Machine Gun Kelly beats out a tattoo of the 1930s in its account of the criminal career of one of that decade's most notorious outlaws. Roger Corman has taken a good screenplay and made a first-rate little picture out of the depressing but intriguing account of a badman's downfall.
Machine Gun Kelly beats out a tattoo of the 1930s in its account of the criminal career of one of that decade’s most notorious outlaws. Roger Corman has taken a good screenplay and made a first-rate little picture out of the depressing but intriguing account of a badman’s downfall.
Charles Bronson plays Kelly, shown as an undersized sadist who grows an extra foot or so as soon as he gets a submachine gun tucked under his arm. His exploits, proceeding from penny ante robbery to bigtime kidnapping, are adroitly and swiftly shown.
Bronson gives a brooding, taut performance. Susan Cabot is good as the woman behind his deeds, and Morey Amsterdam contributes an offbeat portrayal of a squealer who has the final revenge of turning Kelly in. Gerald Fried, using piano and taps for an unusual and striking combination, has done a fine progressive jazz score.
Machine Gun Kelly
American-International. Director Roger Corman; Producer Roger Corman; Screenplay R. Wright Campbell; Camera Floyd Crosby; Editor Ronald Sinclair; Music Gerald Fried; Art Director Daniel Haller
(B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1958. Running time: 84 MIN.
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