2 items from 2017
Al Capone is America’s best known gangster and the single greatest symbol of the collapse of law and order in the United States during the 1920s Prohibition era. Capone had a leading role in the illegal activities that lent Chicago its reputation as a lawless city and an interesting variety of Hollywood stars have had the leading role as Al Capone in the many films that have been made that featured him as a character.
The first film about Capone was produced when he was still making headlines. The main character may be named Antonio Camonte, but there’s little doubt as to who producer Howard Hughes had in mind when he and director Howard Hawks filmed Scarface during the Great Depression. Camonte shares more than the same initials with one Al Capone, who was about to begin his eleven-year sentence for tax evasion when the movie was released »
- Tom Stockman
Some people’s lives are best told truthfully, others more loosely.
In one corner, we have Rocky, the iconic Best Picture-winning boxing movie starring Sylvester Stallone as the made-up Rocky Balboa. In the other corner, we have Chuck, an upcoming biopic starring Liev Schreiber as real-life boxer Chuck Wepner. The latter primarily depicts the 1975 bout between Wepner and Muhammad Ali, which inspired Stallone to write the script for Rocky. He’s since tried to downplay the connection, especially after being sued by Wepner, but it’s close enough to being a film a clef as any.
Chuck received mostly positive reviews when it played the big film festivals last fall, but it’s unlikely to become the phenomenon, let alone Oscar darling, that Rocky was. Its legacy surely won’t be as lasting, in part because true biopics don’t tend to get sequels. There are a lot of benefits to fictionalized accounts of real events and »
- Christopher Campbell
2 items from 2017
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