Bill, a wealthy businessman, confronts his junkie daughter's drug-dealing boyfriend; in the ensuing argument, Bill kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at ... See full summary »
John G. Avildsen
Moving from one scam to another Arnold Rothstein quickly becomes rich, and settles into the life of owning big-town gambling joints. Along the way he falls in loves and marries, makes a life-long enemy of a cop on the take, and gradually becomes hardened even to his closest friends. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
[answers the telephone]
International Tobacco. Yes. Just a moment, please.
[Rothstein hands a card to the receptionist]
I'd like to see Mr. Simmons, please.
Oh yes, you're expected. Go right in.
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the verdict on this picture seems to be that it's a fizzle because of Janssen's performance as Rothstein, the most interior portrayal of an organized crime figure this side of John Garfield in Abe Polonsky's magnificent FORCE OF EVIL. Well, Janssen's no Garfield and KING OF THE ROARING TWENTIES is no FORCE OF EVIL, but this Allied Artist's spin-off of the popular "Untouchables" series with Robert Stack deserves a few more props from the peeps at the IMDb website than it has already gotten. It's not quite as droll as Boetticher's very similar looking RISE AND FALL OF LEGS DIAMOND (which came out at about the same time) but the director, Joseph M Newman, is an underrated dude who, (like Joseph H. Lewis), is long overdue for cultish discovery. The scene in this picture where Mickey Rooney pleads to his childhood buddy, Rothstein, for his life is proof alone of how good he was with actors. Newman worked extensively in television, especially on the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS series. One episode in particular, titled SEE THE MONKEY DANCE starring Efrem Zimbalist and Roddy McDowell is a marvelous example of what can be done within the imperatives of a weekly commercial format. His work deserves a little more recognition than it's been given thus far.
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