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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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Title: Lepke (1975)

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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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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.]
Lepke: Call Bernice. Tell her I'm gonna be a little late for dinner.
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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