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Plot:

Machine-Gun Kelly, the famous bank robber, seldom without his Thompson machine gun. The story opens with great jazzy music and a murder shown in shadows. His moll is the driving force behind his exploits. He has an exaggerated fear of death and death symbols. The sight of a coffin makes him freeze during a bank job, causing his lieutenant to lose his arm. Finally, the gang kidnaps a little girl along with her nurse and hold them for ransom.

Also Known As: Das Raubtier, Revolver-Kelly West, La legge del mitra, Mitraillette Kelly, Пулеметчик Келли Soviet, Kelly Mitralieră, Das Raubtier West, Machine-Gun Kelly, Dominados Pelo Ódio, Machine Gun Kelly, La ley de las armas, Verinen viikonloppu, O gangster me to mystiriodes aftomato, Kelly el ametralladora, Revolver-Kelly

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  • scott-reeves
    scott reeves

    (Some Spoilers) Early Roger Corman AIP collaboration that comes across pretty good with a cool jazzy score by Gerald Fried. We find out right away that this killer of a gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Charles Bronson, is anything but a killer when he freezes at the sight of a bouquet of flowers at a local Lebanon funeral home. This happens at the start of the movie when Kelly and his gang are about to knock off a bank. Ripping off $41,000.00 in the bank robbery the gangs pick-up man Mike “Fanny” Fandango, Morey Amsterdam, takes $6,000.00 for himself before Kelly and his gang have time to split up the take.Outraged at Fanny’s two-timing Kelly later, after working him over, has Fanny served up for lunch to a caged mountain lion who ends up ripping off his left arm. It’s this act of unnecessary violence that in the end, according to the movie, has Fanny turn against Kelly which leads to his retirement as a big time gangster. Kelly ends up spending the remainder of his life in federal prisons like Alcatraz and Leavenworh dying behind bars on July 18, 1954 which just happened to be Kelly’s 59th birthday.Kelly is depicted, very accurately like he was in real life, in the movie “Machine Gun Kelly” as a cowardly bully who pushed people around only when the odds, and guns, were all in his favor. It’s later in the movie during another attempted robbery in the small Oklahoma town of Elizabeth Kelly once more screws up. Kelly panicked when he sees a coffin being delivered to a funeral home, they always seem to pop up at the wrong time for Kelly in the movie, which in the series of events that follows cause his wheel-man Maize, Wally Campo, to end up getting shot to death after a wild car chase.Howard, Jack Lambert, who was in the bank when Kelly, who was to help him rob it, chickened out escaped. Later Howard and his gang ended up being massacred by a pumped up Kelly who ambushed them playing poker at their hideout. It took Kelly’s gun moll Flo Becker, Susan Cabot, to get the wimpy hoodlum to get his courage back by taunting him in what a gutless coward he really was.Hiding out from the police at Flo’s mom’s Ma’ Becker, Connie Gilchrist, home Kelly dreams up a new scheme in making big bucks without the dangers of robbing banks; kidnapping. This new criminal adventure on Kelly’s part at first seemed to be paying dividends with Kelly & Flo grabbing little nine year old Sherry Vito,Lori Martin, as she and her nurse or nanny Lynn Gryson, Barboura Morris, were coming home from school.Contacting Sherry’s dad Mr. Andrew Vito, Robert Griffin, Kelly wants $100,000.00 in cash from him as ransom if he ever wants to see his daughter again. As you would expect by now in the movie the not too bright Kelly screws up. Having again recruited the now one armed, because of Kellys actions, “Fanny” Fandango to be his pick-up man Fanny instead, in revenge to what Kelly did to him, snitches Kelly together with his partners in crime Flo and the equally one-armed Harry, Frank DeKova, out to the police! Fanny also proved to be as brainless as his reality-challenged boss George Kelly by bragging, as the cops were closing in on Kelly’s and Flo’s hideout, that he sold him out! Whatever happened to Fanny next, getting his brains blown out from behind, had nothing to do with Machine Gun Kelly who was too chicken to do anything with the cops and FBI men shooting up the place. A terrified Kelly ended up cowering in a corner and weeping like a little boy as the lawmen finally put the cuffs on him and took this poor excuse of a gangster.Unlike the legendary hoods of that time, Dillinger Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde, George “Machine Gun” Kelly lived to eventually die in bed not in a blazing shootout with the local police or FBI Agents. Kelly’s who life as a fearless gunslinging, with his tommy gun, gangster was all a myth made up by his gun moll and partner in crime Flo Becker. It’s suspected that it was Flo, a member of the weaker sex, who really did most off the bank jobs that Kelly was credited with in the newspapers. This was done by Flo to build up her boyfriends image who in return smacked her around every chance he got. Even Kelly’s working Flo over was sissy-like in him, not being a Jack Dempsey or Joe Louis, not being able to even make a mark on Flo, who took it all in stride, no matter how hard he belted her.P.S One thing that you have to give George “Machine Gun” Kelly credit for is in him coining the word, referring to FBI Agents, G-Men. It was that word, “Please don’t shoot me I give up G-Men”, that a scared to death George Kelly uttered as he was about to be arrest and put away for good as the “G-Men” busted into his hideout.

  • kari-huuskonen
    kari huuskonen

    Roger Corman is, of course, renowned as one of the leading purveyors of schlocky B-movie fare, particularly during the late 1950s when he first came to prominence. This was a guy who always knew how to bring in his movies under budget and how to make every nickel count. However, having just watched MACHINE-GUN KELLY, a true-life biopic of a Prohibition-era gangster, I have to say that I feel Corman’s efforts were best suited to the horror and sci-fi genres.The problem with MACHINE-GUN KELLY is that it just isn’t very interesting. Despite the excitement inherent in the premise of having a bank robber as a film’s leading character, this turns out to be a talky, staged and frankly dull affair in which the paucity of the budget is more than apparent. Sure, there are some decent sequences along the way, including a couple of exciting bank robberies and some interesting interludes with a big cat, but that’s about it.The focus of the film seems to be on characterisation, and in particular providing a character assassination of Kelly himself. He’s portrayed as a guy who’s an absolute coward when he doesn’t have his gun in hand, and he ends up being manipulated by his associates and dames. Charles Bronson is great fun, of course, and it’s nice to see him being more expressive than he would be in later years, but he has little to work with and long stretches of the film fall flat.

  • brian-glass
    brian glass

    Roger Corman, now past the age of 90, is to be congratulated for making movies on a shoestring. The guy was a master, and an educated one too — engineering from Stanford. And an engaging actor too in small parts.That’s not to say the movies he made were good. The Poe stories weren’t Poe stories, just lurid tales in gaudy color with Vincent Price’s mellifluous voice haunting the sound tracks.Corman joined the parade that was turning out gangster “biographies” around 1960. This one is not as good as Rod Steiger’s “Capone” but no worse that Mickey Rooney as Baby Face Nelson.It’s routine in every detail. The acting is pedestrian when it’s not plain bad — as in Susan Cabot’s or Frank DeKova as an alcoholic gas station owner. Bronson was not yet the irresistible force for justice that he was to become, so he’s still in his sinister mode — sneering and insulting everyone.These insults are unexplainable. Everyone insults everyone else or at least teases them. Bronson never smiles except when Morey Amsterdam as a homosexual is humiliated. He’s a pustule ready to pop. Yet his colleagues seem to enjoy taunting him, especially about his fear of death, even though they must KNOW he’s going to deck them for it.It would have been nice if the dialog were in any way original but it lacks sparkle. There isn’t a memorable line in the entire movie. And it would have been so easy — “Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Machine Gun Kelly?” “I wish you was a wishin’ well so’s I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya.” (Huh?) If Kelly really were like this, he must have been an unpleasant man.

  • okseniia-shovkoplias
    okseniia shovkoplias

    Director Roger Corman is a fine, and hugely, influential director. This film however, one of five he made in 1958, is firmly a B Movie that has not dated well.An episodic, over ambitious story appears in staccato form ,part of an otherwise technically proficient and effective production.Charles Bronson plays the eponymous role with a brooding viciousness which he would reprise in the 1970’s in the, “Death Wish” series. Yet his girlfriend, gangsters moll, Susan Cabot steals the film as Flo Becker, his hard bitten side kick. Sexy and assured on screen, her subsequent off screen scandals are no surprise.When stealing money from banks fails to yield enough cash and prestige, he is goaded by Flo’s mother to step up a gear, which he does by kidnapping an industrialists daughter and her nanny for ransom. Whilst Beckers more central role in proceedings, and the influence of her mother, distinguish this from the mainstream treatment of women in films of the era, the routine slapping of women, so prevalent in films of this time, features quite prominently. yet it is the breadth of Cabots role from gangsters plaything to co-participant which is the most rewarding aspect of proceedings.The kidnapping and its consequences should be the climax of the film, instead it is rushed and falls oddly flat. Kelly’s fear of portents of death and the strange gas station owner who keeps caged wild animals is far more interesting.A bit more money, and a bit more running time would have transformed a proficient production into something far more worthwhile.

  • anthony-larsen
    anthony larsen

    All the gangster stereotypes wrapped up in one small package. If it weren’t for my curiosity to see Charles Bronson in an early work I would have gladly passed this by. You will never get the time back. Skip it.

  • riley-fechant
    riley fechant

    The movie is so so but the acting of Charles Bronson shines even in this early career low budget film.The movie is made by American International Pictures that produced many low budget movies of the ’50s with varying qualities. One thing American International Pictures did right was choosing their actors, and many future greats had their start with their movies. Charles Bronson was on the verge of breaking big with this movie. He would soon become a recognizable face with TV series “Man with the Camera”. His rise to stardom was definitely not a fluke as you can see in this movie. He plays a mean character, but he has charisma that’s not of a rough gangster without principles.The production of the movie is woefully basic, but actors are good, and the way the scene changes is very different from the movies made today, which gives the feeling of nostalgia. Maybe nostalgia is not misplaced as you see many faces that played supporting roles in many of the ’60s and ’70s movies. Not a great movie, but the presence of Charles Bronson makes this movie worth watching.

  • james-hanson
    james hanson

    Many minor thugs of the 1930s were glamorized and their exploits way overstated in movies and TV shows (like “The Untouchables”). One of the more overstated was George “Machine Gun” Kelly–a mostly unsuccessful loser of a criminal who is given star treatment here in a low- budgeted Roger Corman film. So understand…much of what you see is fiction…especially the way Charles Bronson plays the guy like he was a complete psycho. It IS enjoyable to watch…just understand it’s really not a history lesson!In the film, Kelly mostly threatens and kills his criminal associates with the exception of his girlfriend. Some he shoots, some he betrays to the cops and two he pushes into a crate with a mountain lion so it can maul them!! Clearly, this sort of gangster had trouble getting along with others!! And, throughout the entire film, Kelly is a total jerk and is totally unhinged–like a psychotic with a bad migraine. As I already said, it is cool to watch…but also patently ridiculous. No one this nutty would be allowed out in public more than about 5 minutes before the guys with nets would show up to welcome him to his new home! I think the poster currently associating the movie on IMDb is about what you see in the movie!!While most of the stuff Kelly does in the film is fiction, the second half of the movie is all about the very famous kidnapping case that brought him to national attention….and a long prison sentence. And, the craven way that he surrendered…that WAS the real George Kelly!

  • christine-stein
    christine stein

    Made in little over a week this Roger Corman quickie does its best to bury whatever legend Machine Gun Kelly had as fearless punk with a Thompson. Featuring ultimate tough Charles Bronson suffering panic attacks throughout it’s a film in a hurry with no place to go.Opening like a merry musical Kelly and the boys pull off a razzle dazzle bank robbery before going into hiding in a brothel where the edgy, insecure and sadistic tommy gunner has more mood swings, rubbing gang members the wrong way. Meanwhile his emasculating girlfriend Flo (Susan Cabot) plays with his head as they prepare and kidnap a rich kid.Bronson impresses with his cowardice and Cabot’s sassy Lady Macbeth matches him but the mostly trite dialog and lean storyline can only stretch this fiction so far.

  • raymond-shaw
    raymond shaw

    The prohibition era in the United States created an environment in which organised crime flourished and produced a number of well-known gangsters with colourful nicknames. Machine-Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, Legs Diamond and Pretty Boy Floyd are some examples. They all achieved notoriety in their careers but also became a source of fascination for the public who wanted to know more about their lives and personalities. Gangster movies were particularly popular in the 1950s and during the period 1957-1960, movies about each of the aforementioned anti-heroes were released.Roger Corman’s “Machine-Gun Kelly” provides a fast-paced and exciting account of Kelly’s career after he’d graduated from bootlegging to bank robbery and although not everything depicted is factual the characterisation of him as being dominated by his girlfriend and having an inordinate fear of death and everything associated with it (e.g. coffins, wreaths, a tattoo of a skull and crossbones etc.) is undoubtedly more accurate.George “Machine-Gun” Kelly (Charles Bronson) and two other gang members carry out a bank robbery during which Kelly kills a security guard. The three men make a well-planned escape by dumping evidence as they travel and switching cars before Kelly meets his girlfriend Flo (Susan Cabot) and they successfully get through a police checkpoint before returning to their hideout close to “Harry’s Gas Stop”. Harry (Frank DeKova) is also a member of the gang and is desperate to be paid his share of the loot. When Kelly insists that he’ll have to wait, Harry threatens to turn his caged mountain lion on him. Kelly gives in to this threat but after giving Harry the money, throws him against the cage where he immediately gets clawed by the lion.When another gang member, Fandango (Morey Amsterdam) arrives at the hideout with the proceeds of the robbery (which had been passed to him during the car switch), Flo soon realises that he’s already taken his share and this causes Kelly to lose his temper and attack Fandango. Flo then plans a second robbery and gang members Howard (Jack Lambert) and Maize (Wally Campo) who had participated in the first robbery, follow their instructions correctly but everything goes wrong when Kelly sees a coffin being delivered to a mortuary and can’t function to carry out his part of the plan. Maize gets killed as he and Howard are making their getaway and shortly after, Howard leaves the gang.Flo is the driving force behind Kelly’s exploits and with her encouragement, he decides to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy businessman. This decision proves to be disastrous and eventually leads to the end of his criminal career.Kelly’s unreliability caused by his insecurities about death and his ill-judged treatment of the other gang members, led to the disintegration of his gang and provoked Fandango into betraying him. His weakness in allowing himself to be dominated by the manipulative Flo, who had openly ridiculed and taunted him, also left his destiny in the hands of someone who was utterly self-centred and driven by greed and ambition.Charles Bronson in his first starring role capably shows the various sides of Kelly’s character and Morey Amsterdam provides the best of the supporting performances. Roger Corman’s legendary skill at directing on low budgets is evident throughout this movie and the way in which the first robbery is filmed stands out as being economical, effective and quite original.

  • tomislav-starcevic
    tomislav starcevic

    I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Charles Bronson! Let’s be honest, if you like testosterone-packed action cinema with a minimum of intellect and a maximum of violence, you simply have to be a Bronson fan. But this love and admiration has always been based on straightforward action flicks (like “Death Wish”, “10 to Midnight” and “Mr. Majestic) or – perhaps to a lesser extent – to his modest share in great classics (like “The Great Escape” or “The Magnificent Seven”). These are all terrific movies, and then I haven’t even yet mentioned all the guilty pleasures (like “Murphy’s Law”, “Telefon”, “The Stone Killer”…), but now I can safely guarantee that you simply haven’t seen the true nature and versatile talents of Charlie Bronson before you’ve seen “Machine Gun Kelly”! This is truly a spectacular one-man tour-de-force performance that provides more than enough evidence that Bronson can carry an entire film, memorize a scenario full of dialogues and bring depth and personality to a seemingly bland character! Once again my deepest sympathy and respect for Roger Corman. Not only did this man discover numerous of greatly talented people and offered them their first chances in the film industry, he often also provided them the opportunity to demonstrate their versatility and potential, like here with Charles Bronson. For those too lazy to read Wikipedia (and I don’t blame you), George “Machine Gun” Kelly was a real gangster during the 1920s and 1930s, active around the same time as other infamous and often heard names like John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson. The film states at the beginning, however, that the titular character is real but that the rest of the events and supportive characters in the story are pure fictional. That may be true, but still I ‘m sure that both Corman and Bronson carefully studied the personality and factual crime cases that George Kelly committed in great detail, because it’s too intense and plausible to be invented by a scriptwriter. The story and structure of the film are extremely well-developed. We open with a meticulously planned and executed bank robbery during which Kelly and his accomplices switch vehicles, split up in groups and hand over the loot to a fourth accomplice and successfully mislead the numerous amount of police officers. Throughout this entire robbery scheme, not a single word is spoken, yet we already find out everything we need to know about the hierarchy within the gang and a lot about the gangsters’ personas. It’s praiseworthy how Corman brings all of this into scene. In fact, if you watch both “Machine Gun Kelly” and also “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” (1967), you find it almost regrettable that he didn’t make any more factual mafia/gangster sagas. Under the subtle influence of his woman and her brothel-owning mother, Kelly wants to climb up the gangster ladder and become more than a feared bank robber. He develops a plan to kidnap the only daughter of a rich industrialist widower and becomes public enemy number one in a very brief period of time. But Machine Gun Kelly is such a megalomaniac and aggressive individual that he turns all his henchmen against him. On top of that, he has a phobia for death and dying that interfere with his plan at the most inconvenient moments. Bronson’s performance is one of the most impressive ones I’ve ever seen in a low-budgeted B-movie. He finds the exact right balance between psychopathic and pathetic, between robust and vulnerable and between petrifying and pitiable. Kelly insults and shouts at everybody, takes pleasure into hurting people and carelessly cheats on his wife, but when he spots a coffin or even just a funeral home, he cringes! With a few exceptions left, I’ve seen all of Bronson’s movies, but this is the one and only where he puts a dozen (and more) emotions into his character. Corman also ensures a fast pacing, suspense and many action-packed sequences. The only real default of the film is the rather irritating and excessively overused music.

  • dalibor-pokorny
    dalibor pokorny

    ‘Machine-Gun Kelly’ is pretty fine film-noir directed by no other than great sleaze fest master Roger Corman with Charles Bronson in his first leading role and Susan Cabot as his on-screen partner in crime. The film is loosely based on real life criminal George ‘Machine-Gun’ Kelly (in real life Kelly never killed anyone for example). Even the note in the opening credits gives us a warning – “The title character upon which this story is based is true. The other characters, all events and firms, depicted are fictional. Any similarities to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.” The film opens with up-beat jazz music and then the viewer is thrown into bank job in progress, and all of the sudden – the cheeriness of the opening titles is gone. From there on Corman manages to keep the steadily serious tone throughout the film, and cheese level is close to the minimum. Bronson does fantastic job as fictionalized ‘yellow’ gangster Kelly who is nothing without his gun. The phony tough guy image and his real fears are well balanced with such subtlety that the character never sidetracks or seem forced. Bronson’s chemistry with Susan Cabot (who is just wonderful as deceiving and tough-talking Flo) is wonderfully natural. They could be real partners in crime. Although done with small budget (and it shows in some more action packed scenes) the film is much higher in quality than usual AIP productions from that period. At least half the credit for good looks of this film definitely goes to Floyd D. Crosby’s beautiful cinematography.’Machine-Gun Kelly’ upon its release brought director Roger Corman his first serious critical praise.

  • vera-urlic
    vera urlic

    “Machine Gun Kelly” had one more minute before I was going to turn it off. It had to have been anywhere from three to five minutes at the beginning where I thought it was a silent film. There was no dialogue just some 30’s music. I was thinking, “OK now. Someone better say something.”Of course, eventually someone spoke. Then I found out what a raging a-hole Machine Gun Kelly (Charles Bronson) was. If he smiled anytime during the movie it was for sinister effect. My favorite character though had to be Flo (Susan Cabot). Such sass and I-don’t-give-a-bleep attitude. I certainly didn’t expect that for a 1958 film. She would’ve been at home just as easily here in 2018. She was cunning, tough, smart, and good looking. From the 50’s movies I’ve been watching the good looking female roles have been reserved for blonds.I liked these two characters but I had problems with the plot. Some occurrences were just a little too convenient for my tastes. Still, it was a solid movie.

  • loukianos-akritides
    loukianos akritides

    This is a pretty dull excuse for a gangster movie, but it is a curiosity worth checking out, due to its cast. Bronson is effective as Kelly, though the script is uninspired. Susan Cabot turns in another of her strangely charismatic performances as Kelly’s moll.Veteran bad guy Jack Lambert is well cast as a surly gangster, with Morey Amsterdam a bit incongruous as one of the mob. The most memorable character might well be Connie Gilchrist as the bordello madam ,who is the mother of Kelly’s girlfriend. She has to be one of the most obnoxious characters in movie historyThe Depression background is reasonably authentic, and a few action sequences are okay, but it generally is lacking in real excitement. This movie is mainly of interest to Roger Corman cultists and Charles Bronson fans. Gangster movie buffs and true crime enthusiasts might find it of minor interest.

  • iancu-dochioiu
    iancu dochioiu

    This clearly is a budget movie yet it’s quite professional, does entertain and interest. The interest is provided not so much by the action sequences which are fairly weak but by the characters – underworld but unlovely, unheroic and flawed. The kind of movie that would not make stars of its cast. Bronson does quite well – as well as he ever did – in the lead role. The rest of the cast is up to the job notably Fandango who clearly had star quality. The central idea that he was afraid of signs of death was rather crudely handled. Bronson was Bronson – a undoubted tough immobile face – not one to register fright or anxiety. Other movies would have had music, close ups and sharp editing to heighten the effect.For me the irksome thing was the visual aspect – cheap restricted interiors with flat lighting (a single general lighting set-up simply ensuring every part of the set was lit ie the shots were not preplanned and lit accordingly. Consequently there is little contrast and no deep shadows – as to be seen on live TV shows). Even the outdoor scene especially “the flats” were curiously nearly all mid grey and matt coloured. Also the cinematography – there are no memorable images. Well lit and shot movies provide images which can stand on their own as quality photographs.Worth comparing with the much superior “Asphalt Jungle”.

  • astghik-kowyowmjanyan
    astghik kowyowmjanyan

    For anyone who’s looking for the real story of George ‘Machine-Gun’ Kelly they’ll be in for a disappointment. In the wake of the success of The Untouchables on television, Hollywood was rediscovering the gangster era and the criminals that were household names in the Twenties and Thirties. Both the major studios and independents like Roger Corman took a crack at all their stories.Although Kelly in real life was as big a punk as Charles Bronson plays him here, this is not his real story by a mile. Still Bronson does a good job and in fact this was the first film in which he was given first billing. He turns out in the film to be very good at bullying people, but when in a fight for his life, does a begging act that hadn’t seen a cinematic equal since James Cagney turned yellow going to the chair in Angels With Dirty Faces.The one with the real gonads in the outfit is his wife played by Susan Cabot. In fact Kelly is even intimidated by her mother, beautifully played by Connie Gilchrist as a bordello madam. She’s a woman who’s been handling his type for years.The most interesting character in the film is Morey Amsterdam playing the flamboyantly gay Fandango, Kelly mob member. This was a time when gay was practically invisible and only an independent producer/director like Roger Corman in 1958 would have had a gay character.Would that Amsterdam played a positive role model or that a positive role model was in the film to counterbalance. Amsterdam is very stereotypical and at that time there was no organized gay movement to protest. Over twenty years later there was a great hue and cry over the film Cruising and that would have been nothing had Machine-Gun Kelly come out then. Machine-Gun Kelly is far from the best work that either Roger Corman or Charles Bronson ever did. Still it might be of interest for the curious.Oh, and Kelly never utters those words he allegedly said about the FBI giving them their nickname of G-Men.

  • pan-stepan-bashtan
    pan stepan bashtan

    Machine-Gun Kelly & his boys, along with his girl Flo, are becoming successful at knocking over banks, but distrust among the ranks leads to double crossing & murder. In addition, Kelly has a particular fear of death that causes him difficulty in performing his jobs to the best of his ability. So soon Kelly scales down his crew & turns to kidnapping.Charles Bronson, in his first leading role, stands out as a tough lead with secret vulnerabilities, and Susan Cabot is sharp, mouthy, & predictably gorgeous as his girlfriend. The story is good, as you piece together Kelly’s persona and his relationship with Flo.

  • dr-orsos-beata-ildiko
    dr orsos beata ildiko

    Maybe this movie shouldn’t be rated this high, but why carp? This is about as good as Roger Corman can get, and uncomplicated too. The script isn’t the smartest bank-robber thriller ever, but it’s got some good twists and snappy dialog to go along with the package. And unlike many of Corman’s early pictures, this one isn’t hampered in the least by its low budget. On the contrary, the level of violence is enough that he doesn’t have to spend very much on a lot of stunts or blood. If anything, it’s a worthy homage to the tommy-gun inspired gangster flicks of the 1930s, done without pretension and with a gutsy leading man.Charles Bronson stars in the title role, and it’s by some of Bronson’s own ingenuity with a part like this, and on the part of the script to try and add a little dimension to what could’ve been a one-dimensional crook into a somewhat sympathetic criminal. The moral of the story for young George Kelly might be that behind a bad-ass man there’s a far meaner bad-ass of a woman pulling the strings, bringing out the worst in her man. This isn’t so much about full-on reality in so much as Corman tries to get the pulpiest material he can without any filler. While this leaves a little character development up for grabs, and some of the usual lot of not too great acting, there’s some real fire going on in the conventional storytelling.All around, a terrific little B-movie, probably one of Corman’s best (in short, not at all a disappointment, especially for those looking for a great early Bronson in tip top shape, and with some range of emotions to boot).

  • gil-pires
    gil pires

    Another drive-in special from the guy who really knew how to make them, the ever resourceful Roger Corman. No 1958 teen-ager in the back row, front, or in-between really cared about subtleties of plot, characterization, or other adult stuff like historical accuracy. Just make the big screen go fast, tough, and sexy, especially for the hot-and-heavy back row who probably didn’t care if it was Doris Day as long as they had a place to park in the dark. Seeing the movie 50 years later, I now know that Bronson can smile and squint at the same time. Actually, he’s more animated here than the Mt. Rushmore super-star he later turned into. I doubt younger viewers can appreciate just how different he was from the pretty-boy 1950’s dominated by the likes of Tab, Troy, and Rock. Once you saw that Bronson mug, you didn’t forget.Other reviewers are right. It’s colorful characters here that count and there’s a good bunch of them, especially the tough-as-nails old bordello madam. You know it’s a drive-in special when the producers don’t even try to disguise the cat-house with a dance hall cosmetic. And where did they get that really exotic idea of the mountain lion. My guess is that Corman stopped somewhere in the desert where gas stations of old used roadside zoos as a hyped- up come-on. I thought they would use the critter to kill off one of the characters, especially the oily Amsterdam. My favorite scene is where tough guys Jack Lambert and Bronson square off in a hard-eye squinting contest. I doubt that you could pass a laser beam between them. Anyway, the movie was not exactly Oscar bait in 1958, but even now it’s still a lot more tacky fun than a lot of the prestige productions of that year.

  • artur-zahharov
    artur zahharov

    Most Bronson fans will fudge their way through his mid to late 80’s flicks in search of more classic badaxx Bronson before finding this lost classic. Save your time and bucks by going straight to this excellent crime thriller.See Bronson create the screen persona that would stay with him the rest of his long career. Bronson shines as the notorious and tough as nails Machine Gun Kelly. He plays a ruthless and mean spirited criminal with no love for anyone and a great fear of death. Great direction and pacing, great action and stylistic photography make for an enjoyable 80 minute diversion into the world of crime in early America. I’m not sure how accurate this was to the real life of Machine Gun, but Bronson brings to life his character in a way that grabbed the attention of a young Hollywood.If you love the tough guy Bronson and are trying to add to your collection, skip most of his later films (Assasination, 10 to Midnight, Kinjite, Messenger…)and go straight for Machine Gun Kelly. I promise you’ll get the mean mutha’ Bronson that you’re looking for!! Time to put this one on DVD….The Stone Killer and Telefon too for that matter

  • juraj-roca
    juraj roca

    Machine Gun Kelly (1958) ** 1/2 (out of 4) Low budget gangster film has Charles Bronson playing the title character, a harden criminal who always has his Thompson machine gun in hand but he also has a fear of being killed. This Roger Corman quickie is pretty good throughout, although the film really doesn’t offer anything new the to the genre. The movie moves at a pretty fast pace and contains plenty of action to keep fans entertained. The most interesting thing about watching this movie today is seeing the young Bronson give a performance, which he certainly wouldn’t give after becoming a star. If you’ve only seen Bronson’s later day stuff then you’re in for a treat as we see a different type of Bronson here. A fast talker, one that smiles and even one who flirts with the ladies. This adds a little more charm to the film that I’m sure it didn’t have back when it was originally released. Susan Cabot is very good as Bronson’s girlfriend, a dirty little girl who doesn’t mind looking at other men. The action is very good throughout and the film has a great music score but I wish it had tried something a little different every once in a while. The best moments in the film are the ones with Bronson messing with a caged lion.

  • carl-burns
    carl burns

    Many people have a certain degree of affection for Roger Corman’s schlock classics, “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Bucket of Blood.” “Machine Gun Kelly” was slightly earlier than those two, and it has a more conventional genre structure. It appears that Corman was attempting to make a more coherent movie than his usual churn it out in two days pictures. This is certainly not a very good movie, but a certain amount of care is taken to make it convincing. None of us would think of Charles Bronson as a great actor, but he was a step up from Corman’s usual stock company. Supporting roles are well cast, especially Morey Amsterdam as “Fandango,” Connie Gilchrest as Flo’s mother, and Frank DeKova as the tall tale spouting but cowardly gas station owner. Of course there are Corman regulars in the cast, such as Barboura Morris, Wally Campo, and one time Universal starlet, Susan Cabot (who overacts as usual). Despite a weak ending the movie is a generally fun. The silent opening robbery sequence is well staged. No doubt veteran cameraman Floyd Crosby (“High Noon,” “Oklahoma,” and uncredited co-DP on “From Here to Eternity”) deserves much of the credit for this and the decent night photography. But this is not a movie to be taken too seriously. My favorite bit is when Flo and Kelly go to hide out at Flo’s mother’s bordello. One of the working girls asks Flo’s mother if Flo is, “The new girl.” “Watch you mouth,” Flo’s mom replies, “this is my daughter!” Working girl: “Yeah, ain’t we all.”

  • erik-palmer
    erik palmer

    Machine Gun Kelly is directed by Roger Corman and written by Robert Wright Campbell. It stars Charles Bronson, Susan Cabot, Morey Amsterdam, Jack Lambert, Frank DeKova and Connie Gilchrist. Music is by Gerald Fried and cinematography by Floyd Crosby. George Francis Barnes Junior, AKA: Machine Gun Kelly, was a prohibition era American hoodlum, this movie is an interpretation of his time in the public enemy limelight. Never climbing up to high energy rat-a-tat-tat action levels, Corman’s “mini” biopic none the less breezes along and remains fascinating throughout. The makers paint Kelly as something of a weak willed type of guy who is impotent without his Thompson Submachine Gun. This is a man firmly dangling on the end of the puppet strings being twirled and pulled by his Moll, Flo Becker. Oh he’s not beyond slapping his woman around, or bullying one of his weaker willed accomplices, but Corman and Campbell assure us that Kelly is not to be gloried, even giving him a pathological fear of dying that shows him in this movie form as something of a coward. Of course this is just a movie, and for historical facts and figures et al, folks are warned this is not a biography to use as a starting point to explore Kelly’s reputation… Bronson as Kelly is wonderfully broody and he handles the fluctuations in Kelly’s psyche with convincing skill. Cabot as Flo is a sex-bomb, and deviously appealing with it she is as well, while Amsterdam gets to play a character so colourful and kinked, it wouldn’t be out of place in classic era film noir. Crosby was an ace cinematographer, capable of making the cheapest crime movie production looking a whole lot more expensive, such is the case here. While Fried provides a progressive jazz musical score that ranges from Ant Hill Mob like breeziness to funky piano based frenzies. All in all, a good gangster movie that benefits from some well written and performed characterisations. 7/10

  • danna-pustovit
    danna pustovit

    Let us get one thing straight. If you watch this movie to understand the story about the kidnapping of Oklahoma oil magnate Charlie Urchell in 1933 by George “Machine Gun” Kelly and his gang, you are going to be disappointed. The Urchell case made headlines across the nation that year because of the size of the ransom demand (over $100,000 – quite a sum in Depression America), and because in 1933 every kidnapping resurrected the hurt felt (at that time) that nobody had been arrested and made to pay for the kidnap murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. in March 1932. The newly revamped F.B.I. under J. Edgar Hoover went after the kidnappers, and actually captured Kelly and his gang (and Urchell was not hurt). But aside for one moment at the tail end of this movie where an F.B.I. man summarizes Kelly correctly (he calls him “Pop Gun” for his lack of real courage) this film is totally wrong about the story – it basically jettisons it.That isn’t necessarily bad. Hoover and his men had a fairly simple time catching the inept Kelly. Here we are watching the rise and fall of a criminal legend, played well by Charles Bronson, and directed with some restraint by Roger Corman. We see that he is fixated on being a mean, violent man, who is trying to impress his girlfriend Flo (Susan Cabot). In reality Flo was able to manipulate George, and was whatever brains the organization actually had. But the role to watch in this film is that of Morey Amsterdam as Fandango. Amsterdam, a great one liner comic in the Henny Youngman tradition, is best recalled for his regular role as “Buddy Sorrell” in THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW in the 1960s, especially when confronting his bete noir Richard Deacon as producer “Mel Cooley”. Here he plays a petty criminal who is injured on the way up by Kelly, and helps bring him down. Given acceptance of Corman’s production value limits and the script’s, Amsterdam’s Fandango is a really vicious character, and a welcome surprise to people who just recall the marvelous comic performer. For him and Bronson’s performance I’ll give this a “7”.

  • kosheleva-lora-stanislavovna
    kosheleva lora stanislavovna

    A unique crime story — a small-time thief (Bronson) is turned into a legend by his tough-as-nails moll (Cabot). “Machine Gun” robs a chain of banks and finally turns his ambitions to kidnapping — hounded all the way by a compulsive fear of death. The photography by Crosby is elegant, the acting of the lead pair and the supporting cast are all pretty much dead-on. A tight, efficient telling of a memorable tale, peopled with all sorts of interesting characters (the gas station owner/accomplice who keeps a deadly menagerie behind the garage, Cabot’s mom who keeps telling Kelly what a disappointment he is because he hasn’t broken into the “big time”, etc.). Interestingly, this film takes the gangster genre beyond film noir (finally, after 3 decades) by making his characters not only self-loathing but WORTHY of self-loathing!One of Corman’s very best films as a director.

  • aysenur-arsoy
    aysenur arsoy

    George Kelly is a small-time crook looking to make some big newspaper headlines to impress his imposing moll Flo. After one successful bank robbery after another, one turns into a botch job with Kelly’s phobia of death leaving on his men dead and the other wanting his blood. After ridding that problem, due to Flo’s pressure to do something. She influences him into kidnapping a wealthy businessman’s daughter, but this would lead onto their downfall with Kelly’s lurking weakness coming through. Roger Corman does it again. “Machine-Gun Kelly” is another fine example of perfect film-making on a minimal budget and time restraint, where he’s still able to deliver a sturdy, brisk and fleshed-out b-gangster film with a professional touch. The picture looked good, and photographer Floyd Crosby’s sharp and shadowy handling brought out the film’s brooding ambiance. While Gerald Fried’s jazzy music score keeps it all in an exciting and saucy mood. Corman’s style isn’t overly jumpy, but more so tight, tough and namely suggestive in its actions and basic story telling. Actually there’s plenty of time and focus on the material, and that of the complex character of Kelly. One of the major curiosities however, would be that of Charles Bronson’s sterling performance as George “Machine-Gun” Kelly. For his first lead role he plays it accordingly, with an on edge and moody shade of an infant bully. Equally as impressive was his icy co-star Susan Cabot. Her vividly titular performance as the cheeky, sly broad of Kelly’s is dominantly manipulative. The support cast (Morey, Frank De Kova, Jack Lambert, Richard Devon, Connie Gilchrist) added much-welcomed colour and personality. Corman’s straight-laced direction is efficiently organised and he brews up a smoky atmosphere with its authentically wishy-washy 1930’s settings. R. Wright Campbell’s pulp material is loaded with a snappy, economical and highly engaging script and is loosely based on a 1930s gangster. It’s actually an innovative little set-up with some effective psychology brushes and a downbeat ending that fits right at home with the central character’s ineptness of his reputation. Kelly’s character really sticks out a like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the hardened criminal figures. It’s all about the power and name one achieves from these acts is what they’re after, not just the doe. This what makes Kelly look uncomfortable. Even with its limitations, it turns out to be a highly entertaining and satisfying low-scale crime caper by Roger Corman.