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Citizen Gangster

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The first feature from writer/director Nathan Morlando, CITIZEN GANGSTER is based on the true story of Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman), the man who became postwar Toronto's most famous criminal. Edwin Boyd has returned from WWII and is dismayed by public indifference towards veterans and humiliated by his inability to fulfill his dream of being a Hollywood star or provide for his children and wife Doreen (Kelly Reilly). Seeing only disappointment in the face of his policeman father (Brian Cox), Eddie is desperate and starts to rob banks. But what starts as friendly and flirtatious robberies, performed while wearing thick makeup, evolves over time into a career that when mixed with a gang of small time criminals is not unlike that of Clyde Barrow or Butch Cassidy, in which crime and love are mixed to get explosive results. CITIZEN GANGSTER is the powerful true story of one man's rise from obscurity to criminal celebrity -- and the dangerous price he pays for it.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Scott Speedman, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand
  • Directors: Nathan Morlando
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083H6AUQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,632 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 3, 2013
Format: Amazon Video
Originally called `Edwin Boyd' it was renamed `Citizen Gangster' for the American market and simply `Gangster' for the UK market, so identity crisis over, what is it like? Well it purports to be `based' on the true life story of Edwin Boyd who was a vet from World War II. On returning home he finds that far from being a land fit for heroes he is just a face in the crowd and is lucky to have a job driving buses. Then one day he helps a disabled vet both on and off his bus. These are the days when disabled people and especially wheelchair users should be not seen and not heard. At this point something gives and he ups and leaves his job.

Having a wife he brought home from England and two small children he has to bring home the bacon and so he sees if he can get a job acting; but is inevitably turned away. So in a desperate attempt to keep a roof over their heads he takes out his souvenir Lugar pistol, puts on some make up and holds up a bank - only with some panache. What follows is his story of how he goes ever deeper, forming his own gang along the way, until the inevitable climax.

I really enjoyed this film; the acting is all top notch especially Scott Speedman who plays Boyd. There is some great period detail, and the soundtrack is just right also. This did not have a big budget and was a Canadian production, well Boyd was Canadian after all. It runs to 105 minutes and uses all of those to great effect. The secret is that you actually care about these people and that has to be down to both the great acting and the great direction from Nathan Morlando who also wrote the screenplay he is also responsible for `Copper' in case you wanted to see more of his work. Whilst not action packed it has it where it needs it and has enough plot and tension to keep you interested till the very end, one I feel happy recommending.
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Format: DVD
Without knowing much about Nathan Morlando's "Citizen Gangster," I imagined it was going to be a mob oriented film. Perhaps the more apt title might have been "Citizen Bankrobber" as the movie charts the story of Edwin Boyd, a dashing criminal who made a name for himself (as notorious as it may be) in postwar Toronto. A family man and veteran struggling to make ends me, Boyd embarked on a series of daring robberies that initiated a massive manhunt. As he proceeded, he became increasingly flamboyant and epitomized the concept of the charming celebrity criminal. He's not painted as a particularly bad man, but the desperation that fuels his early decisions soon gives way to an unequivocal embracing of the spotlight. He starts to believe his own hype, refusing to veer from his new persona. Anyone that watches their fair share of true life crime will find little that is new or revelatory in this classic and oft-told story. But besides feeling a bit familiar, "Citizen Gangster" is a well acted and well made endeavor that should appeal to anyone interested in the genre or the case in particular.

Scott Speedman plays the title role, and his easy charm really works in this presentation. The story follows the period in his life when Boyd first makes the decision to be an outlaw, through acts of increasing bravado, to his many encounters with the law, to prison escapes, to forming a team of robbers, to the ultimate conclusion. While I won't reveal the particulars of what happens to Boyd (for those who aren't familiar with the tale), I will say stick around for the written synopsis at the finale of the film that updates the character arcs. You might be quite surprised by one of these revelations, it actually puts the entire film into a slightly new light.
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Format: DVD
Citizen Gangster follows real-life figure Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman) as he transitions from bus driver to theatrical bank robber. A World War II veteran, Edwin struggles to support his wife Doreen (Kelly Reilly) and two children, and dreams of being an actor. One day, he dons makeup and robs a bank at gunpoint. He realizes that, aided by his athletic abilities, this is easy money. Not to mention, he gains the thrill of attention he's always wanted.

In spite of his short-lived joy, the film's bleak colors convey Edwin's depressing, increasingly desperate situation. Unfortunately, the audience never quite connects the rather passive, mild mannered man to his wilder counterpart. The movie also depicts the robberies as more surreal, bemusing, and exciting than harmful, perhaps in order to convey how the media romanticized Boyd's crimes.

The story touches on Edwin's relationship with his father (Brian Cox), a retired policeman, but their complex history is not fully explored. Partway through the film, Kevin Durand brightens the screen as fellow bank robber and veteran Lenny Jackson. Unlike his mostly forgettable criminal friends, Lenny shows believable volatility and unexpected heart. Though not one to be messed with, he latches onto Edwin like a brother. The genuine bond between Edwin and Lenny is one of the most successful aspects of the film.

Their descent into living above the law is not glamorized. Boyd's relationship with his wife is increasingly strained, and the affect his actions have on his family is painful to watch. Still, though well made, the biopic Citizen Gangster never becomes more than the sum of its parts.
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