Al Capone

  • 1959
  • 1 HR 45 MIN
  • NR
  • Biography, Crime

Gritty biopic of one of the world's most ruthless men, with a strong, exacting performance by Steiger as the power-hungry Capone. This faithful film noir production details the meteoric rise of Capone to leadership of the mob at age 25, making $50 million a year from bootleg hootch. Steiger becomes a bouncer in 1919 Chicago for De Santis, an opera-loving,...read more

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Gritty biopic of one of the world's most ruthless men, with a strong, exacting performance by Steiger as the power-hungry Capone. This faithful film noir production details the meteoric rise of Capone to leadership of the mob at age 25, making $50 million a year from bootleg hootch.

Steiger becomes a bouncer in 1919 Chicago for De Santis, an opera-loving, old-time crime czar, in order to carry out Persoff's orders to kill De Santis because the old man will not traffic in illegal booze. (Capone actually killed Big Jim Colosimo while disguised as a truck driver delivering pasta

to Colosimo's cafe in 1920.) We witness the gang wars between Steiger and Persoff and the North Side Irish gang headed by Vye, Gist, and Charles, culminating in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. An epilogue shows Steiger going mad in Alcatraz as he suffers from paresis of the brain (a result of

untreated syphilis).

This is unquestionably one of Steiger's greatest screen performances, enhanced at every turn by Wilson's quick-paced direction and Ballard's crisp camerawork. Performing well in their supporting roles are Gregory as the honest cop (based on Captain John Stege of the Chicago Police Department) and

Balsam as the corrupt news reporter (modeled after Jake Lingle of the Tribune, who was murdered by Capone gunman Leo Vincent Brothers in 1931 for going over to the side of the Irish mob).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Gritty biopic of one of the world's most ruthless men, with a strong, exacting performance by Steiger as the power-hungry Capone. This faithful film noir production details the meteoric rise of Capone to leadership of the mob at age 25, making $50 million… (more)

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