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Al Capone (1959)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 25 March 1959 (USA)
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2:29 | Trailer
A chronicle of the rise and fall of Chicago crime boss Al Capone during the Prohibition era.

Director:

Richard Wilson
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Al Capone
Fay Spain ... Maureen Flannery
James Gregory ... Sgt. Schaefler
Martin Balsam ... Mac Keeley
Nehemiah Persoff ... Johnny Torrio
Murvyn Vye ... George 'Bugs' Moran
Robert Gist ... Dion O'Banion
Lewis Charles ... Earl Weiss
Joe De Santis ... Big Jim Colosimo
Sandy Kenyon ... Bones Corelli
Raymond Bailey ... Lawyer Brancato
Al Ruscio ... Tony Genaro
Louis Quinn ... Joe Lorenzo
Ron Soble ... John Scalisi
Steve Gravers ... Albert Anselmi
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Storyline

In this unusually accurate biography, small-time hood Al Capone comes to Chicago at the dawn of Prohibition to be the bodyguard of racketeer Johnny Torrio. Capone's rise in Chicago gangdom is followed through murder, extortion, and political fraud. He becomes head of Chicago's biggest "business," but moves inexorably toward his downfall and ignominious end. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Authentic Story Of An Incredible Era! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Al Capone Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$550,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nehemiah Persoff, who plays Rod Steiger's (Al Capone's) boss, was the cab driver who drives Steiger's character to his fate (at the tail-end of the famous "I Could Have Been A Contender" scene) in On The Waterfront. See more »

Quotes

Al Capone: Nobody leaves Al Capone, you understand that?
Maureen Flannery: Well I do!
Al Capone: Oh no, you don't!
Maureen Flannery: Would you do me a favor please? Would you kill me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Las travesuras de Morucha (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Down Memory Lane
13 April 2003 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

This 1959 picture is yet another cinematic retelling of the life of mobster Al Capone, and is better than most I've seen. Rod Steiger as Big Al seems miscast at first but wins me over in the end. Steiger was a born ham, but a fine actor for all his Methodish mannerisms, and has moments in the movie in which he's almost hypnotically effective. Yes, it's a performance, I kept on telling myself, but so was Capone himself. Over the top, perhaps, but Capone was himself more than a little touched, and Steiger nails this aspect of Capone to perfection, and is more effective in capturing the big guy's capriciousness than Robinson or Muni before him. Steiger's Capone isn't merely a gangster, he's a man possessed.

Director Richard Wilson's keeps this fairly modestly budgeted film moving at a fast pace, and it's never boring. In supporting roles, Fay Spain, Martin Balasm, James Gregory and Nehemiah Persoff are all effective. The black and white of this film evokes the late fifties more than the roaring twenties, and the movie at times feels a little like an episode of The Untouchables, at other times like Some Like It Hot. The Jazz Age was itself hot as the Eisenhower era was drawing to a close. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels were coming back into vogue. O'Neill revivals on and off-Broadway were becoming commonplace. Al Capone captures this nostalgic mood, but really makes me nostalgic for the fifties more than for the twenties, for a time when fairly recent history could still be viewed as larger than life, the stuff of serious art and contemplation, not just fashionable nostalgia. Al Capone the movie is more nostalgia than serious art, but it touches on important issues, concerning violence, friendship, the role of government and the press as they pertain to and often collude with the criminal element, that still resonate today.


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