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The Don Is Dead (1973)

After his mistress is savagely beaten up a Mafia leader goes after the killer with a bloody vengeance. Soon after the hunt begins, a gang war ensues.

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(novel), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Don Angelo DiMorra
...
Tony Fargo
...
Frank Regalbuto
...
Vince Fargo
...
Ruby Dunne
...
Luigi Orlando
Jo Anne Meredith ...
Marie
...
Don Aggimio Bernardo (as J. Duke Russo)
...
Mitch DiMorra
Anthony Charnota ...
Johnny Tresca
...
Nella
...
Joe Lucci
...
Giunta (as Frank de Kova)
...
Don Talusso
...
Augie the Horse
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Storyline

After his mistress is savagely beaten up a Mafia leader goes after the killer with a bloody vengeance. Soon after the hunt begins, a gang war ensues.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Power built an empire. Passion destroyed it.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beautiful But Deadly  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Penultimate film produced by producer Hal B. Wallis whose final film in that capacity was around two years later with 1975's Rooster Cogburn (1975). See more »


Soundtracks

Our Last Night
Lyrics by Carol Heather Goldsmith (as Carol Goldsmith)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty bad and boring
29 April 2016 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Usually, you can wake me up for seventies crime movies. But The Don is Dead is just a couple steps away from being truly awful.

First of all, there is no visual coherence in this picture. There are a lot of backlot filmed scenes that don't mesh at all with the location shots. It gives the film a cheap and jumbled look, so if you are hoping for seventies semi-realism, better look elsewhere.

Second: the plot is really silly. It involves a power struggle between different mafia families, which is brought to a boiling point because of a young singer. She first dates Frank, the son of a recently deceased Don. Then she sleeps with the much older Don Angelo, because she hopes it will further her career as a singer. You see, Angelo not only heads a criminal empire, he also listens to demo tapes by aspiring singers because he has some connections in showbiz!

Third: who's the protagonist here? Frank beats his girlfriend to a pulp, so Angelo starts a war with him. Who are we supposed to root for? Turns out, it's one of Frank's 'button men' who's the actual protagonist, although you wouldn't think it by watching the first half of the movie.

The casting is the only reason I gave this a shot, despite its bad reputation. Any movie with rugged seventies bad ass Al Lettieri is worth a look. He's pretty good in this and he is one of the actors that give The Don is Dead some credibility as a mafia film, along with authentic looking actors like Joe Santos, Abe Vigoda and Victor Argo. But they get very little to work with. Robert Forster has the flashy part here as the arrogant and volatile Frank. Top billed Anthony Quinn is pretty much going through the motions. Texas born Frederic Forrest is cast as a goombah. I love this actor, but he's all wrong for the part.

The Don is Dead could have had some attraction as a bad seventies picture, but the joys are meager. I liked the shoot-out outside of the diner (obviously backlot). Notice how one important character really makes use of the stacked boxes and crates when he collapses, one of the few times the movie actually comes to life a bit. For the most part, it's pretty boring.


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