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.
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 44 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: March 23, 2009
- Originally Released: 1959
- Label: Warner Archive Collection (MOD)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Rod Steiger, James Gregory, Martin Balsam, Nehemiah Persoff & Fay Spain
|Malvin Wald & Henry F. Greenberg
|Director of Photography:
Rating: 3/5 -- Steiger chews scenery...and bullets...in this B-grade action programmer.
Rating: B -- Rod Steiger gives his Method acting technique a workout as he captures the fiery persona of Al Capone and makes the gangster a lively larger-than-life subject. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
... the most comprehensive film portrait of the notorious racketeer and mob boss who literally ruled Chicago for years. Full Review
Turner Classic Movies Online
Rod Steiger plausibly portrays the late unlamented Chicago gang-lord in an interesting semi-fictional melodrama, corny in spots but no cornier than the Prohibition era it represents. Full Review
Description by OLDIES.com:
During the era of Prohibition, gangsters gained enormous power by controlling the illicit drink. The most infamous was a thug from Brooklyn who murdered his way to the top and was, for a time, one of the most powerful men in the United States. In this unusually accurate biography, small-time hood Al Capone (Rod Steiger) 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.
Rod Steiger is the screen's first "method mobster" in the title role of AL CAPONE. The film traces Big Al's progress from a torpedo in the hire of Chicago gangster Johnny Torrio (Nehemiah Persoff) to Capone's takeover of the Windy City's bootlegging operations, and his ultimate downfall at the hands of the IRS. Rod Steiger delivers every line with maniacal gusto, as though it will be his last; sometimes he sounds like Frank Gorshin doing a Rod Steiger impression, but for the most part it is a dynamite performance. Featured in the cast are Murvyn Vye as Bugs Moran, Joe De Santis as Big Jim Colosimo, Lewis Charles as Hymie Weiss, Robert Gist as O'Banion, and James Gregory and Martin Balsam as composite characters, respectively based on honest Chicago cop John Siege and duplicitous newspaper reporter Jake Lingle.