A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration. He calls himself a social reformer. But what he does is stir up trouble--trouble he soon finds he can't control.
An alien agent from the distant planet Davana is sent to Earth via a high-tech matter transporter. There, he terrorizes Southern California in an attempt to acquire blood for his dying race, the result of a devastating nuclear war.
In Apache territory, a supply Army column heads for the next fort, an ex-scout searches for the killer of his Indian wife, and a housewife abandons her husband in order to rejoin her Apache lover's tribe.
Machine-Gun Kelly, the famous bank robber, seldom without his Thompson machine gun. The story opens with great jazzy music and a murder shown in shadows. His moll is the driving force behind his exploits. He has an exaggerated fear of death and death symbols. The sight of a coffin makes him freeze during a bank job, causing his lieutenant to lose his arm. Finally, the gang kidnaps a little girl along with her nurse and hold them for ransom.Written by
While loosely--VERY loosely--based on the real "Machine Gun Kelly" (real name George Kelly), there are many incidents in this film that simply never happened. For one thing, the only time Kelly ever fired his machine gun was on on a firing range, and he certainly never killed or even shot at anyone, contrary to what is shown in this film. Also, the Kelly gang didn't kidnap a millionaire's little girl, as shown in this film; they kidnapped the millionaire himself, a wealthy brewer named Charles Urschel, and this is what eventually led to Kelly's capture and imprisonment. Also, he wasn't captured in a shootout with lawmen, as shown here; police and FBI agents in Memphis, TN, surprised him in the stairwell of a boarding house and he fell to his knees and screamed "Don't shoot, G-men!", thereby coining the name that FBI agents have been known by since then--an incident that is completely left out of this film. See more »
Opening credits: THE TITLE CHARACTER UPON WHICH THIS STORY IS BASED IS TRUE. The other characters, all events and firms, depicted are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »
Corman takes the gangster genre beyond film noir, finally
A unique crime story -- a small-time thief (Bronson) is turned into a legend by his tough-as-nails moll (Cabot). "Machine Gun" robs a chain of banks and finally turns his ambitions to kidnapping -- hounded all the way by a compulsive fear of death. The photography by Crosby is elegant, the acting of the lead pair and the supporting cast are all pretty much dead-on. A tight, efficient telling of a memorable tale, peopled with all sorts of interesting characters (the gas station owner/accomplice who keeps a deadly menagerie behind the garage, Cabot's mom who keeps telling Kelly what a disappointment he is because he hasn't broken into the "big time", etc.).
Interestingly, this film takes the gangster genre beyond film noir (finally, after 3 decades) by making his characters not only self-loathing but WORTHY of self-loathing!
One of Corman's very best films as a director.
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