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Friday, April 30, 2010

King Of The Roaring 20s (1961)

Joseph Newman (THIS ISLAND EARTH) directs this biopic on the mobster Arnold Rothstein. As with most gangster biopics, it plays fast and loose with the facts. As a gangster movie, it’s not bad. David Janssen plays Rothstein, a notorious gambler who became a kingpin of organized crime (even alleged to have been behind the 1919 Black Sox Scandal) with an unusual restraint (perhaps too much restraint), quite a different mobster than the Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel types. A couple of performers stand out. Mickey Rooney as Rothstein’s doomed childhood friend and the underrated Dianne Foster as Rothstein’s ex-showgirl wife. Jack Carson, Keenan Wynn, Joseph Schildkraut, William Demarest and Diana Dors (wasted) co-star.

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