Chandler’s Trailers: “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” (1967)

      stevalentinesdaymassacre      Roger Corman’s first generously budgeted studio project is a gangster film densely populated with characters to the point where one may need the aid of a scorecard to keep track of the multiple story threads which will eventually converge into the eponymous 1929 mass execution of sevenmembers of Chicago gangster George “Bugs” Moran’s North Side Gang by Al Capone’s Chicago Outfit. Corman’s ease with the more polished resources and finely appointed production values is in evidence, and he pushes the film with an spirited momentum that captures the energy of the city. There is solid work from Ralph Meeker as Moran (who, if the Fates would have allowed for lucidity, would have made a better Capone), Bruce Dern, Joseph Campanella and Mickey Deems, though Corman has less success with a high proportion of his actors, many of whom seem to feel the need to italicize every line and gesture with a neon sign that cries out “look at me, I’m acting!” Chief among the offenders is Jason Robards- entirely miscast as Al Capone -whose over-the-top hysterics almost make the ham-fisted caricatures of gangsterism embodied by George Segal and Harold J. Stone seem like models of minimalism by comparison.
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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1960's movies, Film Reviews, History, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Corman and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Chandler’s Trailers: “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” (1967)

  1. Rick says:

    Jason Robards as Al Capone? Seriously? I didn’t know he ever played Capone.

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