Two former U.S. Army soldiers, Adam Dyer and Josh Corey, join a band of Turkish mercenaries in 1922 Turkey whom are hired by Osman Bey, a local governor, to escort his three daughters to ... See full summary »
During the Korean War, Italian nurse Virna Lisi falls in love with two American fliers, Tony Curtis and George C. Scott. Lisi marries Curtis after he convinces her that Scott has been ... See full summary »
While hiding from the royal authorities, Jacomo Casanova, the famous romancer, encounters his look-alike: Jacomino, a fugitive petty con man. Meanwhile, the Arabian Caliph and his wife are ... See full summary »
Youth gang leader Jerry Florea is shot fleeing from a crime scene by rookie cop Ed Gallagher. Result: "he'll never have children of his own." Ed and Jerry develop a mutually beneficial ... See full summary »
Beloved priest Father Thomasino is murdered in a San Francisco alley, and the police have few clues. But traffic cop Joe Martini becomes obsessed with finding the killer; he suspects Sylvio... See full summary »
France, 1803: 11 years after the Revolution, a royalist underground is led by a new 'Scarlet Pimpernel', the Purple Mask, who rescues nobles in distress and kidnaps Napoleon's officials for... See full summary »
Publicity for this picture reported that it was the first screen villainous role of unrelenting villainy for actor and star Tony Curtis. See more »
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 »
[Lepke's last words before the FBI takes him in for questioning.]
Call Bernice. Tell her I'm gonna be a little late for dinner.
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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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