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The Don Is Dead

This plodding mafiosi actioner lacks color, verisimilitude and least of all, convincing action. Pic [from Marvin H. Albert's novel, adapted by Christopher Trumbo and Michael Phillip Butler] is contrived concoction about internecine mafia warfare with the young turks (Frederic Forrest and Robert Forster) trying to wrest control from underworld establishment represented by Don Angelo (Anthony Quinn).

Cast:
Anthony Quinn Frederic Forrest Robert Forster Al Lettieri Angel Tompkins Charles Cioffi

This plodding mafiosi actioner lacks color, verisimilitude and least of all, convincing action. Pic [from Marvin H. Albert’s novel, adapted by Christopher Trumbo and Michael Phillip Butler] is contrived concoction about internecine mafia warfare with the young turks (Frederic Forrest and Robert Forster) trying to wrest control from underworld establishment represented by Don Angelo (Anthony Quinn).

The criminal figures here aren’t quite out of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight [1971], but they could in slightly different circumstances be passed off as incompetent, small-time hoods in, say, mid-Nebraska.

Richard Fleischer’s direction doesn’t help since nearly each scene appears prolonged far beyond need. Even violent scenes come off as clumsy and antiseptic.

Quinn fares as well as can be expected while Forster overacts as the hotheaded upstart. Best in the cast are Forrest and Louis Zorich as the triumphant young turk and the Don’s confidante, respectively.

The Don Is Dead

Production: Universal. Director Richard Fleischer; Producer Hal Wallis; Screenplay Marvin H. Albert; Camera Richard H. Kline; Editor Edward A. Biery; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Preston Ames

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 115 MIN.

With: Anthony Quinn Frederic Forrest Robert Forster Al Lettieri Angel Tompkins Charles Cioffi

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