The George Raft Story

  • 1961
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Not too many people have had their life stories filmed while they were still alive, but George Raft's life reads like a series of show-business plots. Ray Danton, who bears no resemblance to Raft, wisely foregoes any attempt at duplication and seeks to create his own interpretation of the well-known actor. Danton is at first a dancer in New York's Hell's...read more

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Not too many people have had their life stories filmed while they were still alive, but George Raft's life reads like a series of show-business plots. Ray Danton, who bears no resemblance to Raft, wisely foregoes any attempt at duplication and seeks to create his own interpretation of

the well-known actor. Danton is at first a dancer in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood who works in a gangster-owned nightspot where he becomes friendly with all the lowlifes and highbrows who frequent the place. (It may be apocryphal, but some believe that it was Raft's character that was

the basis for the movie star in COTTON CLUB.) When a lecherous crime boss lusts after a comely cigarette girl, Danton comes to her aid and is rewarded by being bounced out of a job. He goes to Hollywood and gets his big chance in Howard Hawks's SCARFACE, where he establishes his coin-flipping,

tough-talking persona. (Despite Muni's brilliant performance in that film, Raft's work was not overlooked and he was soon getting role after role.) Danton begins hanging out with the California mob and straddles the worlds between Hollywood and Hoodlumwood. His career beginning to wane, he gets

involved with a casino operation in Havana, then has that rug pulled out from under him when Fidel Castro wrests power from Batista in 1959. His story ends as he gets the part in SOME LIKE IT HOT where he parodied himself. Five different women are seen as part of his life: London, Mansfield,

Chase, Nichols, and Moore, each little more than a brief interlude. Several gangsters are seen: Brand as Capone, Dexter as Bugsy Siegel, plus a series of unidentified bent-nose types. Danton's acting career continued until he decided that he liked being behind the camera. He has since gone on to

become a successful TV director for "Cagney and Lacey," "Quincy," and several other shows. Danton has a beautiful singing voice, and appeared on Broadway in "110 in the Shade," a musical stage version of THE RAINMAKER, as well as other musicals. Married at one time to actress Julie Adams, he also

spent many years in Europe with French star Pascale Petit with whom he has a daughter.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Not too many people have had their life stories filmed while they were still alive, but George Raft's life reads like a series of show-business plots. Ray Danton, who bears no resemblance to Raft, wisely foregoes any attempt at duplication and seeks to cre… (more)

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