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Lepke (1975)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  23 May 1975 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 226 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

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

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Title: Lepke (1975)

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Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was the king of crime when crime was king.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Boss  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Tony Curtis with author Peter Golenbock revealed in Curtis' auto-biography "American Prince: A Memoir" (2008) that he became heavily addicted to cocaine during production of this picture of which this substance abuse would then last for around a decade. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Lepke's trusted partner Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro is shot to death at Coney Island while trying to protect Lepke from assassins. In real life, Shapiro turned himself in to the authorities, accepted a prison term, and actually outlived Lepke by several years, dying in prison of natural causes in 1947. See more »

Quotes

Lepke: If I was a wop, you wouldn't frisk me.
See more »

Connections

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.


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