LANSKY tells the true story of a young immigrant's ascent from poverty to almost unimaginable riches through hard-edged business sense and a ruthless ability to murder anyone who ever got in his way. Richard Dreyfuss stars as Meyer Lansky, a genius white-collar criminal on the run from the FBI. As he hops from country to country in search of asylum, he recounts his years as a dirt-poor youth in New York City's Lower East Side (a vibrant and dangerous multiracial ghetto in the early 1900s); as a rising gang member with such fearsome allies as Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel; and as a wizard of crooked accounting who became one of the most influential figures in the history of American organized crime.
Backed by a strong supporting cast (most notably Beverly D'Angelo and Eric Roberts) and sparked by a dynamite David Mamet script, Dreyfuss delivers a powerful and deeply moving performance as the aged mafioso. Produced for HBO, LANSKY did not receive the widespread acclaim it deserved. With LANSKY, director John McNaughton (HENRY PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, WILD THINGS) delivers another of his penetrating cinematic investigations of the teeming shadow world undergirding late-20th-century American life.