BILL CRIDER'S POP CULTURE MAGAZINE
Pretty good Howard Browne script. The movie gets mentioned every now and then because Jack Nicholson has a small role in his pre-stardom American-International days. A minus for the film is the low-budget (a Roger Corman specialty), so there is zero attempt to recreate a 1930s look. A plus is a really good eclectic cast, including some of Corman's stock company.A few years later, Corman produced and Browne scripted CAPONE, which bookends ST VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE much as GODFATHER II bookends THE GODFATHER. Even lower budget, including use of stock footage from the earlier film, but Susie Blakely has a couple of nice nude scenes.
I saw both of those in the theater long ago, and I thought they were pretty good. I think I'd have to give CAPONE the edge for the reason you mentioned.
Inevitably they always cast someone who is too old to play Capone. This time they cas someone who was too old and too thin. On Valetine's Day 1929 Al had just turned 30 (on January 17th). When The St. Valentine's Day Massacre was made Robards was 45 - just three years younger than Capone was when he died! Ben Gazzara was also 45 when he did Capone. Of course in that movie no one would notice (particularly if you saw it in 4:3 aspect ration apparently - something is seen that isn't in 16:9!
That Would be a pity, if the widescreen masking was to cut off Ms. Blakely's "naughty bits," which can be viewed online (surprise).
It wasn't just Capone ...Listen closely to Paul Frees's narration and you'll find that everybody in the picture was 10-15 years older than the characters they were playing. Which is not to say that this isn't lots of fun to watch, particularly with 40-odd years of hindsight. The extra-large cast is mostly miscast, which is a good part of the fun: watching Jason Robards trying to act fat is pure joy. Old hands like Alex D'Arcy, Joe Turkel, Milton Frome, and Leo Gordon (among many others), plus newbies like future soap stars Clint Ritchie and David Canary, to say nothing of Jean Hale (did you know that she was married at that time to a young bit player named Dabney Coleman?).I ought to be embarrassed to remember all this , oughtn't I? No matter. It's a long-time fave of mine. Thanks for sharing.
More people should remember that kind of stuff!
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