John Bloodstone is a cop who is put on suspension after he uses a blow torch to stop a group of hostage takers. Bloodstone's next assignment begins when his boss, Commissioner Garth, calls ... See full summary »
STONY ISLAND tells the story of Richie Bloom (Richie Davis), the only white kid on the block, as he forms an R&B band with his best friend, Kevin (Edward Stoney Robinson). With the help of ... See full summary »
Edward Stoney Robinson,
George Englund Jr.
Based on the true-life book of lawman Burton Turkus, this movie chronicles the rise and fall of the organized crime syndicate known as Murder, Incorporated. Focusing on powerful boss Lepke ... 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 »
The film's Lepke (1975) title refers to the nick-name of the central character, gangster Louis Buchalter. The name is a shortened abbreviated diminutive version of the name "Lepkeleh" that his mother Rose Buchalter gave him. "Lepkeleh" is a Yiddish word and translates into the English language as "Little Louis". 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 »
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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