Synopsis by Mark Deming
Tony Curtis stars as the feared leader of "Murder Incorporated" in this underworld drama based on the life of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter. Lepke began his criminal career as a petty thief in his teens; a stretch in prison taught him the finer points of life on the wrong side of the law. After getting out of jail, Lepke and his pal Gurrah Shapiro (Warren Berlinger) join a gang who hire themselves out as strikebreakers, and the vicious but clever Lepke soon rises through the ranks. Lepke makes powerful friends with mob kingpins "Lucky" Luciano (Vic Tayback) and Albert Anastasia (Gianni Russo), and when high-ranking but deranged gangster "Dutch" Schultz (John Durren) announces he's going to kill District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey (Richard C. Adams), Lepke is chosen to rub "Dutch" out. Lepke handles the assignment well, and he's able to strike up a deal with the various Mafia families -- he'll form a separate organization to handle executions and assassinations, and he'll hire out his services to any mobsters who need it, provided the mob bosses approve the killings. Between "Murder Incorporated" and a drug ring operated with Luciano, Lepke has become a wealthy and important man in the underworld, but ironically he finds soon himself himself investigated by the man whose life he unwittingly saved -- Dewey. Lepke also features comedian and impressionist Vaughn Meader as the voice of Walter Winchell.
drug-dealer, gangster, government, killing, prison