Lepke (1975)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  23 May 1975 (USA)
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Tony Curtis stars as Lepke, head of Murder Inc., the syndicate that spattered the headlines of the day with blood.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernice Meyer
Robert Kane
Warren Berlinger ...
Gurrah Shapiro
Mary Charlotte Wilcox ...
Mr. Meyer
Jack Ackerman ...
Little Augie
Louis Guss ...
Max Rubin
Vaughn Meader ...
Lillian Adams ...
Mama Meyer
Albert Cole ...
Abe (Kid Twist) Reles


Tony Curtis stars as Lepke, head of Murder Inc., the syndicate that spattered the headlines of the day with blood.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was the king of crime when crime was king.


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Boss  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


First of only two ever cinema movies to feature the real-life character of mobster Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter. The second was around six years later with 1981's Gangster Wars (1981). See more »


Another example of men's grooming that was much closer to 1975 than to the supposed time frame of the film are the full-brush style mustaches worn by Thomas E. Dewey, as well as by both the Sing Sing executioner and warden. See more »


Storekeeper: It's bad enough I have to pay those wops. Now I have to pay you too? Tomorrow the Irish will come. So enough...kill me already!
See more »


Referenced in The Joyriders (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

A compelling Lepke
29 September 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The success of The Godfather films I and II certainly led to revival of the gangster film. Golan/Globus of Israel apparently decided that the Italians should not monopolize the epic gangster genre that The Godfather created so the film Lepke was born about the Jewish mob Murder Inc. from the 30s and 40s.

To say that Lepke is factual is to give it way too much credence. Though Thomas E. Dewey as special prosecutor and later New York County District Attorney certainly had Murder Inc under his sites the final conviction that sent Louis 'Lepke' Burkhalter to the electric chair was done in Murder Inc.'s own backyard of Kings County better known as Brooklyn. And Lepke was not the sole voice against a hit on Dewey, Charlie Luciano played here by Vic Tayback had more to do with it than Lepke. And Benjamin Siegel, AKA Bugsy who is a peripheral character in the film is addressed by one of his peers as Bugsy, as was told to us truthfully in Warren Beatty's film by one of his peers, that was one big no-no. It was name that Siegel did not appreciate.

Still Tony Curtis gives a compelling portrait of Lepke who when he wasn't dealing dope and extorting money from businesses for protection or muscling in on unions was by all accounts an exemplary family man. Anjanette Comer plays his wife and Milton Berle his father-in-law and Berle plays it totally straight, no Uncle Milty shtick.

Golan/Globus certainly got the ambiance right, but the fictional Corleones were given an epic quality that Lepke just doesn't have. Francis Ford Coppola certainly had a better vision than Golan/Globus had for Lepke.

But I would still recommend seeing Lepke and then reading about Murder Inc. to see just how factual the film was. And for what Tony Curtis did in the title role.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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