Written by / 3/20/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ROD STEIGER & FAY SPAIN IN THE SPARSE DEADLY 'AL CAPONE'

Year of Release: 1959
Like Jack Nicholson (intentionally or otherwise) displayed a little of pal Bruce Dern in THE SHINING, perhaps Marlon Brando was influenced by his ON THE WATERFRONT brother in THE GODFATHER since Rod Steiger had played AL CAPONE with facial contortions that seem so natural that, if done by a lesser talent, would look contrived and pretentiously overboard...

CaponeScore: ****
In fact, this biopic is so subtle he seems more a blue collar ruffian than outright gangster: A sort of throwback to the olden days of Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson, Steiger's performance brings the mafia henchman turned head honcho through sparse narration by James Gregory as a trailing cop...

Warner Archive Blue Cover
Although there's no suspense that he might be kept from doing what he does best: killing to climb the ladder with a string of creative whacks, and yet the most improbable con is landing the wife of one of his otherwise incidental hits: And in that, Fay Spain, who'd be Hyman Roth's walk-on yet memorable wife in THE GODFATHER 2, is beyond a common love interest since it is extremely interesting how he seduces this beautiful mother and widow with the same determination that he takes on surrounding, paranoid and lethal enemies during the superior first half while the second deals mainly with his waning popularity leading to a rushed exile in Miami...

But no matter where and how the film rides out, and along with crooked reporter Martin Balsam who verbally toys with Capone as if he were the moll instead of Spain, it's Rod Steiger who is always fun to watch and, unlike brother Brando in the aforementione 1972 Oscar Winning mob classic, it's his and his job alone to make an otherwise pretty-good feature pretty damn fantastic to watch, and keep rewatching. You'll always see something different in his reactions to the spontaneously violent actions: He steals both the movie and the story that it's all loosely yet tightly based upon.
Photos Screen Captures of the Warner Bros Neo Classic Gangster Rod Steiger starring AL CAPONE
Murvyn Vye as Bugs Moran and company give quite a blasting to Al Capone
Rod Steiger and Fay Spain in Al Capone Rod Steiger Fay Spain Al Capone Fay Spain
Rod Steiger and Fay Spain in Al Capone Rod Steiger Fay Spain Al Capone Fay Spain
Rod Steiger and Fay Spain in Al Capone Rod Steiger Fay Spain Al Capone Fay Spain
Rod Steiger and Fay Spain in Al Capone Rod Steiger Fay Spain Al Capone Fay Spain
Rod Steiger and Fay Spain in Al Capone Rod Steiger Fay Spain Al Capone Fay Spain
On the left is Capone thug played by Showgirls and Cage Italian thug-role actor Al Ruscio AL CAPONE
Planning a big party during... let's see... St. Valentine's Day... Yeah, that works...
Rod Steiger doing what resembles an imitation of a platypus flanked by Martin Balsam and mentor Nehemiah Persoff
This is what Don Corleone would look like
Al Ruscio Rod Steiger Al Capone Al Ruscio Al Capone Rod Steiger eats an apple
Fay Spain takes a liking finally to Rod Steiger's Al Capone Fay Spain Al Capone
Bad guys in a bad guy movie Robert Gist as O'Banion and Lewis Charles and Weiss
Rod Steiger is an underrated Al Capone in the extremely underrated late gangster biopic AL CAPONE
A great humble smile from Sally Todd as the mob boss moll in AL CAPONE w/ Rod Steiger
Al Capone played the very best (take that De Niro) in AL CAPONE by Rod Steiger
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