Gangster and cop killer Jack Martin is on the run from the law, and hides out in a small town. Low on funds, he engineers a clever bank robbery that yields him a big bundle. Now he has not ... See full summary »
Gangster and cop killer Jack Martin is on the run from the law, and hides out in a small town. Low on funds, he engineers a clever bank robbery that yields him a big bundle. Now he has not only the cops and the FBI after him, but also the local crime boss, who's outraged that an outsider can pull off a heist like that in his territory and not cut him in on it. Written by
If you like low budget movies... Intimate Portrait
I do like low budget movies, they often have an intimacy that is hard to maintain in larger productions with more people involved. Mistakes and goofs can be accepted as additional content or message, they can even lend the movie its own personal charm. This is certainly the case in Gangster Story definitely a low budget affair. I have the impression that for Walter Matthau this was a very personal affair. The basic theme is the relationship between him and the female lead who happens to be his wife in real life. Matthau plays a funnyman with a dark streak and a tendency for self destruction, Carol Grace a demure librarian with a will who starts a love affair with the gangster Matthau plays. The great achievement of the movie lies in the fact that it successfully shows that two people from entirely different backgrounds who meet by chance are attracted to each other. From the beginning there is a palpable erotic tension between the two. Difficult to say how this is communicated to the audience, there is not much kissing going on or any nudity. But then one has to remember that despite of the grainy black and white, the clipped dialog and the not very inspired direction that one is watching two top performers in a character driven movie. The story is not very original but tight and minimalistic. Thanks to the good acting performances it works quite well nonetheless.
I like to think that Matthau and Grace tried to analyse their own characters and their relationship in real life by means of making Gangster Story, I also like to think that Matthau at that time dabbled in directing the way John Cassavetes did. It might be just as well that he didn't pursue this part of movie making. The only thing I do regret is that Carol Grace cannot be seen in more movies. Her only other part was, according to IMDb, in Mikey an Nicky, where she played alongside John Cassavetes and Peter Falk in a performance that was equally memorable.
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