As a train speeds through the Arizona night, a man posing as a physician holds up the baggage-car crew and escapes with a $500,000 payroll. The fake doctor, Paul Bruckner, leaves the train ... See full summary »
When a recently deceased playboy gets to heaven and is granted one wish--granted to all newcomers--he requests that he be able to see the reactions of three husbands, with whom he regularly... See full summary »
Jim Burton has become a chronic alcoholic since the death of his young daughter, and is cared for by hard-working wife. A doctor's warning that Jim could become mentally ill strikes enough ... See full summary »
Life becomes so harried after Ensign Pulver's prank, he and the Captain are swept off deck during a storm, ending up on a tropical island, a group of ship wrecked nurses, dancing natives, and one very big case of appendicitis.
Robert Walker Jr.,
Avoiding to settle in a nursing home, Joseph Kotcher, a retired salesman, is obliged to leave his son's family. He embarks on a road trip during which he strikes up a friendship with a ... See full summary »
Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
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
During an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Walter Matthau recalled that he was making King Creole (1958) with Elvis Presley when approached about directing and starring in this low-budget production. See more »
The Itch for Scratch
Music by Leonard Barr
Lyrics by Ronald Bloomberg
Sung by Ted Stanford See more »
Gangster Story may have been more interesting with a higher budget and by ditching the California countryside locations. This story seemed to be in a smaller city (one scene has Matthau driving with cows in a field in the background) so I can't see why there would be such a mob presence here.
The bank robbery was actually quite funny. Matthau used all the wit and charm we saw in later films during this scene. He had a few other humorous lines in this film.
Some of the other dialouge was really stiff though, especially with the supporting cast. Looks like they just took people off the street and gave them lines to memorize. There was some really awful acting here. Matthau himself comes across stiffly in his tender scenes with his real wife. The kissing scene was embarrassing to watch.
Someone in another review made a comparison to the old "Highway Patrol" TV show and I agree. That show also was filmed in the California countryside and desert areas. The old black and white police cars in Gangster Story (minus any identification on them) looked and sounded just like THP cars.
I enjoy watching old, low budget films, though. Especially when it contains a major star in an early role. Kind of a cheap thrill, however, I wouldn't put this on anyone's "Don't Miss" list.
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