6.2/10
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25 user 18 critic

Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)

Unrated | | Action, Biography, Crime | May 1958 (USA)
The criminal exploits of Public Enemy number 1, George 'Machine-Gun' Kelly, during the 1930s.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writer:

R. Wright Campbell (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles Bronson ... George R. 'Machine Gun' Kelly
Susan Cabot ... Florence 'Flo' Becker
Morey Amsterdam ... Michael Fandango
Richard Devon ... Apple
Jack Lambert ... Howard
Frank DeKova ... Harry (as Frank De Kova)
Connie Gilchrist ... 'Ma' Becker
Wally Campo ... Maize
Barboura Morris Barboura Morris ... Lynn Grayson
Lori Martin ... Sherryl Vito (as Dawn Menzer)
George Archambeault George Archambeault ... Frank
Robert Griffin ... Mr. Andrew Vito
Michael Fox ... Detective Clinton
Larry Thor Larry Thor ... Detective Drummond
Shirley Falls Shirley Falls ... Martha
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Storyline

Machine-Gun Kelly, the famous bank robber, seldom without his Thompson machine gun. The story opens with great jazzy music and a murder shown in shadows. His moll is the driving force behind his exploits. He has an exaggerated fear of death and death symbols. The sight of a coffin makes him freeze during a bank job, causing his lieutenant to lose his arm. Finally, the gang kidnaps a little girl along with her nurse and hold them for ransom. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Without His Gun He Was Naked Yellow!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Machine Gun Kelly See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

El Monte Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature-film debut of Morey Amsterdam. See more »

Goofs

While loosely--VERY loosely--based on the real "Machine Gun Kelly" (real name George Kelly), there are many incidents in this film that simply never happened. For one thing, the only time Kelly ever fired his machine gun was on on a firing range, and he certainly never killed or even shot at anyone, contrary to what is shown in this film. Also, the Kelly gang didn't kidnap a millionaire's little girl, as shown in this film; they kidnapped the millionaire himself, a wealthy brewer named Charles Urschel, and this is what eventually led to Kelly's capture and imprisonment. Also, he wasn't captured in a shootout with lawmen, as shown here; police and FBI agents in Memphis, TN, surprised him in the stairwell of a boarding house and he fell to his knees and screamed "Don't shoot, G-men!", thereby coining the name that FBI agents have been known by since then--an incident that is completely left out of this film. See more »

Quotes

Florence 'Flo' Becker: You like beautiful things Howard?
Howard: More than anything else in the world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: THE TITLE CHARACTER UPON WHICH THIS STORY IS BASED IS TRUE. The other characters, all events and firms, depicted are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lion's Stare You Down.
16 May 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Machine Gun Kelly is directed by Roger Corman and written by Robert Wright Campbell. It stars Charles Bronson, Susan Cabot, Morey Amsterdam, Jack Lambert, Frank DeKova and Connie Gilchrist. Music is by Gerald Fried and cinematography by Floyd Crosby.

George Francis Barnes Junior, AKA: Machine Gun Kelly, was a prohibition era American hoodlum, this movie is an interpretation of his time in the public enemy limelight.

Never climbing up to high energy rat-a-tat-tat action levels, Corman's "mini" biopic none the less breezes along and remains fascinating throughout. The makers paint Kelly as something of a weak willed type of guy who is impotent without his Thompson Submachine Gun. This is a man firmly dangling on the end of the puppet strings being twirled and pulled by his Moll, Flo Becker. Oh he's not beyond slapping his woman around, or bullying one of his weaker willed accomplices, but Corman and Campbell assure us that Kelly is not to be gloried, even giving him a pathological fear of dying that shows him in this movie form as something of a coward.

Of course this is just a movie, and for historical facts and figures et al, folks are warned this is not a biography to use as a starting point to explore Kelly's reputation…

Bronson as Kelly is wonderfully broody and he handles the fluctuations in Kelly's psyche with convincing skill. Cabot as Flo is a sex-bomb, and deviously appealing with it she is as well, while Amsterdam gets to play a character so colourful and kinked, it wouldn't be out of place in classic era film noir. Crosby was an ace cinematographer, capable of making the cheapest crime movie production looking a whole lot more expensive, such is the case here. While Fried provides a progressive jazz musical score that ranges from Ant Hill Mob like breeziness to funky piano based frenzies.

All in all, a good gangster movie that benefits from some well written and performed characterisations. 7/10


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