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The Lost Capone (1990)

TV Movie  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  10 September 1990 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 180 users  
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Fictionalized account of Jimmy Capone (Pasdar), the brother of gangster Al Capone (Roberts) who assumed an alias and became a lawman.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Hart / Jimmy Capone
...
...
Kathleen Hart
...
...
...
Annie
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Joseph Littlecloud
...
Gabriel Capone
Andrew Palmacci ...
Little Jimmy
William Andrews ...
Mr. Littlecloud
Barton Heyman ...
Whitey
Norman Max Maxwell ...
Joey Costello
...
Sam Ellroy
Bill Luhrs ...
Carl Casey
Karma Ibsen ...
Bordello Madame
Edit

Storyline

While Al Capone works his way up from top-dog street gang thug captain in Chicago to U.S. crime king, his brother Jimmy Capone chooses the righteous way, actually with father's blessing, leaving Illinois for small town Harmony in Nebraska, where he adopts the alias Richard Hart, marries teacher Kathleen, has offspring and becomes its incorruptible town marshal, with a loyal Indian deputy. When his efficient fight against Al's illegal alcohol trade starts to bite financially, the gang's top lawyer is sent to buy 'Hart' or order his death, but recognizes Jimmy and arranges a fraternal reunion in Chicago. Yet money nor threats can turn Jimmy bad... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Were Brothers, United Forever ... Until One of Them Went Good.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az elveszett Capone  »

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User Reviews

 
Rather better than it has a right to be. Worth watching.
29 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Lost Capone is at something of a disadvantage. It was made for TV and it shows. It is based on fact, so it is obliged, more or less, to keep to the straight and narrow. And it tells a story based in a world which has been done to death. But oddly it is better than it has a right to be and given its limitations - TV budgets are far lower than the sums thrown at movies - it is rather good. For a start the three main roles of Jimmy, Al and Ralph Capone are handled by three actors - Adrian Pasdar, Eric Roberts and Titus Welliver - who know what they are doing and do very well with a rather meagre script. It also cleverly avoids veering into cliché which in lesser hands could so easily have happened. (There was only one line where I winced. I think it was when the girl Jimmy left behind says something along the lines of 'it could have been so different'.) I feel that had the writer/director John Gray gone for pure fiction and just used the rather quirky detail that a brother of Al Capone ended up this side of the law, then he might well had been able to introduce those elements - motivation and greater characterisation being the main ones - which make a film more interesting. The film's TV heritage is also apparent in a little syncopation in Jimmy Capone's character development: just why he becomes almost obsessed with fighting the good fight against Prohibition and exactly why this once gentle man seems to be turning into a bully - in one scene he is knocking six bells out of a suspect and has to be stopped by his deputy - are never established. Given the high quality of the rest of the production I feel John Gray would have taken the trouble to do so, but didn't quite have the resources. Given the TV brief of 'telling the story of the honest Capone' Gray is rather hamstrung. Admittedly, there is a great deal of tinkering with the factual detail: Jimmy wasn't the 'little brother' and was, in fact, older than Al. And Frank was gunned down by a huge posse of cops rather than in a gangland slaying. And the Indian sidekick who is made a deputy strikes me as being pure fiction. But none of that matters too much. Gray had his brief and within those limitations he and everyone else doesn't do too badly at all. At the end of the day The Lost Capone is a damn sight better than a great deal of the other dross made for TV. Worth watching to remind yourself that 'made for TV' isn't always that bad. Shame Gray didn't have a bigger budget and producers with more ambition.


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