This late-1920s gangster pastiche is set in upstate New York, where Jack "Legs" Diamond (Josh Mosby) and Dutch Schultz (Lance Henriksen) battle each other for control of New York City's Prohibition liquor market, much to the increasing annoyance of Lucky Luciano (Billy Drago), who runs the
"Commission" that coordinates territorial mob activities.
Ex-World War One aerial ace Bone Conn (John Christian) hops off a freight train and joins a hobo camp led by Washburn (Allan Gilmore). Crooked sheriff Red (Rick Washburn), who's being paid off by Legs to protect his booze-smuggling truck routes from Canada to New York, burns the camp and arrests
Bone. In jail, Bone impresses Legs with his attitude and fists; the gangster gives him a job, along with the youngster, Jimmy (J. Gregory Smith), whom Bone takes under his wing. But Bone, who soon starts bedding down Legs' moll Kiki (Julie Lynch), is a G-man working undercover for FBI agent Baker
(Martin Kove) and reports regularly on the activities of Legs and his chief henchman, Max (Jeffrey Howard), as they trade truck hijackings and shootouts with Dutch. Eventually, Luciano--who's waiting for Dutch and Legs to kill each other off, so he can take over their rackets--fingers Bone as a
lawman, and all hell breaks loose. Bone kills Max, Legs murders Jimmy, and Washburn--whom Bone brings in to help demolish Legs' big booze shipment--kills Sheriff Red. Bone arrests Legs but allows him to go to his apartment, where he's gunned down by Dutch. Upset that Bone is a cop, Kiki
disappears, and at Legs' sparsely attended funeral, Baker tells Bone that his boss, Hoover, is upset that he didn't get the publicity for nailing Legs.
One suspects that the makers of this picture have seen maybe one too many episodes of "The Untouchables." THE OUTFIT (not to be confused with the brisk and tawdry 1974 mob picture directed by John Flynn) is almost unbelievable in every respect, starting with the history-ignoring script by
Whitney Ransick and director J. Christian Ingvordsen. The story line is choppy and incoherent, and every once in a while there's a totally pointless scene, like a lengthy sexual encounter between Jimmy and Suzy (Marle Healy, in her sole scene), which seems to exist solely to give a little spice to
the dreary proceedings. There is no physical verisimilitude to Therese Deprez's production design--everything here looks brand spanking new, from costumes and haircuts to props and vehicles. THE OUTFIT is the kind of low-budget picture in which vintage cars are never wrecked in the chases and
shootouts, because they have to be returned unscratched to the rental agency. The cinematography, by Steven W. Kaman (who also co-produced and--as "Steve" Kaman--edited this movie) is badly over-lit, which gives the film the feel of a 1970s TV sitcom. The direction by Ingvordsen is lame
throughout, and the action sequences which have helped save many a similarly poor movie, are listless.
THE OUTFIT features a few solid B-cast members, but to little avail. Martin Kove has only a few scenes, and the dependably loony Billy Drago is surprisingly subdued as Luciano. Lance Henriksen (ALIENS), caught slumming, capably plays Dutch Schultz as a snarling psychopath. This direct-to-video
movie was shot--apparently at varying times of the year, since vibrant fall foliage alternates randomly with spring greenery--in upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: This late-1920s gangster pastiche is set in upstate New York, where Jack "Legs" Diamond (Josh Mosby) and Dutch Schultz (Lance Henriksen) battle each other for control of New York City's Prohibition liquor market, much to the increasing annoyance of Lucky L… (more)