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Mar 122014

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Jason Robards as Scarface teams with George Segal (in a rare bad-guy role) to battle the Feds. The 1929 massacre is bloody, indeed.

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  3 Responses to “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”

  1. 24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great “Corman” gangster film, March 21, 2006
    Brian C. Lawton (Brooklyn, New York United States) –

    This review is from: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (DVD)

    Roger Corman does it again in this late sixties version of the most

    brutal day in probition history. This love letter to Al Capone may

    come off to some as a stylist,violent cartoon but to those know Mr.

    Corman’s work will accept this version as exploitive entertainment.

    Presented in a “matter of Fact” narrative (voiced by the late great

    Paul Frees) this movie centers around the bloody day itself and how

    it was arranged from start to finish by Mr. Capone played by an all

    out,over the top Jason Robards. And what a Rouges Gallery of stock

    players George Segal,Ralph Meeker,Kurt Kruger,John Agar,Bruce Dern,

    Harold Stone to name a few and look quick for a young Jack Nicholson as a henchmen.

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  2. 25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A “Massacre” of the facts, but a fun one, November 16, 2003
    DBW (Chicago, IL USA) –

    “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” is the kind of film that needs to be accepted on its own terms. To expect by-the-book authenticity, or post-1970 graphic violence, or extensive location shooting, is asking far too much. There’s an early scene in which George Segal, as one of the murderous Guesenberg brothers, intimidates a speakeasy owner into buying beer supplied by Bugs Moran. His tactics are similar to those employed by James Cagney in “Public Enemy,” and it is this little homage that should tell viewers that the film is going to make a mere pretense of accuracy – and that this is just fine. “Massacre” is a thoroughly entertaining film that never tries to be anything more or less than that.

    Fred Steiner’s jangling, dissonant score deserves a mention. It has a Charleston-like rhythm, dominated by a piano. It’s an oddly effective thing, heard to best effect over the end title.

    Among the cast, no one turns in what could be called a brilliant performance, but Ralph Meeker probably comes off best as Bugs Moran, particularly as he utters the crime boss’ most famous quote, near the end. Jean Hale definitely got my attention as Segal’s girlfriend, and Clint Richie is appropriately sly as Machine Gun Jack McGurn, who masterminded the title killings.

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  3. 29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Obvious Inaccuracies Bother Me, October 17, 1999
    C. W. Emblom “Bill Emblom” (Ishpeming, Michigan USA) –

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    I found the movie enjoyable even though Jason Robards hardly resembles Al Capone. The movie has Al Capone slitting the throat of rival Joe Aiello on a train as he attempted to leave Chicago before the Massacre was even planned. However, Joe Aiello died from a hail of bullets on October 23, 1930, as he left an apartment building, more than a year after the Massacre took place. This would have been an easy fact to substantiate, yet the film contains this unnecessary error. The movie also has Albert Anselmi and John Scalise murdered by Capone with a baseball bat in “Capone’s mansion” following a banquet honoring them. The killings actually took place in a Hammond, Indiana, road house. In addition, Joe Guinta was a third one clubbed to death at that time. Finally the movie includes Boris Chapman and Adolph Moeller as two who took part in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. That may or may not be, but no mention is made of Fred “Killer” Burke who it is widely believed to be one who definitely took part in the killings. The movie was very entertaining and worthwhile, but the inaccuracies that I have mentioned could certainly have been easily checked out.

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