A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration. He calls himself a social reformer. But what he does is stir up trouble--trouble he soon finds he can't control.
A former race-car driver-turned-writer decides to expose a ruthless, womanizing Grand Prix race driver in a book. However, his scheme explodes when his life is saved by this man, who is actually sensitive and misunderstood.
Shalee Jethro (Dorothy Malone) helps her father run a desert stagecoach station. Five desperate outlaws arrive at the station to await a gold shipment they plan to rob, and Shalee becomes ... See full summary »
Christy runs a rock and roll nightclub on a carnival pier with his righ-hand-man Benny. Christy has a crush on the club's star, Natalie Cook, but she has eyes for Stanley, a local business ... See full summary »
Brian G. Hutton,
David J. Stewart
A Los Angeles high-school teacher's problems begin when he happens to witness a gangland killing and agrees to identify the murderers. Not realizing this will cause the underworld to retaliate "big time".
Gene Fowler Jr.
Paul Groves (Peter Fonda), a television commercial director, is in the midst of a personality crisis. His wife Sally (Susan Strasberg) has left him and he seeks the help of his friend John ... See full summary »
Machine-Gun Kelly, the famous bank robber, seldom without his Thompson machine gun. The story opens with great jazzy music and a murder shown in shadows. His moll is the driving force behind his exploits. He has an exaggerated fear of death and death symbols. The sight of a coffin makes him freeze during a bank job, causing his lieutenant to lose his arm. Finally, the gang kidnaps a little girl along with her nurse and hold them for ransom. Written by
While loosely--VERY loosely--based on the real "Machine Gun Kelly" (real name George Kelly), there are many incidents in this film that simply never happened. For one thing, the only time Kelly ever fired his machine gun was on on a firing range, and he certainly never killed or even shot at anyone, contrary to what is shown in this film. Also, the Kelly gang didn't kidnap a millionaire's little girl, as shown in this film; they kidnapped the millionaire himself, a wealthy brewer named Charles Urschel, and this is what eventually led to Kelly's capture and imprisonment. Also, he wasn't captured in a shootout with lawmen, as shown here; police and FBI agents in Memphis, TN, surprised him in the stairwell of a boarding house and he fell to his knees and screamed "Don't shoot, G-men!", thereby coining the name that FBI agents have been known by since then--an incident that is completely left out of this film. See more »
Opening credits: THE TITLE CHARACTER UPON WHICH THIS STORY IS BASED IS TRUE. The other characters, all events and firms, depicted are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »
Corman takes the gangster genre beyond film noir, finally
A unique crime story -- a small-time thief (Bronson) is turned into a legend by his tough-as-nails moll (Cabot). "Machine Gun" robs a chain of banks and finally turns his ambitions to kidnapping -- hounded all the way by a compulsive fear of death. The photography by Crosby is elegant, the acting of the lead pair and the supporting cast are all pretty much dead-on. A tight, efficient telling of a memorable tale, peopled with all sorts of interesting characters (the gas station owner/accomplice who keeps a deadly menagerie behind the garage, Cabot's mom who keeps telling Kelly what a disappointment he is because he hasn't broken into the "big time", etc.).
Interestingly, this film takes the gangster genre beyond film noir (finally, after 3 decades) by making his characters not only self-loathing but WORTHY of self-loathing!
One of Corman's very best films as a director.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?