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Baby Face Nelson (1957)

George "Babyface" Nelson becomes one of the most important gangsters of 1930's Chicago by making brutal robberies. In order to compete with Al Capone he allies himself with John Dillinger...

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Doc Saunders (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
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Robert Osterloh ...
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Lisa Davis ...
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Mac - Detective
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Storyline

George "Babyface" Nelson becomes one of the most important gangsters of 1920s Chicago by making brutal robberies. In order to compete with Al Capone he allies himself with John Dillinger... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

the baby-face punk who became the FBI's PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

4 April 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Caminos de sangre  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Sound Mix:

| (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Upon its release, the film was criticized by California Representative H. Allen Smith, who claimed that it contributed to juvenile delinquency. FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover also denounced the film as glorifying crime. See more »

Goofs

The movie is portraying 1933, but the open scenes you see a metropolitan city that is far more modern and developed than the cities of 1933. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm So In Love With You
by Mickey Rooney & Harold Spina
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User Reviews

 
Lester M. Gillis; AKA: Baby Face Nelson.
20 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Baby Face Nelson is directed by Don Siegel and co-written by Daniel Mainwaring, Robert Adler and Irving Shulman. It stars Mickey Rooney, Carolyn Jones, Cedric Hardwicke, Leo Gordon, Anthony Caruso and Jack Elam. Story is based on the notorious criminal who became public enemy number one in the first half of the 1930s.

Gangsters have always been a profitable source for film makers, with many of them proving to be the basis of classic cinema. The story of Baby Face Nelson is ideal for cinematic treatment.

Don Siegel's 57 movie is tight and taut, yet still briskly paced, and in the main as per the characterisation of Nelson, it's pitched right by Siegel and Mickey Rooney. Nelson is seen as a pocket rocket of inferiority complexes, a deluded bully held in the grip of jealousies. He's a trigger-happy punk with anger issues, while Siegel is professional enough to ensure the little thug is not glamorised (the film opens with a written statement pouring praise on the FBI). The recreation of the period is grand, those cars, those guns, the latter of which get a good amount of screen time as Siegel gives us gun play aplenty. While visually (Hal Mohr on cinematography duty) it's lighted for shadows and period starkness. There's even a pitch black noir ending to round it off.

The flaws? Rooney never fully convinces in the role of Nelson, where perhaps he is a mere victim of following in the footsteps of greater characterisations in the genre? Or maybe it's just a case of being familiar with him in more airy roles? But with Hardwicke doing fine work as a boozy lecher, Jones appealingly knowing and sexy as Nelson's moll, and Elam and Elisha Cook Jr bolstering the support ranks, film is in capable acting hands. Narrative is a bit scratchy, not quite a complete whole, more a case of a number of great scenes inserted here and there, but it doesn't hurt the picture too much. Overall it gets in and does its job in next to no time, never out staying its welcome, it overcomes its faults and entertains the genre fan with ebullience. 7/10


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