Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
George Machine Gun Kelly (Charles Bronson) is one of the
toughest gangsters there is - not only does he pull incredibly daring
heists, he also has an extremely short fuse and doesn't even refrain from
beating up his own accomplices should they try to argue with him. And in
one particularly gruesome scene, he punishes his accomplice Fandango
(Morey Amsterdam), who tried to cheat him out of part of the loot from the
latest bank job, by pushing him against the cage of a mountain lion, so
the beast tears off Fandango's arm. Only his moll, Flo (Susan Cabot),
seems to be able to control him - she actually even thinks she made him
-, maybe because she knows his little secret.
... and Kelly's little secret is - he is terribly afraid of death
(despite all the people he kills with a gusto), an even panics when he
only sees symbols of death, be it the image of a skull or a coffin. So he
pretty much bungles up the next bank job of his gang when a coffin is
carried across the street and instead of performing his part of the job he
runs away, with the result that one of his accomplices is shot dead,
another one, Howard (Jack Lambert), can escape but is identified by the
police ... and the only way out of that dilemma is that Kelly has to gun
down the very man he has let down during the heist ...
Kelly and Flo realize that they has to change his routine, and instead
of banks, they are now into kidnappings, starting with little Sherryl
(Lori Martin), daughter of steel magnate Vito (Robert Griffin), and
holding her for a large ransom. And here's where things go totally
haywire: first of all, one of Kelly's accomplices, Apple (Richard Devon),
tries to take lead of the gang, and ultimately, Kelly has to shoot him,
and then Kelly chooses - of all people - Fandango to pick up the ransom
... and Fandango is not exactly friends with Kelly anymore, and he tips
off the police about Kelly.
And in the end, Kelly, as always terribly afraid of death, does not
even have the courage to go down with a bang once the police ahs
surrounded his hide-out: Instead of shooting his way to gangster heaven,
he gives himself up without a fight ...
Of course, this little AIP-drive-in
flick is nowhere near as lavish as the classic gangster films from the
1930's and 1940's, like Scarface,
Little Caesar, Public Enemy No.1 or White Heat, it
was clearly made on a tiny budget with a limited number of sets ... that
said though, Machine Gun Kelly is quite a remarkable film, as
instead of going for straight action (like most other drive-in flicks) it
explores the psychology of its main characters (Kelly and Flo that is) and
presents Kelly as an internally broken man easily controlled by his moll,
who knows which buttons to press - and Charles Bronson's performance as
Kelly is nothing short of flawless. Possibly one of Roger Corman's best