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Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)

Unrated | | Action, Biography, Crime | May 1958 (USA)
The criminal exploits of Public Enemy number 1, George 'Machine-Gun' Kelly, during the 1930s.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Michael Fandango
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Apple
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Howard
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Harry (as Frank De Kova)
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'Ma' Becker
Wally Campo ...
Maize
Barboura Morris ...
Lynn Grayson
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Sherryl Vito (as Dawn Menzer)
George Archambeault ...
Frank
Robert Griffin ...
Mr. Andrew Vito
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Detective Clinton
Larry Thor ...
Detective Drummond
Shirley Falls ...
Martha
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Without His Gun He Was Naked Yellow!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

May 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Machine Gun Kelly  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

American-International Pictures owners Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson wanted to make a gangster picture after years of making sci-fi pictures. This was the result. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Screwballs (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Drive-in Special
16 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

Another drive-in special from the guy who really knew how to make them, the ever resourceful Roger Corman. No 1958 teen-ager in the back row, front, or in-between really cared about subtleties of plot, characterization, or other adult stuff like historical accuracy. Just make the big screen go fast, tough, and sexy, especially for the hot-and-heavy back row who probably didn't care if it was Doris Day as long as they had a place to park in the dark. Seeing the movie 50 years later, I now know that Bronson can smile and squint at the same time. Actually, he's more animated here than the Mt. Rushmore super-star he later turned into. I doubt younger viewers can appreciate just how different he was from the pretty-boy 1950's dominated by the likes of Tab, Troy, and Rock. Once you saw that Bronson mug, you didn't forget.

Other reviewers are right. It's colorful characters here that count and there's a good bunch of them, especially the tough-as-nails old bordello madam. You know it's a drive-in special when the producers don't even try to disguise the cat-house with a dance hall cosmetic. And where did they get that really exotic idea of the mountain lion. My guess is that Corman stopped somewhere in the desert where gas stations of old used roadside zoos as a hyped- up come-on. I thought they would use the critter to kill off one of the characters, especially the oily Amsterdam. My favorite scene is where tough guys Jack Lambert and Bronson square off in a hard-eye squinting contest. I doubt that you could pass a laser beam between them. Anyway, the movie was not exactly Oscar bait in 1958, but even now it's still a lot more tacky fun than a lot of the prestige productions of that year.


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