Fear is the Key: “Machine Gun Kelly” (1958)

 

machinegunkelly

  “Machine Gun Kelly” (1958)

   Roger Corman directs this oddly unaffecting gangster film which while predictably short on accurate historic detail, curiously substitutes enough unconvincing. psychodrama to sabotage a dozen B-pictures.

     In chronicling the exaggerated myths surrounding the career arc of notorious Depression-era criminal George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Corman’s film packs his opening reels with as much violent mayhem as his impressively stretched meager budget can sustain, including several well crafted and tense robbery sequences and some less impressive (not to mention credibility straining) encounters with a perpetually irate caged mountain cat. If these initial salvos of antisocial mayhem promise a spirited celebration of the type of immorality to which the industry’s Production Code hypocritically condemned while Hollywood consistently enjoyed demonstrating its effortless capacity to produce, the authoritative hostility of  the title character is squashed by a sudden and unfortunately persistent insistence on undercutting his inveterate leadership resolve.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/poverty-row/

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 biography, Charles Bronson, crime, History, Movies, Roger Corman, women, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Fear is the Key: “Machine Gun Kelly” (1958)

  1. beetleypete says:

    I was sure I had seen this, but after reading the full review I am now uncertain. It doesn’t sound anything like I remember. Another case of ‘False Filmic Memory’ for me perhaps?
    Hope you had a nice Christmas.
    Regards as always, William Friese-Greene.

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