22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Setting the Mold for the Untouchables.,
This review is from: Al Capone [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Reviewer disclaimer: This review is done ONLY for "Al Capone" starred by Rod Steiger and NOT for the documentary about Al Capone.
This film, arguably, set the mold for the famous TV series The Untouchables, it was released only six months before the series was launched so the connection is obvious.
Rod Steiger stages Al Capone brilliantly; he gives the character an incredible ruthlessness, without overacting his part.
The film is presented almost as a documentary one. An impeccable black & white photography creates a very special climate. The epoch reconstruction is great and accurate, the cars, the clothing, the machine guns, every detail is taken into account.
The cast is very compact with Martin Balsam as Mac Keeley, a corrupt reporter; Nehemiah Persoff as Johnny Torrio, the gang leader immediately preceding Al Capone, and Robert Gist as the Irish ring leader Dion O'Banion in high performances.
The story line follows the rise of Capone from his start as an ordinary "gang soldier" thru Torrio's "partner" to Chicago's Big Boss and then to his sudden decline and imprisonment.
The movie shows all the backstage of political corruption and different gangs competing to take control of one of the biggest cities of USA. There are some very violent scenes (for the time the movie was released) as The Saint Valentine's Massacre and other showdowns among the gangsters.
Director Richard Wilson tells the story masterfully, giving a very crisp tempo to all the film, specially the action sequences.
The time elapsed since the release of the movie (1959) does not affect the product in any way.
It is a very commendable film for lovers of the genre and general public.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.