4.8/10
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29 user 2 critic

Gangster Story (1959)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | December 1959 (USA)
Hoodlum Jack Martin is on the lam and robs a small town bank which brings the local cops and local crime boss into the mix.

Director:

Walter Matthau

Writers:

Richard Grey (story), Paul Purcell | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Matthau ... Jack Martin
Carol Grace ... Carol Logan - Librarian
Bruce MacFarlane Bruce MacFarlane ... Earl J. Dawson
Garry Walberg ... Adolph (as Gerrett Wallberg)
Raikin Ben-Ari Raikin Ben-Ari ... 'Plumber' - a Hood (as Raiken BenAri)
David Leonard ... W. Palmer - Bank President
John Albright John Albright ... Henchman
Clegg Hoyt Clegg Hoyt ... Caretaker at Country Club (as Clegg Hoit)
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Storyline

Gangster and cop killer Jack Martin is on the run from the law, and hides out in a small town. Low on funds, he engineers a clever bank robbery that yields him a big bundle. Now he has not only the cops and the FBI after him, but also the local crime boss, who's outraged that an outsider can pull off a heist like that in his territory and not cut him in on it. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed where it actually happened... the true story of Jack Martin !

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gangsterskaya istoriya See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Swen Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (TITRA)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Walter Matthau and his newlywed wife, co-star Carol Grace, were so broke by the time this film was made (mainly due to Matthau's gambling debts) that the couple had to pawn most of their wedding gifts just to afford to pay rent. They were so desperate financially that Matthau accepted the role of director and star for only $2,500. He later commented to the effect that it was the worst movie ever made, then adding, "Let me put it this way. It was the worst film I ever made. It was a poor script by a hack writer and a famous cardiovascular surgeon who produced the film with his brother who was a textile manufacturer from Philadelphia." He said the film "premiered at Loew's in Newark, and was so bad it never crossed the Hudson." See more »

Connections

Featured in Walter Matthau: Diamond in the Rough (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Itch for Scratch
Music by Leonard Barr
Lyrics by Ronald Bloomberg
Sung by Ted Stanford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you like low budget movies... Intimate Portrait
1 December 2005 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

I do like low budget movies, they often have an intimacy that is hard to maintain in larger productions with more people involved. Mistakes and goofs can be accepted as additional content or message, they can even lend the movie its own personal charm. This is certainly the case in Gangster Story – definitely a low budget affair. I have the impression that for Walter Matthau this was a very personal affair. The basic theme is the relationship between him and the female lead who happens to be his wife in real life. Matthau plays a funnyman with a dark streak and a tendency for self destruction, Carol Grace a demure librarian with a will who starts a love affair with the gangster Matthau plays. The great achievement of the movie lies in the fact that it successfully shows that two people from entirely different backgrounds who meet by chance are attracted to each other. From the beginning there is a palpable erotic tension between the two. Difficult to say how this is communicated to the audience, there is not much kissing going on or any nudity. But then one has to remember that despite of the grainy black and white, the clipped dialog and the not very inspired direction that one is watching two top performers in a character driven movie. The story is not very original but tight and minimalistic. Thanks to the good acting performances it works quite well nonetheless.

I like to think that Matthau and Grace tried to analyse their own characters and their relationship in real life by means of making Gangster Story, I also like to think that Matthau at that time dabbled in directing the way John Cassavetes did. It might be just as well that he didn't pursue this part of movie making. The only thing I do regret is that Carol Grace cannot be seen in more movies. Her only other part was, according to IMDb, in Mikey an Nicky, where she played alongside John Cassavetes and Peter Falk in a performance that was equally memorable.


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