Review: ‘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).

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
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading