Capone (1975)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Gangster Film, Biopic [feature], Crime Drama  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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This entry into the 1970's cycle of gangster films is entertaining -- but often for the wrong reasons. Howard Browne's script piles on characters and incidents but this density of narrative fails to disguise how derivative and familiar its "rise and fall of a mobster" storyline is. It doesn't help that the script will offend many crime buffs because it mangles the chronology of the events it presents and also creates a number of events that never occurred. Director Steve Carver's work is competent but impersonal, lending little flair or inspiration to the material. Ben Gazzara puts on an impressive display of acting pyrotechnics in the lead role but goes so far over the top that his work descends into pure camp spectacle. That said, his theatrics often prop up the weak material here so it's a trade-off. The best performances come from the supporting players: Susan Blakely is alluring as Capone's uninhibited party-girl moll, Dick Miller is amusing as a crooked cop angling for some of Capone's money and a young Sylvester Stallone delivers a nice, understated turn as Capone's right-hand man Frank Nitti. In short, Capone is a humdrum quickie that offers more camp laughs than it does gangster thrills. It is best left to genre completists.