Martin Balsam, Nehemiah Persoff, Fay Spain, Joe DeSantis and Murvyn Vye. Music is by David Raksin and cinematography by Lucien Ballard. Alphonse Gabriel Capone, it's a name synonymous with gangsters of 1920s America, and of course of cinematic films. Richard Wilson's film is one of the better gangster biopics out there, filmed in semi-doc style, it unfolds with great human drama without glorifying the subject matter. If anything it's refreshingly unsentimental in its approach. Steiger is Capone (never Caponee!) and he puts his method stomp all over the role, carrying the film squarely on his well cast shoulders. He has all the ticks and mannerisms of Capone to either chill the blood or charm the other characters in the play, it is very much a powerhouse performance. As a history lesson it's not wholly accurate, but much of it is rigid in the life and times of the famous criminal. The period detail is splendid, with the backdrops boosted no end by the gorgeous monochrome photography served up by Ballard. Enthralling, sometimes violent and always intriguing, this is well worth a look. 7/10

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