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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

LEPKE (1975)

Producing partners Yoram Globus & Menahem Golan were in their heyday during the ‘70s & ‘80s, with scores of pics, mostly aimed at the international action market . . . and mostly terrible. While the boys aimed low, at least they hit their target. It was only when they tried for quality, or when Golan put on his directing hat, that their films went from ignorable to unbearable. Poor Tony Curtis, in his first big screen outing in half a decade, really tries to take things seriously, and he’s not half bad as the Murder, Inc. mob boss of the ‘20s & ‘30s. But under Menahem’s slapdash megging, there’s literally not a single believable moment in the whole crappy production. Even a can’t-miss shootout in an amusement park becomes a time-period destroying hoot, like everything else in here. The supporting cast is largely faceless, but attention must be paid to Anjanette Comer, jaw-droppingly terrible as Lepke’s inamorata. Where did she come from?  And who could ever imagine Milton Berle as her father?

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: The HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE hasn’t quite reached the Lepke era, and is not without missteps of its own, but it’s bound to be a huge improvement over this when it gets there.

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